CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Team Player's Friday report

Champ Cars hit the streets of Denver: Team Players' Paul Tracy fourth in provisional qualifying Denver, Colorado, August 28, 2003--The city of Denver may be a mile-high, but the distance that matters this weekend in Denver is 1.647 miles: ...

Champ Cars hit the streets of Denver: Team Players' Paul Tracy fourth in provisional qualifying

Denver, Colorado, August 28, 2003--The city of Denver may be a mile-high, but the distance that matters this weekend in Denver is 1.647 miles: the distance of the street circuit for the Denver Grand Prix, the 17th stop on the 2003 Champ Car World Series. Team Players' driver Paul Tracy, who has won all four street courses this year, covered the distance in one minute, 2.056 seconds (153.766 km/hour / 95.546 mph), a time fast enough to put Tracy on the second row after provisional qualifying. Patrick Carpentier was sixth fastest with a time of one minute 2.165 seconds.

Brazilian Bruno Junquiera, who is now 27-points behind leader Tracy in the drivers' standings, took the provisional pole with a time of one minute, 1.438 seconds ( 155.313 km/h or 96.507 mph). Second spot went to Adrian Fernandez, with a fast time of one minute, 1.583 seconds (154.947 km/h or 96.280 mph), followed by Darren Manning in third with a time of one minute, 1.869 seconds ( 154.231 km/h or 95.835 mph). Carpentier's fast lap was clocked at one minute, 2.165 seconds ( 153.496 km/h or 95.378 mph), 0.727 seconds off Junquiera's time.

It was almost, but not quite, single car qualifying: one out-lap, three timed laps, with the next car hitting the circuit before the previous car was done. It's the first time single car qualifying has been used this year on a street course since Brands Hatch, England in May. Blocking issues prompted CART officials to adopt single car qualifying in Denver, in an effort to even the playing field on the tight track. However, it's difficult to have an even playing field when your way is blocked by another car. Paul Tracy was forced back to the pits when Mario Dominguez crashed into a wall on his own run.

"The whole thing got messed up when Dominguez crashed," says Tracy. "I had to run the same tire pressure and at the end it was too high and the car did not have any grip. I guess you can't call this single car qualifying if there are two cars on the track at the same time. It's frustrating. We still have power left in the Player's car, so we will see what we can do tomorrow (Saturday)."

Patrick Carpentier, hot off podium finishes at Montreal and Mid-Ohio, didn't have an easy afternoon of it either.

"I missed a corner by quite a bit at the back of the track and I could not improve," says Patrick Carpentier, whose car was tenth in line for qualifying. "I feel that we're ahead of last weekend, at least, when we didn't run on Friday afternoon. The car was also under-steering too much. We hardly ran this morning because of contact with the wall so Team Player's will have to maximize the track time in the morning to improve the car. Qualifying is so important here because there is only one place where you can pass. The rest of the time the car is always turning in and out of corners."

Racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at the Grand Prix of Denver throughout the weekend by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the race live on the The Sports Network starting at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Mario Dominguez