CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Team Player's preview

Denver, Colorado, August 28, 2003 For the fifth time this season, the Champ Car World Series drivers will be racing on a street course the 106-lap Grand Prix of Denver circuit this Sunday and no one is happier about that prospect than Paul...

Denver, Colorado, August 28, 2003 For the fifth time this season, the Champ Car World Series drivers will be racing on a street course the 106-lap Grand Prix of Denver circuit this Sunday and no one is happier about that prospect than Paul Tracy of Team Player's.

Tracy, who carries a 28-point edge over Brazil's Bruno Junqueira (192-164) in the drivers' championship with five races left on the schedule, has won all four street-course events this season and he has qualified on the front row, including two pole positions, in all four races. Tracy opened the season with a win on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, took the checkered flag in Long Beach and posted consecutive victories from the pole in Toronto and Vancouver.

"Team Player's has had great set-ups and a fast, reliable car virtually every time out this season, but there's no doubt we've been especially strong on the street courses, and we're determined to have that trend continue this weekend in Denver," remarked Tracy, who started 15th and finished eighth at last year's inaugural Grand Prix of Denver."

Tracy welcomed the news that there will be single-car qualifying for this year's event on the short and frequently slick 1.647-mile street circuit. "There aren't going to be any complaints about being blocked or running out of time to get a really good fast lap," he explained. "You just have to put all your focus into squeezing every tenth you can out of the car."

From last year's first experience of running on the Denver circuit, Tracy is well aware of the importance of locking up a favourable starting position. A year ago, Junqueira dominated the entire weekend in Denver, winning from the pole in a Lola chassis, the same chassis that Team Player's is using in 2003, after racing with the Reynard last season.

Tracy is taking nothing for granted. "We still have our work cut out for us in the battle for the championship," he noted. "It's definitely not a two-man race between Bruno and I because Michel Jourdain is now right on our heels (157 points, within 35 of Tracy)."

While Tracy is on a streak of street-course victories, his teammate Patrick Carpentier is on a podium run, with a second- and third-place finish in his last two races on the road courses of Mid-Ohio and last week in his hometown of Montreal. Prior to these races, Carpentier finished fifth at Road America but was poised for another podium when an air jack failure on his last pit stop cost him three positions.

"The last three races have been good ones for us, and in each case, the car seems to have gotten better as the race went on, which means the Team Player's crew has been doing an excellent job," said Carpentier, who was running in 7th place in Denver last year when gearbox woes ended his race.

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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Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Michel Jourdain