Wet streets and rainy qualifying challenge Team Players' in Denver Denver, Colorado, August 30, 2003 Heavy rain overnight and a slight drizzle throughout the afternoon made for a damp and slick second qualifying session at the 2003 edition of...
Wet streets and rainy qualifying challenge Team Players' in Denver
Denver, Colorado, August 30, 2003 Heavy rain overnight and a slight drizzle throughout the afternoon made for a damp and slick second qualifying session at the 2003 edition of the Denver Grand Prix in Denver, Colorado. Team Player's Patrick Carpentier had a slippery first lap on the 1.647 mile long street circuit, but deftly avoided hitting the wall and managed to secure his spot on the third row. His teammate Paul Tracy qualified ninth and will start on the fifth row for the Grand Prix of Denver.
Oriol Servia's time of one minute, 1.477 seconds (155.214 km/h or 96.446 mph) was the quickest of the session. He will start the race alongside pole sitter Bruno Junquiera, who scored the fastest time Friday. Sebastien Bourdais' fast lap time of one minute, 1.547 seconds (155.038 km/h or 96.336 mph) was enough to put him third for the start, alongside Adrian Fernandez. Patrick Carpentier's fast lap time of one minute 1.804 seconds (154.393 km/h or 95.936 mph) was 0.327 seconds behind the leader and not nearly as quick as he may have hoped, but it secured him fourth spot in the session, and sixth overall. His teammate Paul Tracy, who spun and hit the wall, had a not-so-fast lap time of one minute, 3.001 seconds (151.459 km/h or 94.133 mph), more than 1.5 seconds behind the leader, and will start from the fifth row.
Carpentier was frustrated by the spin, but relieved to have missed hitting the wall. "At least I saved the rear wing this time when I spun. So far this weekend, between Paul and me, we've damaged four rear wings," notes Carpentier. "I went a bit left off-line going into corner 1 and went over a damp spot and started to slide. I kept my foot on the throttle and saved the car. It was my fault but I was lucky not to hit any of the walls. There are plenty of possibilities to spin on this track and we have to avoid them. The one positive for this type of qualifying is that there is a different mix of drivers in the top-10 than has been the case lately. It has really shuffled the cards. This will make the race much more interesting, especially for the fans. For the race, I will have to be patient at first and then when things settle after the first lap, take whatever comes."
Team Player's Paul Tracy had an equally eventful qualifying session. On his final flying lap, the Champ Car World Series leader spun off the course "I knew I had a good run, but I just lost it," Tracy says. "With one lap to qualify, you really push it to the limit, so it's frustrating. You just try to not the hit the wall. It's just one of those things," he adds philosophically. "I was on cold tires, trying to get the most out of every corner, and I just lost it. It's going to be a hard day. It's a long race, easy to fly off the track here. We'll have to pit out of sequence to make up time, and really just try to run our own race. With this type of qualifying, you have no choice but to push it to the limit. I don't think that one-car qualifying on a road course is fair for everyone. So I don't agree with it. Track conditions change a lot from one car to another, especially with the type of weather we had today. I spun and lost my best chance at the pole but fair being fair, it rained on Bruno (Junquiera). Team Player's is aiming for the most points possible. It's going to be a hard day. It's a long race, and it's easy to fly off the track here. It will be a very interesting battle."
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.