CHAMPCAR/CART: Ganassi Racing Detroit pre-race report

Bruno Junqueira And Nicolas Minassian, Team Target; Pre-Race Fact Sheet What: Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit - Round six of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series. When: Sunday, June 17. Broadcast: 2 p.m. Eastern, live on ...

Bruno Junqueira And Nicolas Minassian, Team Target; Pre-Race Fact Sheet

What: Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit - Round six of the 21-race CART FedEx Championship Series.

When: Sunday, June 17. Broadcast: 2 p.m. Eastern, live on ABC-TV. Broadcast live on CART Radio Network affiliates. Coverage of practice, qualifying and the race is also live on Qualifying --- Saturday, June 16. Practice - Friday, June 15.

Where: The 2.346-mile temporary street course in Detroit, Mich.

History: Team Target has won two straight pole positions (Montoya 1999 and 2000) at Detroit. In the last three events on the Belle Isle circuit, Team Target has led 166 of the 227 laps (73 percent).

Fast Facts:

Bruno Junqueira claimed the first pole position of his young, three-race CART career on May 6 at Nazareth.

Junqueira ranks 10th and Nicolas Minassian ranks 16th in the 2001 CART point standings.

Junqueira's top finish is fourth at the Milwaukee Mile. Minassian's top finish is eighth at Long Beach.

Junnqueira placed fifth in this year's Indy 500, his first-ever race on the famed 2.5-mile oval.

Junqueira and Minassian replace Juan Montoya, the 1999 CART champion, and Vasser, the 1996 CART champion.

Junqueira claimed the 2000 European F3000 Series championship, earning four victories. Minassian was runner-up to his new teammate, claiming three checkered flags.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing won 34 of the 95 CART FedEx Series events from 1996 through 2000.

Team Target has claimed four CART FedEx Series championships (1996-1999).

Team Target drivers have claimed 32 of the 97 pole positions since 1996.

For the fifth consecutive season, Target Chip Ganassi Racing will raise money for Target House at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by donating $5,000 for victory, $1,000 for each pole position and $25 for each lap led. The team has donated more than $230,000 since 1997. This year the team has donated $1,325 to Target House.


Junqueira and Minassian hoping to continue successful tradition in Detroit

Detroit -- Target Chip Ganassi Racing travels to Detroit this weekend with aspirations of continuing their dominance at the 2.346-mile temporary street course in Belle Isle. Since 1998, Team Target drivers have led an amazing 73 percent of the laps (166 of 227 laps) and former team driver Juan Montoya, who captured the last two pole positions awarded in Detroit. The rookie tandem of Bruno Junqueira and Nicolas Minassian are after the team's second victory in the last four years at the Raceway on Belle Isle (former team driver Alex Zanardi won the race in 1998).

The 24-year-old Junqueira hopes to continue his hot streak, which started at the Indy 500, where he placed fifth, and continued in Milwaukee, where he finished fourth.

"I feel that I have a good chance to win this race," Junqueira said. "I'm feeling much more comfortable in the car and I have a lot of confidence in the team, especially on street courses, like Detroit. The recent races on ovals have also give Team Target a lot of confidence. We finished seventh in Nazareth, fifth in Indianapolis and fourth in Milwaukee. Our team is getting closer and closer to winning each week, and I think we have an excellent chance to win in Detroit."

Minassian is also enthusiastic about the upcoming four-race stretch of street and road course races.

"I am very excited about this weekend," Minassian said. "In the first two road course races, I was able to finish in the points, so I'm confident we will have a good car for Detroit. The last month or so has been very disappointing for me. The ovals have been a difficult learning curve. I learned a lot from my experiences on the ovals, but I'm ready for a more familiar type of track to me now. One with both right and left hand turns. The combination of ovals and road courses is what makes this series so competitive."

At the 85th running of the Indianapolis 500, Team Target cars occupied three of the top six positions. And after the team's best finish of the season in Milwaukee, Team Target managing director Mike Hull believes the team is gathering momentum for the upcoming stretch of six races in seven weeks.

"We have had some solid finishes over the last few races, which is very encouraging for us," Hull said. "The team chemistry is very good right now. We need to carry the momentum into Detroit this weekend and keep improving. The Belle Isle circuit has been a place where we've had a lot of success over the past few years. Although Bruno and Nicolas have not seen this track before, our engineers have a fast setup and will work with our rookies to prepare them for the weekend. Bruno and Nicolas have shown the ability to adapt quickly to new venues, and I am confident that they'll be competitive on Sunday."

The Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit airs live on ABC at 2 p.m. EST on Sunday, June 17.


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Nicolas Minassian , Alex Zanardi , Chip Ganassi , Mike Hull
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing