CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca: Bridgestone race report

Carpentier pushes Bridgestones in flag-to-flag victory. Patrick Carpentier felt the pressure from a few of his competitors but never wavered in leading all 87 laps to win today's race from the pole position. It is Carpentier's fourth career...

Carpentier pushes Bridgestones in flag-to-flag victory.

Patrick Carpentier felt the pressure from a few of his competitors but never wavered in leading all 87 laps to win today's race from the pole position. It is Carpentier's fourth career Champ Car victory and third with Bridgestone tires under him.

Driving the Player's/Forsythe Ford/Lola on Bridgestone tires, Carpentier said afterward that the strong performance of the Potenza racing radials was a key to his victory. Some had concerns over tire wear due to the grueling Laguna Seca circuit and the removal of traction control from the Champ Cars this season, but Carpentier said he had no problems. "Without traction control I thought I was going to go a lot looser than what I was during the race," Carpentier said. "The tires are holding up beautifully and they don't create too much marbles. On the first stint we put too much pressure in the tires and the car started really sliding, so that tells you how important the tire pressure is. At the end we figured it out, got it right and the car was so fast, and that's how I won it."

Runner-up Bruno Junqueira said his tires were exceptional as well. The driver of the Newman/Haas Racing Ford/Lola flat-spotted his first set of Potenzas after locking up the brakes chasing the leaders, but his succeeding sets were flawless. "The second, third and fourth sets of tires were really good," Junqueira said. "I was able to push really hard and the tires held well. I went from nine seconds behind Patrick to nothing on the second set of Bridgestones, and it was really good."

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "It was a very competitive race on a beautiful day for racing in Monterey. The Bridgestone tires held up really well today, even under some demanding conditions. Congratulations to Patrick Carpentier and the entire Player's team, along with Paul Tracy finishing third. We also noted a great drive by Michel Jourdain, who started 13th and worked his way all the way back up to fourth at the end. It was a great run for him."

Race temperatures ranged from 104 to 111 degrees track and from 67 to 72 degrees ambient (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 40 to 44 degrees track and from 19 to 22 degrees ambient (C).

-bridgestone-

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