CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca: Ford preview

This Week in Ford Racing June 11, 2003 CART Champ Car World Series FORD-COSWORTH "XFE" PASSES OVAL TESTS - The Centennial 250 at The Milwaukee Mile proved to be another good weekend for the Ford-Cosworth XFE. The engine builders reported no ...

This Week in Ford Racing
June 11, 2003

CART Champ Car World Series

FORD-COSWORTH "XFE" PASSES OVAL TESTS - The Centennial 250 at The Milwaukee Mile proved to be another good weekend for the Ford-Cosworth XFE. The engine builders reported no problems after the second oval race in a row. Race winner Michel Jourdain, Jr. drove to his first career victory, in doing so, he mileaged out his Ford-Cosworth engine. Jourdain's winning engine was the same powerplant that landed him on the podium in Germany.

FORD-COSWORTH VICTORIES AT LAGUNA SECA - Ford-Cosworth has posted nine wins and nine poles in Laguna Seca Champ Car competition. Current team owner Bobby Rahal leads the way in Ford-Cosworth wins by posting four straight victories from 1984 - 1987 in his DFX powered car winning from the pole in 1985. Teo Fabi was the first Ford-Cosworth driver to sit on the pole and take the checkered at Laguna in 1983 during his rookie campaign. Other winners include Michael Andretti (1992), Bryan Herta (1998 & 1999) and most recently Max Papis (2001). Herta (1997, 1998 & 1999) leads all Ford-Cosworth drivers with three poles in Monterey, while Mario Andretti (1984 & 1986) captured two, Michael Andretti (1992) and Jacques Villenueve (1995) each have one.

DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP RACE - Michel Jourdain, Jr. jumped to the front of the championship points race with his first career victory in Milwaukee. Jourdain's consistency through the first third of the season has given him a 10-point lead going to the Mazda raceway this weekend. The 26-year-old Mexican driver picked up 35 points over the back-to-back oval races to leap frog former leaders Paul Tracy and Bruno Junqueira. Tracy and Junqueira managed only two and twelve points respectively during the oval stretch. Sebastien Bourdais and Oriol Servia also posted impressive numbers while turning left each picking up 26 points over the past two races. Others benefiting from the ovals were Mario Dominguez, 21 points, and Patrick Carpentier and Darren Manning who managed 20 points each.

TRACKING THE ROOKIES - Darren Manning seems to be getting comfortable in his Ford-Cosworth/Reynard, the No. 15 RAC Walker Racing driver posted his career best finish in Milwaukee finishing one spot away from the podium. The finish moved him into the top-ten in the championship points race. Newman/Haas rookie Sebastien Bourdais continues to lead all rookies with 53 points, the young Frenchman followed back-to-back European wins with a 9th place finish in Milwaukee. Other top rookies contending for Rookie-of-the-Year include Mario Haberfeld with 26 points, Tiago Monteiro (11), Ryan Hunter-Reay (9), Patrick Lemarie (8) and Joel Camathias (6).

FORD-COSWORTH DRIVERS TO WATCH -

Paul Tracy - Tracy returns to Laguna as the active leader in wins at the Mazda raceway. He posted victories in 1993 and 1994 and is looking for his 23rd career Champ Car win. The No. 3 Player's/Indeck Ford team is looking to return to their pre-Europe form when they had a 26-point cushion at the top of the points and were coming off three season opening victories. Tracy looked poised to regain his early success in Milwaukee, however, he lost a wheel during the race and finished in 12th position one lap behind the leaders.

Mario Haberfeld (R) - Haberfeld is currently third among rookies with 26 points. The first year driver has posted four top-tens this year including a fourth in St. Petersburg and a seventh place finish at Milwaukee. Haberfeld goes into the weekend 13th in points.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (R) - Ladder system product, Hunter-Reay, won the pole and the race last year in Atlantic competition at Laguna Seca. The American rookie has posted one top-ten finish this year and currently sits 15th overall in points and fifth among first year drivers.

SPARK PLUGS - Michel Jourdain, Jr. became the 240th driver in the 93-year history of Champ Car to take a race victory as he claimed his first career win at the Milwaukee Mile ... Jourdain sits at the top of the championship points race leading into Laguna Seca for the second consecutive year ... Jimmy Vasser heads back to Laguna where he won in 1997 and earned three poles and two race wins in Formula Atlantic competition ... Bobby Rahal owned and driven cars have won seven times at Laguna Seca.

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Darren Manning , Joel Camathias , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Lemarié , Max Papis , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Bryan Herta , Mario Dominguez , Mario Andretti , Tiago Monteiro , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Sébastien Bourdais , Teo Fabi , Michel Jourdain