WHO'S HOT * Mexico's Michel Jourdain Jr. ( ...
* Mexico's Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Team Rahal led a CART Champ Car race record 234 laps of the 1.032-mile Milwaukee Mile and held on to claim the first win of his eight-year career in Round 6 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Jourdain set a CART race record for most laps led in a race, eclipsing the previous mark of 222 led by Nigel Mansell in Michigan 1993. In addition to an emotional win in CART's first ever night race, Jourdain enters Round 7 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca holding a 10-point advantage in the championship with 77 over three-time 2003 racewinner Paul Tracy (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Player's/Forsythe Racing.
* Spaniard Oriol Servia (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) drove to a career-best finish of second at Milwaukee as he piloted his Patrick Racing machine to the line a scant 0.468 seconds behind Jourdain. Servia was involved in a number of thrilling side-by-side battles with Tracy for position in the top-three - a tribute to CART Champ Car's Technical staff for reinstating the road course wing package on the short oval. As a result, the run vaulted Servia into seventh place in the points with 40, moving him up four spots in the standings.
* Patrick Carpentier (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Player's/Forsythe Racing finished a season-best third at The Mile, recording his second top five of the season after a third-place run at Brands Hatch. The Canadian set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 246 of 250, and would come up just 0.704 seconds short of racewinner Jourdain. Carpentier is fifth in the championship with 48 points and has completed the most laps in the series (845 of 849) heading into Laguna Seca.
* Rookie Darren Manning (#15 RAC Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) of England crossed the line just 1.104 seconds back in fourth and posted his best-ever CART Champ Car finish in Milwaukee, improving a race-best seven spots from his grid position to take top rookie honors as well as being the top-finishing Reynard in the 250-lap event. Two-time racewinner this season Sebastien Bourdais (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Newman/Haas Racing leads the Rookie of the Year race through Round 6 with 53 points (fourth overall) to Manning's 34.
* Canadian Alex Tagliani (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) comes off a fifth-place result in Milwaukee. Tag posted the top overall lap time in practice which earned him the pole after qualifying was washed out. With 32 points, the Champ Car veteran stands a strong tenth in the championship for team owner Paul Gentilozzi and his rookie Rocketsports Racing Champ Car effort.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
* Paul Tracy has recorded two wins (1993-94) and a pole ('94) at Mazda Raceway in his Champ Car career. Other notable finishes for the Canadian pilot in Monterey include second in 1995, eighth in '98 and fourth in '99.
* Another Champ Car World Series driver who has displayed speed at Laguna Seca in the past is 1997 race winner Jimmy Vasser (#12 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) who is in his first season with former Champ Car driver Stephan Johansson's American Spirit Team Johansson. Vasser. The 1996 CART Champ Car titlist currently sits 11th in the standings with 27.
* Bruno Junqueira (#2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Newman/Haas Racing fell to third in points with 66 after a Lap 3 accident took him out of contention in Milwaukee, but the Brazilian pilot has respectable finishes of fourth (2002) and seventh (2001) in his two visits to Laguna Seca.
DID YOU KNOW?
* The signature corkscrew at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (turns 8 and 8A) drops nearly 50 feet. The elevation change from the entrance of the corkscrew to Turn 11 is equivalent to a three-story building.
* Bobby Rahal To Serve as Grand Marshall...Racing legend Bobby Rahal is being honored as the Grand Marshall for this year's Grand Prix of Monterey. Rahal is being recognized for his unmatched accomplishments at the circuit, as well as his life-long contribution to the world of auto racing...Rahal, who is one of the greatest all-time in open-wheel racing, won four consecutive Champ Car races at the world-renowned track from 1984-87. He also has three more victories as a team owner, in 1998 and '99 with Bryan Herta at the wheel and 2001 with Max Papis driving. Michel Jourdain Jr., in Team Rahal's Gigante-sponsored Champ Car, leads Rahal's hopes for another Grand Prix of Monterey victory this season.
* New Premier Pit Row Suites and Garages...Unveiled at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in January, 2003, the new complex is located inside Turn 11 at the entrance to Pit Row, and contains 12 hospitality suites on top of 10 double-car garages. The project broke ground on February 8, 2002, was built at a cost of $7.5 million and is the first phase of a major capital improvement campaign underway at the facility. The Premier Pit Row Suites feature four corporate suites and eight individual Suites, directly overlooking the action on Pit Row. Corporate suites are designed for companies hosting up to 40 guests in a climate-controlled environment and include indoor and outdoor seating, multiple televisions, wet bar, refrigerator, private bathroom, and a conversational seating area. The individual suites are designed for individual fans or company's hosting small groups. They also feature multiple televisions, wet bar, refrigerator, private bathroom and outdoor seating. The 10 double-car garages are each 16' wide and 32' deep. They feature one walk-through door and roll-up doors on both front and back, making it easy for teams to move their cars and support equipment from their trucks in the paddock, into the garages and out onto Pit Lane. Each garage contains a 110 volt electrical supply and phone lines. The ground floor of the building also features a catering kitchen to support the hospitality suites and men's and women's restrooms. The garages got their first taste of action when CART Champ Car teams tested in mid-January.
* Ford Motor Company Celebrates 100th anniversary...This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of Ford Motor Company, which was founded on June 16, 1903 by 39-year-old entrepreneur Henry Ford. The historic occasion will be celebrated on the grounds of Ford Motor Co.'s World Headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., from June 12 - 16...Racing legends Sir Jackie Stewart, Dan Gurney, Carroll Shelby, Ned Jarrett, Junior Johnson, the Wood Brothers and many more will be on hand along with many of the cars that they and other Ford legends have driven throughout the years. Visitors to the event will also be treated to a concert series that will feature performances by Beyonce Knowles, Toby Keith and Earth Wind and Fire...In addition to the festivities in Dearborn, Edsel B. Ford II will serve as grand marshal of the NASCAR Winston Cup race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, June 15, and all Ford teams and drivers will be wearing Ford Centennial hats throughout this weekend's CART Champ Car, NASCAR and NHRA events...Over the past century Ford Motor Co. has put a strong emphasis on racing, and rightfully so, since funding to start the company came from a race won by Henry Ford in 1901. In Henry's first and only competitive race he defeated Alexander Winton in a 10-lap event at the Detroit Driving Club in front of a number of potential investors. The prize won was $1,000 and a cut glass punch bowl, however, the acclaim brought him one step closer to achieving his dream, because several people watching that day would come forward and offer financial support for subsequent efforts...Henry Ford established Ford Motor Company 20 months later. He proved his belief in low-cost production and created the car that literally put the world on wheels. The impact of Ford's automobile company goes beyond the auto industry as it has had a manor impact on society as well with the development of the moving assembly line and the $5-a-day workday.
Grand Prix of Monterey
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, California
Friday - Sunday, June 13-15.
CART SCHEDULE (All times local):
FRIDAY, JUNE 13
Champ Car practice, 9:30 - 10:20 a.m.
Champ Car practice, 11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, JUNE 14
Champ Car practice, 10:00 - 11:15 a.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 1:45 - 2:45 p.m.;
SUNDAY, JUNE 15
Champ Car warm-up, 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.
The Grand Prix of Monterey, 87 laps, 12:30 p.m.
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: S
ATURDAY, JUNE 14 - SPEED Channel, CART Champ Car qualifying, 5:30 p.m. ET.
SUNDAY, JUNE 15 - CBS Sports, Grand Prix of Monterey, 3:30 p.m. ET (Live).