CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca: Team Player's race report

Team Player's first double podium: Carpentier wins Grand Prix Of Monterrey and teammate Paul Tracy is third. Monterey, California, June 15th, 2003From last minute pole position to chequered flag, the Grand Prix of Monterey belonged to Team ...

Team Player's first double podium: Carpentier wins Grand Prix Of Monterrey and teammate Paul Tracy is third.

Monterey, California, June 15th, 2003From last minute pole position to chequered flag, the Grand Prix of Monterey belonged to Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier. The Quebec driver started from the pole and remained in the lead all 87 laps of the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca road course. The win is Team Player's fourth victory of the season, Carpentier's fourth pole and his fourth career victory. The twenty-two points he earned at Laguna Seca also bump him up into 4th place in the Champ Car World Series. Forget number seven, four is the lucky number of the moment for Team Player's.

"It's fantastic, the car was excellent all weekend long and we were quick during the race," said a jubilant Carpentier who also set the fastest lap of the race (1:11.818 sec.). "Paul (Tracy) put pressure on me at the start of the race and at one point I almost lost the lead. That was a really close call. Then Bruno (Junqueira) went by Paul and started to reel me in and apply pressure. It was a very tough race with no yellow and these two guys in my mirrors the whole time." Carpentier was quick to add the victory is not his alone. "The Team Player's pit crew did an amazing job during each stop to release me ahead of everyone. It was really close. It's simply amazing."

Paul Tracy's third place finish made it a maple leaf affair atop the podium at Laguna Seca, the first double podium for Team Player's. Both team drivers kept tight control over the top two spots for the first half of the race, but after the second round of fuel stops, Tracy cut a tire after nearly catching teammate Carpentier in the first corner on cold tires. That hampered his hopes of a second place finish, and he was later overtaken by Brazilian driver Bruno Junqueira.

"I had contact with Pat at the start of the race because the field was not properly set up but it did not cause damage," said Tracy. "I put pressure on Pat during the first part of the race closing the gap on him. Then I hit the tire that was put in front of the car as I was leaving the pit. I made a run at Pat in corner 1 at pit out and flat spotted both my front tires. After that, the handling on the car was gone." Still, Tracy was quick to put the results in perspective. "After three races with no results, this double podium finish is good for Team Player's and puts us back in the championship race. We want to see that happen again at the next race in Portland."

Racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at the G.I. Joe`s 200 in Portland, Oregon June 20-22 by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the race on tape delay on the The Sports Network at 8:00 p.m. ET

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