CHAMPCAR/CART: Lausitz: Ford preview

FORD-COSWORTH "XFE" SUPERSPEEDWAY DEBUT - The German 500 will be the first of two consecutive oval races for Champ Car. This year marks the first race at the EuroSpeedway since 2001 when Ford-Cosworth driver Kenny Brack took the checkered flag in...

FORD-COSWORTH "XFE" SUPERSPEEDWAY DEBUT - The German 500 will be the first of two consecutive oval races for Champ Car. This year marks the first race at the EuroSpeedway since 2001 when Ford-Cosworth driver Kenny Brack took the checkered flag in his XF-powered Lola. The EuroSpeedway will mean a decrease in boost and horsepower for the XFE powerplant based on Champ Car rules. Turbocharger pressure will be down to 39" from 41.5" with horsepower coming down to 700 bhp. Ford-Cosworth engines will return to road course specs for the short one-mile oval in Milwaukee, Wisc., on May 31.

To date, the XFE has seen only one failure in race competition. The engine failure occurred in Sebastian Bourdais' car during the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Ford-Cosworth has changed the centerfuse shaft in all Champ Car engines since the failure.

TRACKING THE ROOKIES - Bourdais became the second different race winner this season capturing his first Champ Car win last weekend at Brands Hatch. Bourdais started on the outside of the front row after posting the fastest qualifying time during the second day of single car runs with a fast lap of 37.044 (115.841 mph). On his way to victory Bourdais led a race high 95 laps.

With the win, Bourdais jumped to the top of the rookie-of-the-year race with 27 championship points, ahead of former leader Mario Haberfeld whose ninth-place finish earned him 4 points, upping his total to 20 on the year. Rounding out the top-five rookies are Darren Manning, 14, Tiago Monteiro, 8, and Patrick Lemarie, 8.

FORD-COSWORTH DRIVERS TO WATCH -

Patrick Carpentier - Carpentier is coming off of a strong fifth-place finish in Brands Hatch after finishing sixth in Long Beach. The Canadian native returns to Germany as the highest finisher from 2001 when he found himself on the podium in third place. Carpentier again proved his skills on superspeedways with a third-place at California Speedway in 2002. He currently sits in fifth-place in the championship race.

Mario Dominguez - Dominguez posted his first podium of the year at Brands Hatch with his third place effort following a fifth-place in Long Beach. Dominguez started the day in 6th and was able to improve his position in pit lane throughout the day. The Herdez Competition driver is quickly turning around a season that saw 14th-and 13th-place finishes in the first two races, respectively. The third-place finish moved Dominguez up four places into seventh place in the championship race with 24 points.

Oriol Servia - Servia finished fifth in 2001 at the EuroSpeedway in Lausitz. After consecutive DNF's in Monterrey and Long Beach Servia drove to a fourth place finish at Brands Hatch. Servia matched his best qualifying effort of the year posting the fourth fastest time of the weekend (37.254). He is currently 12th in championship points with 14.

SPARK PLUGS - Bruno Junqueira has completed the most laps on the series this season (610) ... Paul Tracy led the first 54 laps in England, but was forced out of the race when his gear box failed on lap 118 ... Sebastien Bourdais became the fastest rookie to win a Champ Car event (four races) since Scott Dixon and Juan Montoya, who each won in their third career starts.

-ford racing-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Darren Manning , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Lemarié , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Scott Dixon , Oriol Servia , Mario Dominguez , Sébastien Bourdais