MEXICO CITY, Mexico -- November 5, 2005 -- Despite traffic woes and handling issues, Forsythe Championship Racing's Paul Tracy ( ...
MEXICO CITY, Mexico -- November 5, 2005 -- Despite traffic woes and handling issues, Forsythe Championship Racing's Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone) and Mario Dominguez (#7 Roshfrans/Indeck Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone) managed to grab good grid positions at the sharp end of the field for Sunday's Telmex/Tecate Grand Prix of Mexico presented by Banamex here in Mexico City. The Grand Prix of Mexico is the final event of the 2005 season as Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.
Tracy was third quickest in today's Qualifying round with a lap of 1m26.978s at 115.512mph, but will start from fourth position on the race grid due to A.J. Allmendinger earning a guaranteed front-row starting spot by virtue of claiming Provisional Pole in Friday's first round of Qualifying. "We made a little change that didn't work out as well as we would have liked" said Tracy. "I was pressing pretty hard on my last stint but got caught up in some traffic when the tires were at their optimum. The Bridgestones, both the standard blacks and the alternate reds, have good grip and durability but it seems like there's a little two lap window where they're really outstanding. If you don't nail it on those two laps there's not much you can do. But we're on the second row and it's going to be a tough race so we'll be looking to end the season on a high note."
Teammate Mario Dominguez, swarmed all weekend by throngs of Mexican fans, was third quickest in Friday's first round of Qualifying but managed only the sixth quickest time on Saturday. "It's my hometown race so I really wanted to do well today after I was third fastest yesterday, but we weren't quite as quick as we wanted to be" said Dominguez as he signed autographs and posed for pictures with the children of Fundacion CIE, a charitable organization that provides a helping hand to orphaned children in Mexico. "We tried a bit of alternate strategy and went out early in the session so there wasn't much traffic. The car had a little too much understeer so we made a change for the last stint but we went too far and the balance just wasn't good enough to put up a really good time. We also had a pretty bad vibration on that last stint which affected the braking. I'm going to have my work cut out starting from the third row, but it's a long race on a difficult circuit and I think we'll be in the hunt at the end."
Tracy lies fourth in the season point standings with 221, but with a strong finish could reclaim the third overall spot he lost after a mechanical failure at the last event in Australia. Mario Dominguez fell from fifth to eighth after he was taken out in a first turn crash at that same race, but could climb back to fifth with a good result.