PKV Racing Rookie Readies For Round 14 Finale On Home Soil; Vasser Trying To Close Out Top-10 Points Run in Mexico City INDIANAPOLIS (November 1, 2004) -- It has long been recognized in the sporting arena that when a crowd backs an athlete in...
PKV Racing Rookie Readies For Round 14 Finale On Home Soil; Vasser Trying To Close Out Top-10 Points Run in Mexico City
INDIANAPOLIS (November 1, 2004) -- It has long been recognized in the sporting arena that when a crowd backs an athlete in his hometown, the pressure rises, results are expected, and the heat is on. That holds true for the throng of Mexican racing faithful pulling for native son Roberto Gonzalez (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) this weekend at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, as the PKV Racing rookie joins three other Mexican pilots in search of a victory on the awe-inspiring 2.786-mile permanent road course. Gonzalez' veteran stablemate Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) enters the Champ Car season finale looking to hang onto the 10th spot in the championship, and the cool $100,000 (US) bonus that comes with it.
Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez is unique for Gonzalez in that it's the only venue on the calendar where the rookie has previous racing experience. Last season, he made his Mexican Champ Car debut in place of Roberto Moreno alongside fellow countryman Mario Dominguez in the first all-Mexican effort in series history with Herdez Competition. Gonzalez was able to work his way up from the 18th starting position to score a respectable 10th in his second career start behind the wheel of a 750hp Champ Car.
"I have been waiting for this weekend all season, to be honest," said Gonzalez, whose #21 PKV Racing Lola will carry the distinctive Nextel Mexico livery for the final race of the season. "Mexico City is the only track this season that looks familiar to me, and I want nothing more than to finish the season on a high note and perform well for my team, Nextel, and my family and friends that will attend this great event. I've had to overcome a learning curve at every track we've raced at this year, so hopefully my previous experience here will lend to a solid performance to close out the season. I've been on the phone all week with my engineers, working on setups and our overall approach. We have a team that can get the results, and I'm looking forward to getting on track for that first session Friday morning."
Gonzalez' teammate Vasser qualified fifth in the Champ Car's first visit to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 2002 and started seventh last season, but the 1996 Series Champion has yet to put together a strong run in Mexico City after finishing both races out of the top 10.
"What an amazing event," said Vasser, whose championship point tally of 180 markers is eight better than that of Michel Jourdain Jr.'s for the 10th and final spot in the year-end prize fund. "This race is probably one of the best venues I've ever raced at in terms of atmosphere and electricity. The crowds are unbelievable. We've proved that the Gulfstream car has road course potential after a strong effort at Road America earlier this season. I'm also pulling for Roberto this weekend. Anytime you race in an atmosphere like this in front of your home country, you'd like to perform well."
Watch the PKV Racing duo of Vasser and Gonzalez compete this Sunday afternoon, November 7th, on Spike TV (4:00 pm ET/PT) in the season finale of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford, the Gran Premio Telmex/Tecate Presented by Banamex.
About PKV Racing
Founded in January 2003, Indianapolis-based PKV Racing fields a two-car effort in the Champ Car World Series for American open wheel star Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Mexican rookie Roberto Gonzalez (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone). The second-year team is owned by successful venture capitalists Kevin Kalkhoven and Dan Pettit, along with 1996 Series Champion Vasser, and is managed by veteran Champ Car team manager Russell Cameron.
For more information please visit www.pkvracing.com, www.nextel.com.mx or www.gulfstream.com.