CHAMPCAR/CART: Miami: Noteworthy, schedule

Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com WHO'S HOT * Brazilian Bruno Junqueira ( ...

Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com

WHO'S HOT

* Brazilian Bruno Junqueira (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) delivered team owners Paul Newman and Carl Haas top honors in the team's 350th Champ Car start at the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver, beating Newman/Haas Racing teammate and Rookie of The Year frontrunner Sebastien Bourdais (#2 McDonald's/Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) to the stripe by 0.335 seconds to complete the sweep. With the win Junqueira scored his second straight victory in The Mile High City and will look to track down points leader Paul Tracy (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Player's/Forsythe Racing this weekend in Miami as he trails the Canadian pilot 204-186 with four events remaining. Junqueira has recorded nine podiums and 12 top fives in 15 starts on the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season.

* Bourdais, the second half of the NHR duo, left Denver with a second place run, capping off the sixth podium of his impressive rookie season in the Champ Car World Series. With three wins and four poles, the Frenchman is second only to Tracy who has authored six wins and five poles. Bourdais makes his debut in Miami this weekend, coming into South Florida fourth in points with 142.

* Patrick Racing's Oriol Servia (#20 Visteon Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) completed the Denver podium, scoring his second top-three in a row after finishing second at the Molson Indy Montreal. Enjoying a career year in the Champ Car World Series, Servia led 36 laps in Denver and heads to Miami sixth in points with 108.

* Points leader Tracy charged from his ninth starting position in Denver and used a plethora of passes in the opening laps to gain ground and eventually finish fourth on the tricky 1.647-mile street circuit. Tracy will look to improve on the 12th place finish he scored in Miami a year ago after a late lap incident with Jimmy Vasser (#12 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) and Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) took him out of the race.

* Owner/driver Adrian Fernandez (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) had his best finish since winning in Portland earlier in the year, turning in a fifth place performance in The Mile High City. The Mexican heads to Miami seventh in points with 92.

* With an eighth place finish in Denver, English rookie Darren Manning (#15 RAC Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) of Walker Racing set an all time CART record for most consecutive top 10 finishes by a rookie with eight.

* Although rookie Mario Haberfeld (#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) finished 10th after starting eighth on the grid in Denver, the Brazilian clocked in at 1:02.082 on Lap 100 of 106 and set the fastest lap of the race for the first time in his Champ Car career.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

* 1996 CART Champion Jimmy Vasser drove up through the field in last year's inaugural Grand Prix Americas from the 12th starting position to finish third. Vasser was a quick learner in Miami, abusing the competition with daring passes through the tight turns of the Miami street circuit.

* A number of other current Champ Car drivers faired well at Bayfront Park last year, including Alex Tagliani (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Rocketsports Racing, Bruno Junqueira, Michel Jourdain and Adrian Fernandez, who finished fourth through seventh, respectively.

NOTEWORTHY

* Alex Sperafico...of Brazil replaces fellow countryman Gualter Salles in Miami this weekend in the #19 Dale Coyne Racing entry. Sperafico will make his second career Champ Car start after finishing 18th in his debut in Toronto earlier this year.

* The Sunshine State...will be well represented for this weekend's Grand Prix Americas presented by Sportsbook.com, with no less than eight of the 19 Champ Car drivers residing in Florida. Miami residents include Bruno Junqueira, Sebastien Bourdais, Oriol Servia, Tiago Monteiro (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) and Alex Sperafico. Other Floridians include Herdez Competition's Roberto Moreno (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Weston, American rookie Ryan Hunter-Reay (#31 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) of Boca Raton, and Mario Haberfeld of Key Biscayne.

* Kid Rock To Perform at Motorock Miami 100...Motorock, the new cutting-edge motorsports and entertainment company, and title sponsor for the Trans-Am Tour--announced recently that Kid Rock will perform at the American Airlines Arena on Friday, September 27, 2003 as part of the Motorock Miami 100. As previously announced, Elton John will be performing on Saturday, September 27, 2003...Also, Motorock is an acquisition partner of proposed buyout of the Champ Car World Series. Tickets for Kid Rock will go on sale Saturday, September 20, 2003, at all Ticketmaster outlets. Concert and race ticket packages will be available at motorocktour.com or miamirace.com.

BY THE NUMBERS

* 14,000 - tires lashed together for the 2003 Grand Prix Americas...65,000 - feet of fencing throughout track...140 - countries watching the race (through CART and ALMS television broadcasts)...1,732 - tires used by teams during race weekend...1,700 - times a driver will shift gears during the race...135 - race transporters on site...13,500 - gallons of fuel consumed during race weekend...8,000 - cups of beer consumed during 2002 Grand Prix Americas...6 - Giant vision boards for full-circuit television coverage for the fans in the grandstands...5,800 - feet of sponsorship signage...527 - number of media credentials requested for 2002 GPA...1,370 - number of articles written during race weekend for the 2002 GPA.

WHAT: Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com
WHERE: Miami, Florida
WHEN: Friday -- Sunday, September 26-28

SUPPORT EVENTS: CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, American Le Mans Series, Trans-Am

CART SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
Champ Car practice, 9:55 -- 11:30 a.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 3:00 -- 4:00 p.m.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27
Champ Car practice, 9:55 -- 11:10 a.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 1:15 -- 2:15 p.m.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28
Champ Car warmup, 9:00 -- 9:30 a.m.
Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com, 135 laps, 1:00 p.m.

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE:

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 -- Champ Car qualifying, 8:00 p.m. (tape delay) SPEED Channel

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28-- Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com, 1:00 p.m., CBS Sports

TRACK LAYOUT: 1.15-mile street course
RACE LENGTH: 135 laps, 155.250 miles

RACE ROUND: 16 of 19 in the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

INSTANT REPLAY: The Champ Cars returned to the streets of Miami in 2002 after a long hiatus and rewarded the Florida fans with not only a close finish in which the top four cars finished with 2.5 seconds of each other, but also with the coronation of a champion as Cristiano da Matta sealed the deal on his first Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford title. Da Matta clinched the title in a matter befitting a champion as he led 58 of the 105 laps en route to his seventh win of the season. Da Matta started sixth in the event but moved up when Tony Kanaan took out Scott Dixon as the two were battling for the lead. He would pace a 1-2 finish for Newman/Haas Racing as Christian Fittipaldi came home in second place with Jimmy Vasser rounding out the podium for his second podium run of the season.

NEXT EVENT: Oct. 12, Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Darren Manning , Gualter Salles , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Adrian Fernandez , Roberto Moreno , Alex Tagliani , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Scott Dixon , Tony Kanaan , Oriol Servia , Paul Newman , Tiago Monteiro , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Sébastien Bourdais , Carl Haas , Alex Sperafico , Dale Coyne , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain
Teams Dale Coyne Racing