Tracy the Boss at Mid-Ohio Leads first one-two Player's finish in team's history This was a record-setting day for Paul Tracy, driver of the ...
Tracy the Boss at Mid-Ohio
Leads first one-two Player's finish in team's history
This was a record-setting day for Paul Tracy, driver of the #3 Team Player's Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone Champ Car. He gathered 23 points in the Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio at the Lexington, OH road course from pole position, leading the most laps (69 of the race's 92) and coming first under the checkered flags for his sixth win of the 2003 season. Tracy also moved to second on the all-time CART lap leader board, surpassing Rick Mears. "You always come in wanting to win," the Canadian ace said. "We pushed to the limit all day on a track that never ^0x2dbered up'. I've been a bridesmaid here so many times it feels so good to finally take a win. My Lola was well balanced at the start but with the amount of rubber it went to understeer. This car has been very good in slippery conditions this year," he said on this warm, partly sunny day.
Taking second place, last year's winner Patrick Carpentier helped Team Player's achieve its first one-two finish in team history in his #32 Lola, just .610 seconds behind Tracy, who retook the points lead (184-164 over Bruno Junqueira). He had been closing the gap throughout the latter stages and achieved his third straight Mid-Ohio podium. "I had a great car all day. We were a little loose at the start but it came to me. There was a lot of teamwork involved here to achieve this result as Team Player's gave me really fast pit stops. Yeah, I caught Paul, but passing him is another story," he laughed. Ryan Hunter-Reay finished third in the #31 American Spirit Team Johansson Reynard.
Third in the point standings with 137, Michel Jourdain Jr. earned fourth in the #9 Gigante Lola with a "car that was really good at the start of the race. We had a strong car and it was a long race. We made a mistake on the last stop when we put a new right front on with a used set and that threw the balance off enough to lose ground," Jourdain explained. Rookie Sebastien Bourdais earned fifth in the #2 Lilly Lola and called race #13 "a tough race. We set the second fastest lap of the race but I couldn't pass because I had too much understeer," as did most in the 19-car field. Fourteen finished the 92-lap enduro with the top ten on the lead lap.
Alex Tagliani took sixth in the #33 Johnson Controls Lola. Admitting "today was good for us because we finished better than we started (7th) and we learned a lot." Adrian Fernandez was seventh in the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Lola, overcoming pit strategy that him on different sequence from the balance of the field for much of the race.
The Champ Cars make their third trip north of the border for the second Molson Indy Montreal on August 24th, where Paul Tracy and Team Player's hope to earn their third straight Canadian victory in race #14 of the 19-event campaign.