WHO'S HOT * Rookie Sebastien Bourdais ( ...
* Rookie Sebastien Bourdais (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Newman/Haas Racing stole the show with two breakthrough performances, winning Rounds 4 and 5 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford in England and Germany, respectively. The Frenchman powered his way around the tight, technical Brands Hatch circuit and nipped a three-car drag to the stripe at EuroSpeedway, continuing his assault on the point race and leading Rookie of the Year standings. With 49 markers, Bourdais leads the rookie class of 2003 and holds the fourth spot overall in points. He has already shown his skill on three of CART's four disciplines with two wins and thee poles, but has yet to do battle on a short oval configuration such as The Milwaukee Mile.
* With back-to-back podium finishes of third and second in Europe, sophomore driver Mario Dominguez (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Herdez Competition moved up to fifth in Champ Car points with 40. The Mexican's performances also catapulted his countrymen into the Nation's Cup points lead, with Mexico now holding an 80-79 advantage over the Canadians.
* Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) turned in another strong run at EuroSpeedway Lausitz with a podium result of third, just 0.245 seconds behind racewinner Bourdais. The Mexican heads into The Milwaukee Mile a solid third in points with 56 behind leaders Canada's Paul Tracy (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Player's/Forsythe Racing and Brazilian Bruno Junqueira (Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Newman/Haas Racing, who are knotted up at 66 each.
* Walker Racing's English rookie Darren Manning (#15 RAC/Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) improved his career best starting and finishing position in Germany, posting a sixth-place result after starting fifth. Manning could be one to watch this weekend on Milwaukee's 1.032-mile bullring. The Brit impressed in his Champ Car (and oval) debut last year in Rockingham, England leading 14 laps en route to a ninth-place finish after starting 17th.
* Spaniard Oriol Servia (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) comes to The Mile with momentum gained from two top-five finishes in Europe after claiming fourth in England and fifth in Germany. The two-race span marks the first time that Servia has had back-to-back top fives since Vancouver and Germany in 2001. The Patrick Racing pilot currently stands 10th in points with 24.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
* Defending Milwaukee champion Paul Tracy has recorded a total of three wins and two poles at The Mile in his Champ Car career. The Canadian pilot's other wins came in 1995 and '99, with poles in '96 and '97.
* Other Champ Car drivers who have displayed speed at Milwaukee in the past include '98 race winner Jimmy Vasser (#12 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) of American Spirit Team Johansson and '98 pole winner Patrick Carpentier (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Player's Forsythe Racing, who currently sits sixth in points with 34.
* Adrian Fernandez (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), the only owner/driver in the Champ Car World Series, will try to duplicate his polewinning performance of a year ago this weekend when qualifying starts Friday, May 30th for CART's 29th visit to Milwaukee. The wildly popular Mexican would go on to finish second in 2002, just 0.638 seconds behind racewinner Paul Tracy.
DID YOU KNOW?
* William Jones of Chicago set the very first track record at The Milwaukee Mile with a 72-second, 50 mph lap in September of 1903. A century later, current Champ Car pilot Patrick Carpentier holds the track record at a blistering 20.028 seconds at 185.500 mph set in 1998.
* The Milwaukee Mile begins to write a new chapter in its history book in 2003. The latest installment features a new era of renovation and an eye cast firmly on the future. Shortly before the 2002 season, The Mile replaced 20,000 bleacher seats along Turn One and Turn Four. For 2003, The Mile will boast a completely new center grandstand area, with seating for 25,000, improved sightlines, brand-new restrooms, state-of-the-art concession areas and other fan-friendly amenities. The action on the track in 2003 is set to make history as well. This weekend the Milwaukee Mile will host the first Champ Car race ever contested at night, The Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite, along with the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship and Barber Dodge Pro Series. Racing fans will witness motorsports history in the making three nights in a row when America's Legendary Oval becomes infused with 1.3 million watts of Musco Lighting for the Champ Car classic.
* On Friday, May 30, The Milwaukee Mile will host the "Husar's House of Fine Diamonds Pole Night," where the first 10,000 fans (ages 18 and older) entering the gates will each receive a cubic zirconium. One specially marked cubic zirconium will entitle the bearer to a one-carat, oval-shaped diamond, which West Bend-based Husar's House of Fine Diamonds will mount into a pendant. The diamond and setting are valued at approximately $14,000. The 10,000 fans receiving a cubic zirconium at The Milwaukee Mile will need to bring their stone into Husar's House of Fine Diamonds by Monday, June 30, 2003 to find out if they're holding that one, special gemstone that will "transform" into The Milwaukee Mile Oval Diamond.
* Barber Dodge Pro Series officials are excited about the opportunity to participate at Milwaukee, which is the only oval-course round of the 2003 season, hailing a return to ovals for the "Official Entry Level Professional Race Series of Champ Car" after having competed on only road courses in 2002. Historically, Barber Dodge races on ovals are ultra competitive affairs with the entire field normally qualifying within one second of the pole as they did at Chicago in 2001...The Barber Dodge Pro Series will make use of Michelin Pilot SX tires which have been engineered specifically for use on one-mile tracks. The tire design is based on the original mold from the SX, but will adapt a new compound, which reflects the knowledge gained in testing on oval tracks to provide the drivers with a stable and adhesive tire for use during the weekend. The oval tire application is the only one if its kind produced worldwide by Michelin, underscoring the effort that Michelin provides as a partner with the Barber Dodge Pro Series and all of the Skip Barber Racing School properties.
The Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite
The Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wisconsin USA.
CART SCHEDULE (All times local):
THURSDAY, MAY 29
Champ Car rookie practice, 3:15 - 4:00 p.m.
Champ Car veteran practice, 4:15 - 5:00 p.m.
Champ Car full field practice, 8:00 - 9:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, MAY 30
Champ Car practice, 3:00 - 4:45 p.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 8:30 - 10:00 p.m.
SATURDAY, MAY 31
Champ Car warm-up, 4:00 -4:30 p.m.
The Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite, 8:00 p.m.
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE:
FRIDAY, MAY 30 - SPEED Channel, CART Champ Car qualifying, 9:30 p.m. ET.
SATURDAY, MAY 31 - SPEED Channel, The Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite, 9:00 p.m. ET (Live).