WHO'S HOT * Player's/Forsythe Racing standout Paul Tracy ( ...
* Player's/Forsythe Racing standout Paul Tracy (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) leads the loop in the championship points standings (184-164) over rival Bruno Junqueira (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Newman/Haas Racing after completing a 23-point weekend point sweep at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Round 13 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Heading into this weekend's Molson Indy Montreal at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Tracy will be looking to become the first Champ Car driver to ever complete the Canadian triple play after scoring wins in his native Molson Indy Toronto and the Molson Indy Vancouver. Tracy leads the series in wins (6), poles (5), laps led (594) and earnings ($ 822,000 US) with six races remaining. Tracy again continued his assault on the all-time CART list in Ohio, leading 69 laps to move up to second in that category with 3,322, leapfrogging Rick Mears. His 25th career win puts him in sole possession of fourth on the CART list while his seventh career win from the pole breaks a tie with Danny Sullivan and Al Unser Jr. for fourth.
* Tracy's most recent win at Mid-Ohio was complemented by teammate and fellow Canadian Patrick Carpentier (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) who finished second, giving Player's/Forsythe Racing its first ever one-two finish in Champ Car competition. Carpentier recorded his sixth top five of the season and currently holds down the fifth position in points with 114 on the strength of his win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca earlier this year.
* American rookie Ryan Hunter-Reay (#31 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) had the best race of his 13-race Champ Car career at Mid-Ohio as he stayed within sight of the leaders all day, capitalizing on his second-place starting position. The Florida native was never lower than third all day and put the lessons learned as a graduate of the CART Champ Car Ladder System to good use in earning his first series podium and the first for the first-year American Spirit Team Johansson. ASTJ teammate and 1996 CART champion Jimmy Vasser (#12 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) had a strong run as well in Lexington, setting the race's fastest lap in a furious charge from 14th to fourth, but would finish the day in 15th after an off late in the race.
* Mexico's Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) started and finished fourth at Hilliard, Ohio based Team Rahal's home track, earning his best ever finish in Lexington. Jourdain comes into Montreal this weekend third in points with 137 and very much in contention for the championship after second place Junqueira finished a dismal 13th in Round 13 of 19 when contact with Spaniard Oriol Servia (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) sent both machines off course early in the race. Jourdain leads all Champ Car drivers in the laps completed category, having run 1,457 of 1,489.
* Rookie-of-the-year hopeful Sebastien Bourdais (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Newman/Haas Racing heads to Montreal fourth in points with 126 after a fifth place effort in Ohio. The Frenchman remains atop the first year pilot standings on the strength of four impressive wins and three poles this season.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
* Paul Tracy came from the 10th starting position in the inaugural Molson Indy Montreal last year to finish fourth and was the highest finishing Canadian driver after Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani had disappointing finishes of 11th and 15th, respectively. Carpentier qualified fourth but mechanical gremlins sidelined him after completing only 27 laps.
* Jimmy Vasser snared a top five finish at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last year for Team Rahal with a fifth place run after starting the day in sixth. Then teammate Michel Jourdain Jr. slotted in behind Vasser in sixth after qualifying 15th.
DID YOU KNOW?
* Native Canadian Paul Tracy gave the huge raceday crowd of over 64,000 a reason to cheer in last year's highly successful Molson Indy Montreal, scoring the highest finish (fourth) of any of the eight starters that had run previously on the 2.709-mile circuit- despite the fact that his experience was over 15 years ago and was in a Formula Ford car.
* Raceday attendance at last year's Molson Indy Montreal pushed the three-day mark at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve to 172,000. The massive crowd, when combined with the figures from the 2002 Molson Indy's in Vancouver and Toronto, boosted the total attendance for the three CART races held in Canada to over 501,000.
WHERE WE'LL BE IN MONTREAL
* On Thursday, August 21, the "Molson Indy Montreal Media Press Conference" will be held at St.-Denis Street (specific location TBA) at 11:30 a.m. Participants include Champ Car drivers Sebastien Bourdais, Oriol Servia, Alex Tagliani, Roberto Moreno, Tiago Monteiro and Mario Haberfeld, along with CART Toyota Atlantic Championship drivers Stephan Roy and Michael Valiante. Guests are media, by invitation only. Contact Merrill Cain at Champ Car (317) 716-9327 for more details.
* On Thursday, August 21, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship will hold its "Downtown Promo Annual Autograph Session" at 12:30 p.m. on Crescent Street at the corner of De Maisonneuve. Participants include Toyota Atlantic drivers Michael Valiante, LP Dumoulin, Jonathan Macri, Stephan Roy, AJ Allmendinger, Aaron Justus, Joey Hand, Ryan Dalziel, Danica Patrick and Eric Jensen. Contact Anne Roy, Toyota Atlantic (847) 274-8143 for more details.
* On Thursday, August 21, the "Molson Indy Montreal Driver Autograph Session" will take place at the Montreal Casino from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Participants include Champ Car drivers Jimmy Vasser, Darren Manning, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Roberto Moreno, along with Toyota Atlantic driver Jonathan Macri. The event is open to the public.
* On Thursday, August 21, a "VIP Cocktail Reception & Dinner" will take place at the Montreal Casino at 6:00 p.m. The evening schedule includes a cocktail reception from 6:00 - 6:30 p.m., presentation of trophies and welcome speeches at 6:45 p.m., presentation of the teams at 7:00 p.m., dinner at 7:15 p.m. followed by a 9:00 p.m. show. Participants include drivers, Champ Car management, team owners and sponsors. Guests are by invitation only, business attire. Contact Eric Schifi, Press Officer, Molson Indy Montreal at (514) 394-9000 ext. 223 for more details.
* On Friday, August 22, a "CART Toyota Atlantic Autograph Session" will be held at the Atlantic Series transporters in the Atlantic Paddock from 4:00 - 4:30 p.m. Participants include Eric Jensen, AJ Allmendinger, Kyle Krisiloff, LP Dumoulin, Stephan Roy, Danica Patrick, Joey Hand and Luis Diaz. Contact Anne Roy, Toyota Atlantic, (847) 274-8143 for more information.
* On Friday, August 22, a "Champ Car Fan Appreciation Activity Featuring an All-Driver Autograph Session" will be held from 4:45 - 5:45 p.m. at the Molson Dry tent. Participants include all Champ Car drivers, the Champ Car Pace Car Team, Barber Dodge drivers Chris Green and Antoine Bessette, along with Toyota Atlantic drivers Michael Valiante and Ryan Dalziel. Contact Amanda Trotter, Champ Car, (317) 716-9269 for more details.
* On Friday, August 22, a "Molson Indy Driver VIP Party" will take place at "Le Metropolis 59, Ste-Catherine East, Montreal" at 6:00 p.m. The event is sponsored by Bavaria and will carry a Brazilian theme. Participants include Champ Car and Toyota Atlantic drivers. The event is by invitation only with casual chic attire.
* On Saturday, August 23, a "CART Toyota Atlantic Autograph Session" will take place at the Series Transporters in the Atlantic Paddock from 12:15- 12:30 p.m. Participants include Aaron Justus, Philip Fayer, Alex Garcia, Michael Valiante, Ryan Dalziel, Alex Figge and Jonathan Macri. Contact Anne Roy, Toyota Atlantic, (847) 274-8143 for more information.
WHAT: Molson Indy Montreal
WHERE: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Ile. Notre Dame, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
WHEN: Friday - Sunday, August 22-24
CART SCHEDULE (All times local):
RIDAY, AUGUST 22
Champ Car practice, 9:30 - 10:20 a.m.
Champ Car practice, 11:10 a.m. - 12:00p.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 2:45 - 3:45 p.m.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 23
Champ Car practice, 10:00 - 11:15 a.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 1:45 - 2:45 p.m.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 24
Champ Car warmup, 10:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Molson Indy Montreal, 75 laps, 2:00 p.m.
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE:
SATURDAY, AUGUST 23
Champ Car qualifying, 1:30 p.m.; SPEED Channel
SUNDAY, AUGUST 24
Champ Car pre-race show, 9:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Molson Indy Montreal, 9:30 p.m. (tape delay) SPEED Channel.