CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: PKV Racing Saturday report

PKV Racing Duo to Start Third Annual Molson Indy Montreal 11th and 15th MONTREAL (August 28, 2004) -- After placing eighth with a top time of 1:22.853 (118.039 mph) in round one qualifying yesterday, 1996 Champ Car titlewinner Jimmy Vasser ( ...

PKV Racing Duo to Start Third Annual Molson Indy Montreal 11th and 15th

MONTREAL (August 28, 2004) -- After placing eighth with a top time of 1:22.853 (118.039 mph) in round one qualifying yesterday, 1996 Champ Car titlewinner Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) improved his orbit speed to 1:21.283 (119.981 mph) around the 2.709-mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, but slipped to 11th overall after the dust settled from today's final Champ Car qualifier in Montreal. Mexican rookie pilot Roberto Gonzalez (#21 NII Holdings, Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) turned his first official laps in qualifying today, posting the 15th best time at 1:22.012 (118.914 mph), after clutch problems prevented him from playing his hand in round one.

Vasser's 193rd straight start will come at the drop of the green flag on Sunday, but the 10-time Champ Car racewinner will have some work ahead of him as he looks to charge through the field in a race that will see him pass Al Unser Jr.'s all-time record for most consecutive starts in series history.

The California native will be honored in pre-race ceremonies before the 69-lap (186.921-mile) event, when PKV Racing co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Dan Pettit join Vasser's father Jimmy Sr., and longtime friend and business partner Will Prappas for a special podium presentation.

Vasser's teammate Gonzalez had to make up for lost time after missing round one qualifying, and did exactly that, vaulting near the top of the time charts early in the session. But experience and track time proved to be costly, and Gonzalez spun late in the session with limited laps under his belt.

"The car has been improving all day, which is good," said Gonzalez. "After not going out in qualifying yesterday, today was basically our first session. We were fast on our first lap, but that time ended up being our top lap time because of a number of factors. First, a red flag came out when I was on another flyer and we had to pit. On our second stint, I just couldn't get up to speed in order to better our fast time. On our last stint, I was fighting traffic and ended up losing the rear end in the Turn 10 chicane. And before I knew it, we had used all of our 15 allotted laps."

-pkv-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Jimmy Vasser , Gilles Villeneuve , Roberto Gonzalez , Kevin Kalkhoven