CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: Team Player's Friday report

Team Player's drivers Tracy and Carpentier Left Gritting Their Teeth At Molson Indy Montreal First Qualifying Session. Montreal, Quebec, August 22, 2003 Disappointment for different reasons - was the prevailing emotion for Team Player's...

Team Player's drivers Tracy and Carpentier Left Gritting Their Teeth At Molson Indy Montreal First Qualifying Session.

Montreal, Quebec, August 22, 2003 Disappointment for different reasons - was the prevailing emotion for Team Player's drivers Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier in Friday's provisional qualifying session at Molson Indy Montreal, the 14th race of the Champ Car World Series season and the last of three in Canada, before Team Player's home crowd.

Tracy, the leader in the drivers' championship, had the provisional pole snatched away on the last qualifying lap by Oriol Servia, giving the Spanish driver a lock on a front-row position for Sunday's 75-lap race and one extra point that Tracy could have used to pad his championship lead. While it was disappointing for Tracy, the day was a bit more frustrating for Carpentier, the home town hero, who was unable to take part in the qualifying session after the engine on his car gave way during the 10-minute pre-qualifying practice session.

"It's really unfortunate," said Carpentier, maintaining his composure. "The good thing is that it occurred on Friday, rather than in final qualifying tomorrow or in the race on Sunday. It also gives us a few more set of new tires for qualifying Saturday and the race. Even though we didn't qualify today, it's as if we finished second or third or fourth, because the only thing we lost out on was the chance for the point for provisional pole. It's not the end of the world we'll come back tomorrow.

"It's too bad because the Ford Cosworth engine is very good, and my engine had only had about two-thirds of its usage. Losing an engine has been extremely rare for anyone this season. Today is the first time it's happened to me this year. Unfortunately, it happened in Montreal."

After a first stint that provided few opportunities for most of the field to put in fast laps, and was disrupted by a red flag following a spin by Max Papis, Tracy led the charge out of the pits in an effort to better the fast lap of 1 minute, 21.471 seconds recorded by Servia. Masterfully squeezing every tenth out of his car on the 2.709-mile Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Tracy clocked 1:21.405 (119.801 mph / 192.801 km/h).

Tracy tried to lower this time with another hot lap, but was within 300 yards of the line when he had to head into the pits because he was out of fuel. While he watched from the pits, as the clock ticked down to 20 seconds left in the session, Servia flashed across the line in 1:21.112 (120.234 mph / 193.497 km/h).

"It's somewhat disappointing," remarked Tracy. "Getting the point and locking up the front-row position on the first day is important. But I'm happy with the car, and we'll just have to work harder tomorrow. Oriol had a real good set-up and was fast in every practice session today. Still, I'm convinced that last lap we were on today would have got us the provisional pole. On the splits on the dashboard, I was up a tenth and a half. But there wasn't enough fuel to keep going, so they called me into the pits."

-player's

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia