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

Third-place finish by Patrick Carpentier at Molson Indy Montreal; makes Team Player's 3-for-3 on Canadian soil. Montreal, Quebec, August 24, 2003 Team Player's made it three podiums in all three Canadian races on this year's Champ Car World ...

Third-place finish by Patrick Carpentier at Molson Indy Montreal; makes Team Player's 3-for-3 on Canadian soil.

Montreal, Quebec, August 24, 2003 Team Player's made it three podiums in all three Canadian races on this year's Champ Car World Series schedule as Patrick Carpentier earned a third-place finish on Sunday in front of a hometown crowd that packed the grandstands at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve for the 75-lap Molson Indy Montreal. It was Carpentier's fourth podium of the season and his second straight, following a second-place effort at Mid-Ohio two weeks ago. The third place finish now places him fourth in the Championship standings.

Carpentier's teammate Paul Tracy had a fourth-place finish turn into a sixth position when his car ran out of fuel about 200 metres from the finish line, but he was still able to pad his lead in the drivers' championship. Tracy collected eight points for his sixth-place effort, while Brazil's Bruno Junqueira, his closest pursuer in the standings, was shut out of the points after a pair of spinouts produced a 13th-place finish. Tracy's lead over Junqueira is now 28 points (192-164).

Mexico's Michel Jourdain Jr, who emerged from the third round of pit stops, on lap 60, ahead of Canadian Alex Tagliani, was in control the rest of the way, recording his second win of the season, fending off second-place finisher Oriol Servia of Spain.

Team Player's was on the podium in the two other Canadian stops on the 2003 schedule, with Tracy recording victories in his hometown of Toronto and in Vancouver two weeks later. Carpentier emulated his teammate with a podium in his hometown, a pleasant ending to a weekend of adversity for Carpentier, who wasn't able to run in Friday's qualifiying session because of an engine failure and battled with the brakes in Saturday's qualifying.

"Overall, the car was great and Team Player's did a wonderful job all weekend, especially today," said Carpentier, who has 17 career podiums in 122 Champ Car starts. "It was a fun day, especially being in Montreal and being able to show people that we have a pretty fast car. Those laps couple of laps, I really wasn't looking to just settle for third. I pushed Oriol (Servia) with everything that I had. I was hoping he would make a little mistake so that we could get around him, but he had a fast car, too. We did have some minor problems with the brakes and gear box today, but we managed to nurse both of them enough to get on the podium."

Carpentier and Tracy spent much of the race in fourth and fifth position respectively. But on the same lap 60 pit stop that was crucial in the outcome of the race, both Team Player's gained a position as they returned to the track in front of Tagliani. Tracy held off the charging Tagliani for fourth before running out of fuel on the last corner and yielding to both Tagliani and Mario Dominguez as he coasted to the finish line. Tracy's engineer, Todd Malloy, said there was "less than a quart of fuel missing, two-tenths of a second of refuelling time. We put in what we thought we needed."

While Tracy was frustrated at the loss of points the difference between fourth and sixth is four points he added: "We come out of this weekend better point-wise than we came in."

It's now down to five races left in the Champ Car World Series season, with Team Player's back on track next Sunday, August 31, on the Grand Prix of Denver street course.

-player's

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Mario Dominguez , Michel Jourdain