CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Ford Racing preview

MAX PAPIS LOOKS FOR REPEAT PERFORMANCE IN G.I. JOE'S 200 - Sigma Autosport driver Max Papis returns to Portland this weekend looking to repeat the dominating performance he displayed in winning from the pole a year ago. Last season Papis clinched...

MAX PAPIS LOOKS FOR REPEAT PERFORMANCE IN G.I. JOE'S 200 - Sigma Autosport driver Max Papis returns to Portland this weekend looking to repeat the dominating performance he displayed in winning from the pole a year ago. Last season Papis clinched the pole position before capturing his first career CART road course victory despite the driving rain and slippery conditions. Papis has gotten off to a strong start in 2002 with three top-10 finishes, including third-place results at both Long Beach and Milwaukee, and is currently tied for sixth in the championship with 32 points.

FORD-COSWORTH AT PORTLAND - Including Max Papis' victory from the pole last season, Ford and Cosworth have combined for six victories and five pole positions at Portland since the Champ Cars first raced there in 1984. The Andretti family have been particularly good at Portland with Mario winning twice (1985 and '86) and Michael winning once (1992), while Al Unser, Jr., won the first Portland race in 1984. Ford drivers that have won pole positions in Portland include Nigel Mansell ('93), Jacques Villeneuve ('95), Scott Pruett ('97), Bryan Herta ('98) and Papis ('01).


Patrick Carpentier - Qualified sixth last week at Laguna Seca and finished fifth to score his second top-five result this season. Has experienced some success in Portland with four top-10 results in five career starts, back-to-back ninth-place finishes in 1998 and '99, 10th in 2000 and fifth last season. Best qualifying effort in Portland came in 1999 when he started eighth. Has scored three top-10 finishes this season Mexico [seventh], Japan [fourth] and Laguna Seca [fifth].

Mario Dominguez - Suffered misfortune in Laguna Seca after getting involved in a first-lap melee that cost him two laps and any chance for a strong finish. Scored the first championship points of his career [two] with an 11th-place finish in Motegi, Japan. Currently second in the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year standings behind Townsend Bell, who scored his first championship points [six] of the season at Laguna Seca with a seventh-place finish.

Michel Jourdain, Jr. - Heads to Portland this weekend trailing Cristiano da Matta in the championship, 51 points to 46. Has finished ninth or better in all five races this season, including fourth in Mexico, fifth in Long Beach, Japan and Milwaukee, and ninth last weekend in Laguna Seca. Scored his best finish at Portland last year when we finished 15th, while his best qualifying effort came in 1998 when he started 13th.

Max Papis - Managed a 13th-place finish last weekend in Laguna Seca after qualifying 17th. Has scored championship points in nine of his last 11 races dating back to a second place finish in Germany last season. Has scored two top-10 results at Portland in five career starts, including an eighth-place finish in 1999 and his victory from pole last season. Scored his first career road course pole position at Portland in 2001, having also qualified 10th in 1999.

Alex Tagliani - Endured a variety of mechanic and electronic problems last weekend in Laguna Seca, but still managed a 10th-place finish. Has posted five top-10 finishes in the last seven races dating back to his runner-up performance in Australia last year. In two career starts at Portland, "Tag" has finished 13th [2000] and 12th [2001]. Currently 10th in the championship standings with 29 points.

Jimmy Vasser - Started 15th last weekend at Laguna Seca, but worked his way through the field to finish eighth. Has two top-10 results in 10 career starts in Portland, including a second-place finish in 1995 and an eighth-place finish in 1998. Has qualified inside the top-10 seven times and inside the top-five three times. Best starting position was second in 1995, but has also qualified third [1996] and fourth (1998). Currently 14th in the championship standings with 26 points.

COSWORTH RACING CHAMP CAR WINS - Max Papis' third career Champ Car victory at Laguna Seca on October 14, 2001 was the 212th victory for Cosworth Racing in USAC- and CART-sanctioned races since it entered North American open-wheeled racing in 1976. Cosworth has won 166 CART-sanctioned races and 46 USAC-sanctioned races, including five victories in 1996 with the Ford-Cosworth XB engine during the inaugural season of the Indy Racing League [IRL]. Michael Andretti has won the most races using a Cosworth engine [25], followed by Rick Mears [20], Bobby Rahal [18], Mario Andretti [16] and Johnny Rutherford [16].

SPARK PLUGS - Michel Jourdain, Jr., has completed 710 out of a possible 713 laps [99.58%] to lead all drivers this season ... Jourdain currently sits second in the points championship, this despite the fact that he has not led one lap thus far this season ... both Nigel Mansell ['93] and Jacques Villeneuve ['95] captured the pole at Portland en route to capturing the driver's championship.


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Max Papis , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Bryan Herta , Nigel Mansell , Scott Pruett , Townsend Bell , Mario Dominguez , Mario Andretti , Al Unser Sr. , Rick Mears , Cristiano da Matta , Johnny Rutherford , Michel Jourdain