Tracy Salvages a Top Ten After Difficult Weekend Portland, Oregon -- June 10th, 2007 -- Paul Tracy and the Forsythe Team managed to leave the Mazda Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland Presented by Joe's Sports & Outdoors with a top ten result ...
Tracy Salvages a Top Ten After Difficult Weekend
Portland, Oregon -- June 10th, 2007 -- Paul Tracy and the Forsythe Team managed to leave the Mazda Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland Presented by Joe's Sports & Outdoors with a top ten result after a difficult weekend that saw both Tracy and teammate Oriol Servia, who finished 11th, struggle with ill handling race cars and limited amount of track time.
Tracy, who today had his first standing start since his teenage years, immediately went on the attack after starting in the 13th position and climbed up to ninth after only one lap. A spin sent him to the back of the field and forced the Forsythe engineers to come up with an alternate pit strategy in order to make up the lost positions. The #3 Indeck car pitted out of sequence and exited the pits with clear track ahead which enabled Tracy to lap the 1.964 mile road course faster than his competitors and after the pit stop exchange he found himself back in the top ten. The 2003 Champion struggled with the balance and grip of his car for the rest of the race unable to improve positions and finished tenth.
Luck wasn't on Servia's side either as his #7 crew had to do a quick front wing change during their first pit stop due to a rare structural failure, dropping him to 16th position. The Spaniard fought hard for the rest of the race and managed to climb through the grid; but in an event that saw no full course cautions the field was spread out and the 11th position was as far as he could fight back.
Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Cosworth/Bridgestone/DP01
"The race today was not really all that uneventful for us, I ran pretty much the whole race by myself. I had a small battle with (Simon) Pagenaud but he ended up getting around me on a pit stop exchange. The standing start went well for us, I got away off the line pretty good with not too much wheelspin and we picked up four positions on the first lap and we were inside the top ten, I ended up spinning in the infield and that put us at the back of the field. We had to go on an alternate strategy by pitting way earlier than everyone else and running on clean air. But our car wasn't really fast enough to capitalize on being in clean air, after fire or six laps the tires just went away. We really just struggled; we were able to get a top ten out of it at least."
Oriol Servia #7 Indeck Cosworth/Bridgestone/DP01
"It was just one of those weekends that things just don't go your way and you just can't seem to get ahead of the game. We came here with a slight disadvantage because we didn't test here, but also we didn't help ourselves you know, we were just basically behind the 8-ball. We didn't do any big mistakes but we didn't do anything spectacular either. I had a very good start out of the box and going into the braking I picked up a few positions, then when I turned in there was a big mess in front of me, people locking wheels, a car on my right moved and I had to go through the cones and I lost many positions. Then the front wing broke and we had to change it, we are not sure what happened, but we fell to the back. After that at the beginning of the stints we had a good car but toward the end we started hurting the Bridgestone tires and lost quite a bit of speed.
I think the standing starts were very good, I liked it, it was a different thing and everybody had a lot of doubts about it but nobody stalled. They still need to improve the system a little bit but I hope we do more. I also hope we still do some rolling starts, it would be good to have a combination of both throughout the season."