Rainy day in Portland brings no silver lining for Team Player's drivers Tracy and Carpentier in G.I. Joe's 200 qualifying. Portland, Oregon, June 20, 2003 Scattered showers turned Friday's provisional qualifying session for the Champ Car World...
Rainy day in Portland brings no silver lining for Team Player's drivers Tracy and Carpentier in G.I. Joe's 200 qualifying.
Portland, Oregon, June 20, 2003 Scattered showers turned Friday's provisional qualifying session for the Champ Car World Series G.I. Joe's 200 into a guessing game that turned out wrong for Team Player's drivers Paul Tracy and Paul Carpentier, who had to settle for the eighth and 14th fastest times respectively.
Michel Jourdain Jr., who gambled and put in an early quick lap before a light rain dampened the 1.969-mile road course, took the provisional pole, the guaranteed front-row starting position and the one point that comes with it by clocking a lap in 59.397 seconds. American Ryan Hunter-Reay was next fastest in 59.432 seconds.
"It was a really weird session," said Tracy who was just over three-tenths of a second off the pace. "Every lap of the track is different. You've got some wet spots, some dry spots. We weren't able to get a good feel for the car, although overall it was working fine. It's just that we missed all the spots when the weather was good."
Tracy, the fastest in the morning practice session under dry conditions, made his entry about five minutes into the qualifying session and had a solid warm-up lap before turning his best lap of the session. As he tried to improve on that time, he either ran into heavy traffic, or - as was the case on his second of tires - he missed out on the dry part of the track.
Carpentier, who earned his first victory of the Champ Car World Series season on the Laguna Seca road course last Sunday, put in a lap of 1 minute, 00.064 seconds early in the session, but he had that fast lap removed when he got tangled with Mario Haberfield in turn 11 just after clocking the lap.
"Today's session came down to bad timing on our part," said Carpentier. "But it was more my mistake. (Chief engineer) Mike Cannon was telling me that the showers were coming and we should go out early. I was telling him, 'Let's wait,' and we got caught. We got blocked twice on hot laps during the session, and at one point I went off the track trying to avoid someone. Basically, we had no luck at all today.
"They're predicting thunderstorms for early afternoon tomorrow, so we might be looking at being nearer to the back of the grid. But I hope we get some dry conditions because I'd like to get another shot at it."
Racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at the Grand Prix of Monterey throughout the weekend by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch the race live on the The Sports Network at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.