Tracy takes control to triumph in inaugural St. Pete race. The debut Champ Car race on the streets of St. Petersburg provided several other important firsts as well. It marked the first race weekend with Bridgestone serving as Presenting Sponsor...
Tracy takes control to triumph in inaugural St. Pete race.
The debut Champ Car race on the streets of St. Petersburg provided several other important firsts as well. It marked the first race weekend with Bridgestone serving as Presenting Sponsor of the Champ Car World Series. It also had Paul Tracy driving his first race for his homegrown Canadian team, and Tracy did not disappoint.
The veteran racer ingratiated himself to his new team in winning style, leading the most laps and driving away to victory in his debut with Player's/Forsythe Racing. It is the 20th career Champ Car win and second on Bridgestone Potenzas since the tire supplier joined the Champ Car World Series last year.
Tracy took the lead for good on the 35th of 105 laps around the temporary street course, pacing the field for the final 71 circuits. He fended off several challengers in his Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires and won by 12.136 seconds over Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain, who placed a career-best second. All 19 entries in today's race are equipped by Bridgestone, the Official Tire of the Champ Cars.
"Once we got in front, it was pretty much clear sailing," Tracy said. "I just had to pace myself, pace my tires and be ready to go the last 10 laps. I saved my tires for the last 10 laps and I was able to pull away to a 10-second lead. The Bridgestone tires were great. You can't say enough about Bridgestone and the job that they do for us and for the series. It's fantastic."
Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "This has been an awesome weekend from start to finish! It is very rewarding to be in the position of Presenting Sponsor, with excellent exposure for the Bridgestone brand and another repeat of spectacular race-day performance from the Potenza tires. We had a great pre-race promotion with our area Tires Plus and TireStarz locations, which resulted in fans receiving free tickets as Bridgestone promoted the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The new track and location delivered well beyond our expectations. All we can say is we can't wait to come back next year."
Race temperatures ranged from 110 to 125 degrees track and from 73 to 76
degrees ambient (F).
Race temperatures ranged from 43 to 52 degrees track and from 23 to 25 degrees ambient (C).