CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: PKV Racing preview

INDIANAPOLIS (July 5, 2004) -- Coming off his second top-five drive of the season last weekend in Cleveland, 1996 Series Champion Jimmy Vasser ( ...

INDIANAPOLIS (July 5, 2004) -- Coming off his second top-five drive of the season last weekend in Cleveland, 1996 Series Champion Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) will be showing the way for rookie teammate Roberto Gonzalez (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) as the PKV Racing duo attempts to tame the 1.755-mile street circuit in this Sunday's Molson Indy in festive downtown Toronto, Ontario Canada.

Vasser, who has a career-best finish of third on the tricky Toronto street circuit in 12 appearances, comes off a pair of solid runs after driving to eighth in Portland and fifth in Cleveland, while his Mexican teammate looks to sustain momentum gained after notching a career-best placing of seventh at the demanding Burke Lakefront Airport circuit.

Vasser jumped from 11th to ninth in the championship with 73 points, and is now positioned to make a serious challenge on those lurking just a few markers ahead of him in the standings.

"Cleveland was a positive result for us, but we need to really focus on qualifying better," said Vasser. "Starting 10th isn't going to cut it, and the team knows we need to raise the bar to get better results. We expect to be faster every race and hopefully we can continue to do that in Toronto this weekend."

Toronto would also mark consecutive start number 189 for the durable Vasser, pulling him within just three starts of Al Unser Jr., who holds the all-time Champ Car iron man mark with 192. Vasser is scheduled to break that record later this season in Round 10 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec Canada with start 193. His current streak dates back to his 22nd career start at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (1993), with his first Champ Car start coming in Surfers Paradise, Australia in 1992.

Teammate Gonzalez heads to Toronto for the first time after moving up a spot from 14th to 13th the championship hunt with 57 points, and holds down the third position in the 2004 Champ Car Rookie-of-the-Year standings.

"I'm very excited to go to Toronto for the first time," said Gonzalez. "I've heard great things about the Canadian fans and the downtown street circuit. I'm also excited about the seventh place result we were able to get in Cleveland. My PKV Racing team was fantastic again, and we're looking forward to taking advantage of the momentum we have right now."

Watch Vasser and Gonzalez this weekend on HDNet July 11th (1:00 pm ET, Live), or on Spike TV (4:00 pm ET/PT) in Round 6 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford, the always popular Molson Indy Toronto.

About PKV Racing

Founded in January 2003, Indianapolis-based PKV Racing fields a two-car effort in the Champ Car World Series for American open wheel star Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Mexican rookie Roberto Gonzalez (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone). The second-year team is owned by successful venture capitalists Kevin Kalkhoven and Dan Pettit, along with 1996 Series Champion Vasser, and is managed by veteran Champ Car team manager Russell Cameron.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Roberto Gonzalez