CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Team Players preview

Team Player's at the top of its game as drivers Tracy and Carpentier seek victory in front of home fans Toronto, Ontario, July 9, 2003 Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier of Team Player's are gearing up for Sunday's Molson Indy Toronto the first...

Team Player's at the top of its game as drivers Tracy and Carpentier seek victory in front of home fans

Toronto, Ontario, July 9, 2003 Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier of Team Player's are gearing up for Sunday's Molson Indy Toronto the first of three Canadian races on the Champ Car World Series schedule with plenty of well-founded optimism. Tracy, who is on a three-podium streak for the second time this season, enters his "home" race as the leader in the drivers' championship, while fellow Canadian Carpentier, fourth in the standings, has compiled 48 points in the last four races and is a strong championship contender.

"It's a great feeling to be leading in the championship for Team Player's home race in Toronto," said Tracy, who hails from nearby Scarborough. "From the start of the season, the focus and the goal have been on winning the championship. Coming home for a race at this stage of the season provides added incentive to keep plugging away toward our goal. Team Player's deserves a lot of credit because the guys have consistently provided me with a car that can run at the front."

Carpentier, of Joliette, Quebec, is equally enthused about having another opportunity to perform in front of a home crowd. While Carpentier has had his share of problems on the Toronto street circuit his best finish is the seventh place he garnered three years ago he expects to do well this year.

"This is the first time I'll be racing in Toronto with the Lola chassis," he explained, referring to Team Player's switch from the Reynard to the Lola prior to the 2003 season. "The Lola chassis has been very good on the road and street courses that we've raced on this season, and I'm sure it will be fast on the Toronto track. I really hope so, because I'm overdue for a win in Toronto."

Tracy has one victory in Toronto. That came exactly 10 years ago, when he became the first Canadian driver to win a CART event in Canada. Marking the 10th anniversary of that triumph with a win this year would suit Tracy just fine, because it would help his championship aspirations and, in some measure, reward the Canadian fans "who have been so supportive to me and to Team Player's over the years."

While Tracy regards the 1.755-mile Toronto track as one of his favourites, he realizes that there is no "home-track advantage, even though he is racing in familiar surroundings. "We're going to need to qualify well because it's a very tight street circuit with limited passing," added Tracy, who has qualified on the front row in six of the nine races thus far.

Carpentier managed a fourth-place finish in Cleveland last Sunday despite driving with a sore wrist that was twisted when the steering wheel snapped back quickly during qualifying. Carpentier says he does not expect the wrist to bother him this weekend, adding, "I'm usually quite good at blocking things like that out of my mind. Anyway, being able to race at home for the first time this season will certainly help to make me forget about any discomfort with my wrist."

Racing fans can follow Team Player's progress at Molson Indy Toronto throughout the three days and evenings by logging on to the team's website at www.teamplayers.ca. They can also watch live on the Global network at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

SERVICES PROVIDED FOR MOLSON INDY TORONTO

Results of Team Player's drivers' performances in practice, qualifying and the race will be sent out daily. Photos of Team Player's will be sent out on the CNW wire of Canadian Press, as well as to subscribers of our e-mail transmission service.

RADIO STATIONS:

Interview clips of the Team Player's drivers are available at the end of each day's activities. You can download professional quality audio in MP3 or WAV by logging on to them by logging on to the website: http://w3.teamplayers.ca/newsmedia/2003.

-tp-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy