CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver: Ford Racing preview

PATRICK CARPENTIER AND TEAM PLAYER'S HOPE TO KEEP HOT STREAK ALIVE IN VANCOUVER - The CART FedEx Championship Series moves to the Pacific Northwest for this weekend's Molson Indy Vancouver with Team Player's looking to continue its streak of ...

PATRICK CARPENTIER AND TEAM PLAYER'S HOPE TO KEEP HOT STREAK ALIVE IN VANCOUVER - The CART FedEx Championship Series moves to the Pacific Northwest for this weekend's Molson Indy Vancouver with Team Player's looking to continue its streak of success. Last year's Vancouver race saw an all-Team Player's front row as Alex Tagliani claimed pole position with his teammate, Patrick Carpentier, qualifying along side on outside pole. Unfortunately both drivers suffered misfortune on race day with Tagliani retiring after 68 laps with a mechanical failure, while Carpentier tangled with Kenny Brack on lap 86 and ended up 16th. Two weeks ago in Cleveland Carpentier captured his second career Champ Car victory, and has now scored championship points in three of the last four races, while Alex Tagliani has recorded three consecutive top-five finishes and has scored points in five consecutive events.

FORD-COSWORTH AT CLEVELAND - Since the Molson Indy Vancouver was added to the CART FedEx Championship Series schedule in 1990, Ford and Cosworth have combined for five pole positions and two victories in the 12-year history of the event. Ford-Cosworth powered the polesitter in four straight races from 1992 to 1995, including Michael Andretti [1992], Scott Goodyear [1993], Robby Gordon [1994] and Jacques Villeneuve [1995], but didn't capture another pole until Player's/Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani led the field to green in 2001. And although Michael Andretti won from the pole in 1992, a Ford-Cosworth driver hasn't stood atop the podium in Vancouver since 1996 when Andretti claimed his second career race victory.


Patrick Carpentier - Made his best start of the season last weekend in Cleveland [second] en route to capturing his second career Champ Car victory. Recorded his only top-10 result in four career starts in Vancouver when he finished second in 1999. Started from outside pole last year, but was punted from fourth place by Kenny Brack and finished a disappointing 16th. Has scored top-10 finishes this season in Mexico [seventh], Japan [fourth], Laguna Seca [fifth], Portland [fifth], Toronto [10th] and Cleveland [first], and is currently tied for fourth in the championship standings with 62 points.

Mario Dominguez - Turned in his best qualifying effort [13th] two weeks ago in Cleveland since he started 12th in Laguna Seca, but was involved in a four-car incident in Turn One on the second lap and finished 17th. Made his first points-paying finish of the season in Japan where he came home 11th [two points]. Currently second in the Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year standings behind Townsend Bell [19 points].

Michel Jourdain, Jr. - Is the only driver in the series who has scored championship points in all nine races thus far this season. Currently tied for fourth in the points with 62 following his ninth-place finish two weeks ago in Cleveland. Has recorded top-five finishes in Monterrey [fourth], Long Beach [fifth], Japan [fifth] and Milwaukee [fifth]. Has two top 10 finishes in six career starts at Vancouver - 10th in 1998 and sixth last year, with his best qualifying effort coming in 1997 [15th].

Alex Tagliani - Although he qualified a disappointing 14th two weeks ago in Cleveland, he worked his way through the field for a fifth-place finish. Currently ninth in the championship with 52 points on the strength of five straight points-paying finishes, including 10th in Laguna Seca, 12th in Portland, seventh in Chicago, seventh in Toronto and fifth in Cleveland. Has posted seven top-10 finishes in the last 11 races dating back to his runner-up performance in Australia last year. Qualified on pole last season in Vancouver, but finished 23rd after mechanical problems ended his day prematurely.

Jimmy Vasser - Put together his second consecutive top-10 finish with a sixth-place result two weeks ago in Cleveland [also sixth three weeks ago in Toronto]. Has managed five top-10 results this season, highlighted by a second place finish in Long Beach. Currently 12th in the championship standings with 42 points. Has scored two top five and four top 10 finishes in 10 career starts in Vancouver, including seventh [1996], second [1998], third [1999] and sixth [2000].

COSWORTH RACING CHAMP CAR WINS - Patrick Carpentier's second career Champ Car victory in Cleveland on July 14th, 2002 was the 213th victory for Cosworth Racing in USAC- and CART-sanctioned races since it entered North American open-wheeled racing in 1976. Cosworth has won 167 CART-sanctioned races and 46 USAC-sanctioned races, including five victories in 1996 with the Ford-Cosworth XB engine during the inaugural season of the Indy Racing League [IRL]. Michael Andretti has won the most races using a Cosworth engine [25], followed by Rick Mears [20], Bobby Rahal [18], Mario Andretti [16] and Johnny Rutherford [16].

SPARK PLUGS - Michel Jourdain, Jr., is the only Champ Car driver thus far this season who has finished every race and who has scored championship points in every event ... Patrick Carpentier's two career Champ Car victories have come in the race immediately following Toronto [Michigan, July 22, 2001; Cleveland, July 14, 2002].


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Robby Gordon , Scott Goodyear , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Kenny Brack , Townsend Bell , Mario Dominguez , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Johnny Rutherford , Michel Jourdain