CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver: PKV Racing race report

VANCOUVER (July 25, 2004) -- Climbing your way out of a hole is never an easy task, especially with an 18-car field of 750hp turbocharged V8 engines lurking around every corner, but 1996 Champ Car titlewinner Jimmy Vasser ( ...

VANCOUVER (July 25, 2004) -- Climbing your way out of a hole is never an easy task, especially with an 18-car field of 750hp turbocharged V8 engines lurking around every corner, but 1996 Champ Car titlewinner Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and PKV Racing teammate Roberto Gonzalez (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) were able to claw their way up from the 15th and 16th starting positions to finish 10th and 13th, respectively, in today's Molson Indy Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.

Champ Car iron man Vasser began his 190th consecutive start this afternoon under a blanket of Canadian sunshine and was able to keep his nose clean, bringing his PKR Racing Gulfstream machine home in the top-10 for the fifth time in 13 career Vancouver appearances.

"It's not anything we're proud of really," said Vasser, who will head to Round 8 in Elkhart Lake seventh in points with 112 markers. "The guys did an outstanding job on the Gulfstream car today, so my hat's off to them as always. We basically just had to make the best we could out of the situation after qualifying where we did. Hopefully we'll be able to pick it up in Road America in two weeks and continue to hold our ground in the points."

The Canoga Park, Calif. native is scheduled to tie the all-time mark of 192 straight Green Flags held by Al Unser Jr. next month in Denver, and overtake the former Champ Car titlist in Montreal, August 29th.

Vasser's rookie counterpart Gonzalez struggled to navigate his Nextel machine around the tricky 1.781-mile street circuit after contact forced an early pit stop for a flat rear tire, but the Monterrey, Mexico native was able to finish the 85-lap drive 13th.

"[Alex] Sperafico got into me at the start, which cut down my rear tire and really set the tone for our race today, unfortunately," said Gonzalez. "I was braking into Turn One with [PVK Racing teammate] Jimmy [Vasser] and the accordion effect sent Sperafico into my right rear. The impact nearly spun me around but I was able to save the car from the wall. However, that incident resulted in some rear damage to the car we simply could not overcome. The crew of the Nextel car did a great job and we'll try to improve in Elkhart Lake."

Next up for PKV Racing is the monstrous 4.048-mile permanent road course layout at Elkhart Lake, Wis., August 8th (Spike TV, 4:00 pm ET/PT) for Round 8 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford, the Grand Prix of Road America.

-pkvr-

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