CASCAR returns to the streets of Toronto for its sixth T.O. Indy appearance TORONTO, ON - The CASCAR Super Series is set to make its sixth consecutive appearance at the Molson Indy Toronto. The race weekend is one of the most prestigious dates...
CASCAR returns to the streets of Toronto for its sixth T.O. Indy appearance
TORONTO, ON - The CASCAR Super Series is set to make its sixth consecutive appearance at the Molson Indy Toronto. The race weekend is one of the most prestigious dates on the Canadian motorsports calendar. Since 1999, CASCAR has been a fixture of the T.O. Indy schedule and has developed into one of the most anticipated and exciting races of the entire weekend at the lakeshore circuit.
Jeff Lapcevich is the defending winner of the event. The talented road racer made his first-ever trip to CASCAR's victory lane following last year's Toronto Indy and backed that up with a win in the Vancouver Indy, a few weeks later. Reinforcing the fact that he's currently CASCAR's top road course competitor, Lapcevich also won this season's first road race, on June 20, at Mosport Int'l Raceway.
Following the first five races of 2004, Lapcevich is fifth in the overall Super Series point standings and is looking to the Toronto event to bring him closer to points leader Peter Gibbons, although he knows that won't be an easy feat.
"Our road course program has really come together well and the car is just plain fast," said Lapcevich. "We've been able to get out front and build a bit of a cushion. We're doing pretty well in the points so far, but if we've come up short in one field, it's been on the ovals. We finished second at Delaware, but we've struggled on the ovals since then. We'd like to make up some ground in Toronto. But the field is filled with guys like [Peter] Gibbons, [Don] Thomson [Kerry] Micks and a lot of other drivers who are really good on the road courses. But we need a boost in the points and that means starting on the pole, leading the most laps and winning the race in Toronto."
Limited track time for the CASCAR Series is one of the major challenges that all of the teams face in Toronto. And of course, there are the concrete barriers that line the entire circuit. But according to Lapcevich, he anticipates that another factor will impact the outcome of the race, and that's the addition of several newcomers to the series in '04.
"Traffic is going to be the big thing," continued the Caistor Centre, ON racer. "It's so hard to get around people on that track. It's nothing against the rookies, because they're a great bunch of guys and the series needs them, but there are a lot of them who haven't raced in Toronto before and they're going to take some time to get used to the place, which could make things interesting."
Lapcevich also sees the CASCAR Indy schedule as a test of the teams' abilities to concentrate on racing. "There's so little track time to improve the cars, and the schedule is such that we're out early in the morning and not again until the end of the day, on both days. It's hard to get into a rhythm, but we'll do the best we can."
Practice and Qualifying Session #1 for the CASCAR race take place on Friday, July 9 (see the schedule on the next page for a full listing). The second and final qualifying session takes place early Saturday morning (July 10), and will set the starting grid for the sixth CASCAR Super Series race at the Toronto Indy. The event is scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
SCHEDULE: T.O. INDY: CASCAR SUPER SERIES (JULY 9-10, 2004):
FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2004
8:00 8:20 a.m.
CASCAR Super Series Practice
5:00 5:45 p.m.
CASCAR Qualifying Session #1
SATURDAY, JULY 10, 2004
8:00 8:20 a.m.
CASCAR Qualifying Session #2
4:15 5:30 p.m.
CASCAR RACE (100 KM)
CASCAR NOTEBOOK: Jeff Lapcevich is looking to join the 'two-time' Toronto Indy winners' list on Saturday afternoon. Prior to last year's win by Lapcevich, only two other drivers had made the trip to victory lane in T.O.; Kevin Dowler and Robin Buck. The experienced road racers dominated during the first four CASCAR Indy events in Toronto, with Dowler winning in '00 and '02 and Buck leading the way in '99 and '01-- Ron Larson won the EMCO Western Series race this past weekend at Sun Valley Speedway in Vernon, BC-- Although winless in 2004, CARQUEST Series driver Andre Coursol's string of four-straight podium finishes has propelled him to the top of that series' point standings list.