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La Liga de Las Americas

Tracy scores 30th career champ car world series victory in Cleveland Grand Prix

CLEVELAND (June 26, 2005): Not content with being the leading active driver in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford series, Paul Tracy (#3 Mountain Grand Lodge/Avalanche Bay/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is using the 2005 season to continue his assault on the all-time series record books.

Ruben Torres of La Prensa, Oriol Servia of Spain, and Helena Rosa 89.1

He resumed the task of cementing his legacy on a balmy Sunday last weekend in Cleveland, Ohio, pacing 46 of 91 race laps around the 2.106-mile Burke Lakefront Airport course, to best his young protégé A.J. Allmendinger (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and win the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland.

Tracy ’s win was the 30th victory of his Champ Car career, making the Canadian star just the seventh driver since 1956 to win as many as 30 Champ Car races, breaking the tie for seventh that he had previously shared with Rick Mears. His win, coupled with a fifth-place finish from two-time defending Cleveland race winner Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), moved Tracy into the points lead for the first time this year.

Allmendinger matched a career Champ Car high with his second-place finish and led his first race laps of the 2005 campaign. The runner-up finish allowed Allmendinger to leapfrog his RuSPORT teammate Justin Wilson (#9 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) to take the third spot in the points. Newman/Haas Racing scored a podium spot for the 12th consecutive race as Oriol Servia (#2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) ended his day in third after cutting the race’s fastest lap on his penultimate trip around the Burke Lakefront Airport course.  

Servia is from Spain .

Tracy led the 18-car field successfully through the always-treacherous first turn and held the point for the first 29 laps, giving the lead over to Portland winner Cristiano da Matta (#21 Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), who had pitted two laps before the rest of the field during a Lap 26 caution period. Like it did a week ago, the choice to get on a different pit strategy paid off for the PKV Racing squad as da Matta began to pull away upon taking the race lead.

The lead swelled to 4.8 seconds on Lap 48, but vanished soon after as the Brazilian suffered contact with the lapped car of Marcus Marshall (#5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), resulting in damage to his front suspension parts that ended his race. Da Matta was able to get the damaged car off the course in Turn 10, enabling the Champ Car Race Stewards to keep the yellow flag safely tucked away and allow the drivers to continue green-flag racing.

Allmendinger and Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) pitted during this incident, a move that would promote the both of them to the lead when the canary banner flew two laps later. Bjorn Wirdheim (#4 HVM Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) clouted the Turn Eight wall on Lap 54, requiring the Champ Car Safety Team to attend to the car and sending the leaders down Pit Lane for service.

After finding himself in the lead for the first time this season, Allmendinger made good use of his lofty position by leading the next 19 laps while Tracy made his way around Vasser and Timo Glock (#8 DHL Global Mail Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) to move into the second spot after the restart. The earlier pit stop on the previous start required Allmendinger to give up the lead earlier than his pursuers, handing the point to Tracy.

The 1993 Cleveland race winner ran his fastest lap of the day on his first lap back in the lead, but he gave the point position back to Alex Tagliani (#15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) when Tracy dove down Pit Lane for his final splash of fuel. Tagliani claimed the top spot for the next five passes before his need for fuel forced him to his Team Australia pit stall, handing the lead back to Tracy, who kept Allmendinger at bay over the last six laps to score the victory. Servia nearly stole second from Allmendinger on his last lap, closing to the young American’s bumper before settling for the third spot.

Tagliani got back out in time to claim the fourth spot, giving his new team its second top-five of the season and moving back into the top 10 in the points. Bourdais rounded out the top five but saw his chance to leave Cleveland with a share of the points lead disappear with two laps to go when his teammate Servia ran the fastest lap. Bourdais had posted the fastest race lap and was poised to claim the championship point awarded for the feat, when Servia snapped off a quick lap of 58.616 on Lap 90 of the 91-lap affair.

Vasser climbed into the top five in points with a sixth-place run, putting him ahead of RuSPORT’s Wilson, who scored an extra championship point by making up nine spots from his starting spot. Andrew Ranger (#27 Mi-Jack/Tide Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) took over the lead in the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year standings with an eighth-place run, coming home as the top-finishing rookie in the field.

Ricardo Sperafico (#11 Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) scored the first top-10 of his Champ Car career by finishing ninth while fellow rookie Glock rounded out the top-10. The series will take next weekend off before the chase for the Vanderbilt Cup resumes July 10 with the Molson Indy Toronto.







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