Junqueira after win in 'home' race

Bruno Junqueira does not have history on his side as he goes into this weekend's Miami Champ Car race. The street circuit event is a must-win for his title hopes, but Junqueira will be trying to forget that his title challenge came to a halt there last year, when Cristiano da Matta sealed the title

Junqueira after win in 'home' race

Then, of course, he was with Chip Ganassi racing, and chasing a Newman/Haas driver. This time it is Junqueira in the Newman/Haas car, and he'll trying to catch Paul Tracy in the Forsythe/Players entry.

Junqueira can draw on a couple of positive facts, however. Firstly, Tracy hasn't won since the Mid-Ohio round six weeks ago. Also, the Canadian driver has never won in South Florida, despite various street races in Miami and oval races at Homestead. And although a Tracy win would effectively kill his hopes, "Junq" can't mathematically lose the championship at Miami.

This is effectively Bruno's home race as he lives within walking distance of the circuit. "Sunday is going to be really important for the Championship," said Junqueira. "Now is the time that every point is important. To get a win and to get closer to Paul Tracy in the championship is going to be really important for me.

"Last year the race in Miami was really difficult. I started 10th and began moving up in the field and was leading the race but we made a mistake with the strategy and finished fifth and gave Cristiano the chance to win the Championship. Now that I am driving for Newman/Haas I hope to bring them the same result they had last year with Cristiano!"

As in Denver three weeks ago, the Champ Cars will run single-car qualifying around the Miami track, which is still short and narrow although it has been somewhat revised. Six slow corners have been eliminated and new wider turns ten and eleven constructed.

"Miami can be a difficult ride, especially if you aren't able to get much grip," said championship leader Tracy. "But I'm not one to drive tentatively, and with the championship on the line in each of the four races we have left, I'm going to try to continue to do everything I can to squeeze the most out of every lap."

Michel Jourdain Jr is technically also in the title hunt, but with just 165 points behind Junqueira's 186 and Tracy's 204, he's going to need a lot of help from the other two.

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The inside line on the US Grand Prix

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