Junqueira: Tracy will struggle in Germany

Bruno Junqueira believes that Paul Tracy may have compromised his chances for next weekend's 500-mile race at the Lausitzring in Germany by opting for a heavier downforce setting at Brands Hatch. Champ Car regulations state that drivers have to carry some of their car's settings from Brands Hatch over to the oval race

Junqueira: Tracy will struggle in Germany

"We were running the car pretty trimmed out," said the Brazilian. "We have much less downforce than some teams, like the Player's cars.

"The rules are the rules, and if they run a set-up like that here, they're really going to be in trouble in Germany. For sure they have a 0.3s advantage here, but I think it could cost them nearly half a second in Germany. Tracy has, like, three hundred pounds more downforce than I have.

But yesterday's pace-setter and series leader Paul Tracy said he didn't think that was the case.

"Patrick Carpentier tested on the Homestead oval and found very little difference between the two setups in terms of lap time," Tracy said. "It's only a couple hundred pounds of downforce, and with the road course wings, that small amount isn't going to be significant."

The aerodynamic rules that CART has introduced for the Champ Car World Series' two-race 2003 European tour have required teams to compromise on setup for two distinctly different kinds of race track. The cars that race over the hills and bends of Brands Hatch on Monday will be essentially unchanged when they take to the Eurospeedway Lausitz oval just five days later.

When the CART series last raced at Eurospeedway in 2001, the cars ran in ultra-low downforce speedway trim, with a flat, single-element rear wing and small canard fins at the front. This year, the cars will run multi-element road course wings front and rear, which is expected to create close racing in a pack. Speeds will be down; in low-drag speedway trim, the fastest laps in 2001 were in the 213 mph range, but they will likely top out below 200mph this year.

Small changes between races are allowed. Wheelbase changes are okay as competitiors must change left side suspension arms to allow the camber
settings dictated by oval racing, and teams will be able to trims some
drag out of the car through the removal of items like front wing gurney
flaps. But major components such as the underbody, sidepods and wing
endplates must remain the same. To that end, Champ Car plans to
photograph each car as it finishes qualifying at Brands Hatch to ensure
that it runs the same aero configuration at Lausitz next weekend.

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