Series leader frustrated by rulings

CART championship leader Paul Tracy launched a scathing attack on the Champ Car sanctioning body in the wake of being penalised for blocking earlier in the Vancouver weekend.

Series leader frustrated by rulings

The Canadian star was stripped of the provisional pole after Newman/Haas Racing and Rocketsports Racing protested his blocking tactics in the Friday qualifying session. Tracy re-earned the pole over Bruno Junqueira on Saturday and was asked about his feelings on the penalty.

"My emotions are probably not much different than that of Tony George or Honda or Toyota or Marlboro Team Penske or Michael Andretti," Tracy remarked. "Those are the type of feelings that I've had over the last 24 hours with how CART is handling what's going on, on and off the racetrack. It's very frustrating for me.

"I feel that I have supported CART when they had nobody else to support them and Team Player's supported CART when nobody else would support them," Tracy added. "The things that have happened and the inconsistencies in the rules have been going on for years and years are very troubling. So I feel betrayed in some ways."

Tracy reeled off a list of transgressions for which he feels he has been wrongly singled out by Champ Car officials and CEO Chris Pook.

"My frustration level doesn't just stem from yesterday," he said. "Over the last few races it's been very difficult for me. At Portland I received a stop and go penalty, I felt for no reason. We went on to Cleveland and I received a $15,000 fine for wearing shorts to a press conference.

"From there, we went to Toronto and I was leading the race by 33-34 seconds and there was a full-course yellow for no apparent reason, for a car that was in the runoff area that was still running and needed to be turned around.

"Now what happened yesterday, so it's a cumulative thing. Like I said, I've supported CART when nobody was there to support them and I just don't feel I'm getting the same in return. It's made me question what is going on. I have a contract that I will honour, but from there, who knows what will happen. I've signed a contract with Gerry Forsythe and I honour all my commitments. From that standpoint, that's all I can say."

Tracy disputed reports that he was involved in a physical confrontation with Pook at a sponsor function Friday evening in Vancouver.

"There was no pushing," he revealed. "We had a talk and I said the same things to him that I said to you. A lot of things get blown up out of proportion. We had a talk but not a physical confrontation. That's all. I wouldn't say it was friendly, but it wasn't unfriendly."

CART spokesman Adam Saal characterised the impromptu meeting between Pook and Tracy as a very professional exchange.

"They shook hands at the end of it," Saal noted. "Paul is obviously very important to the Champ Car series. He's our number one marketing commodity."

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