Toronto: Tracy wins at home

Paul Tracy administered an old-fashioned butt-kicking to the Champ Car field Sunday at Toronto's Exhibition Place street circuit. The Canadian led all 112 laps from pole position and waltzed away from Michel Jourdain and Bruno Junqueira to earn his fourth win of the season, and the first in his hometown since 1993.

Toronto: Tracy wins at home

It was a poignant win for the Forsythe team's chief sponsor Player's cigarettes, which confirmed earlier in the weekend that upcoming Canadian tobacco legislation will force it to withdraw from motorsports as of October 1. Tracy's win was the first in Champ Cars on Canadian soil for Player's since it began sponsoring cars in the series in 1994.

"This is the best win of my whole career - it's ten times batter than the last time I won here," Tracy remarked. "I have to thank everyone at Team Player's, especially Bob Bexon, who put this team together. The team gave me a perfect car today.

"The achievement was to try to win a race in Canada, and we'll be trying at Vancouver next," he added. "It's the last year for Player's, which is very sad for the team and everyone in Canada. So it's a great day for all of Canada for me to win here. I want everybody that's here to party tonight in the streets of Toronto."

The victory was extremely popular with the capacity crowd of 73,000 on hand and the result extended Tracy's CART championship lead to 15 points over Junqueira and 26 points over Jourdain heading into the second half of the season.

Tracy had his way from start to finish. He turned the fastest lap of the race on Lap 11 as he pulled out a 17s lead over Alex Tagliani during the first 31 lap stint. Tagliani dropped out at that point after clipping a wall, leaving Junqueira to lead the chase, but by the second round of stops on Lap 62, the Brazilian trailed the leader by nearly 22s.

Tracy had extended his margin to 32s when a full-course yellow on Lap 78 for a clash between Jimmy Vasser and Mario Dominguez tightened the field. After a handful of laps behind the Pace Car, Tracy again motored into the distance, with the pursuit now led by Jourdain, who got ahead of Junqueira during the third and final round of pit stops on Lap 81 when the Brazilian stopped too close to the pit wall.

Tracy almost missed Turn 3 a few laps later as he worked to extend his margin, but he recovered from the mistake and eased off to win by 4.53s over Jourdain. Junqueira was another four seconds back, while Sebastien Bourdais drove a mature race to take fourth place ahead of Oriol Servia and Roberto Moreno.

"I'm very happy," Jourdain said. "Today Paul was just unbelievable. He was very fast and he drove a perfect race. I'm really jealous and I hope I get this feeling by winning in Mexico City. We needed some points after a couple of bad results so it was a perfect finish. The crew did a fantastic last pit stop and we got Bruno. I tried to run as fast as possible, but Paul was too fast for everyone today."

Added Junqueira: "I should have been second but I think I didn't have the speed to beat Paul. Unfortunately at the last pit stop I made a mistake and lost a position to Michel. My only chance was the restart. I tried to get Michel but this track is really tricky to pass on. We've been consistent and are still second in the championship, but we need to reduce the gap."

The race was generally clean, marred by only two caution periods. The first occurred on the opening lap, when Jimmy Vasser and Adrian Fernandez tangled at the Turn 3 hairpin, dragging in four other cars. Everyone was able to continue, with Fernandez coming out best with a ninth place finish.

Patrick Carpentier took seventh place after battling oversteer all day long, while Darren Manning notched another points-scoring finish in eighth.

shares
comments
Warm-up: Forsythe still in front
Previous article

Warm-up: Forsythe still in front

Next article

Industry figures welcome DTI funding

Industry figures welcome DTI funding
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021