PT P16 IN AN EVENTFUL CLEVELAND RACE
CLEVELAND, Ohio – June 25, 2006 – On lap one PT found himself looking more like the jets and airplanes that frequent Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport than the Champ Cars there for the weekend. An incident with Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junquiera saw Paul's car launching high in the air and briefly riding on top of Bourdais car and seemingly Bourdais himself before crashing back to Earth flattening a rear tire and causing serious damage to the front of Paul' car. He immediately headed for the pits where repairs were made and amazingly he was able to return to the track and run as high as P4 with very competitive lap times. Then on lap 23 Nicky Pastorelli tried a banzai move to pass PT and nailed Paul's right rear tire sending him spinning and back to the pits once again. He still continued to run competitive lap times despite the two incidents and at this point an ill handling car. But on lap 43 the battles that his car had fought seemed to finally take their toll when Paul lost control and slammed into the concrete barrier at Turn 8 ending his day. PT finished the race in P16 while his now two week old teammate A.J. Allmendinger went on to win his second race in a row.
Paul: “I came out of Turn 1 and was racing the Newman-Haas cars down the back straight and I got squeezed in between them and the next thing I knew I was flying. The team did a great job repairing the damage but the car was very hard to drive afterwards. I hit the wall coming out of Turn 8 and it ended my day. I’m glad the weekend is over, I’m just going to forget about it and move on to Toronto, my home town, and chase my first Victory of the season.”
PT FINISHES A ROUGH DAY P10 IN CLEVELAND Q2
CLEVELAND, Ohio – June 24, 2006 – PT crashed his car into the wall in the final minutes of practice today forcing him to go to his back-up car for qualifying. With 17 minutes left in the session PT headed out on track with a car that seemed to be a handful to drive. A couple of off track excursions had him back in the pits so the Forsythe crew could check for damage. Apparently all was sound on the car and Paul headed back out with a little more than 5 minutes left in the qualifying session. Obviously pushing the car as hard as possible PT once again went off course ending his session with a little over a minute left with the car left stranded. For the second time today he found himself walking back to the pits. PT ran a fast lap in a time of 57.604 seconds which placed him P10 for the session.
Paul: “First of all I have to thank my crew guys because they did an amazing job. I hit the wall coming off the chicane and we had to go to the back up car, they really hustled and managed to have the car ready to go in a matter of minutes. It was really difficult once I got in the back up car, even though the cars were set up almost the same there's always differences. I'm very disappointed because we had a great car and we were never able to show our speed. We have a good set up tomorrow and I know that I’ll be challenging for the win.”
PT FINISHES P3 IN CLEVELAND Q1
CLEVELAND, Ohio – June 23, 2006 – PT found himself at the top of the charts midway through todays qualifying session. He and new teammate A.J. Allmendinger proceeded to swap the top spot back and forth numerous times with Paul on top with just minutes to go in the session. With the checkered flag having fallen PT was still P1 with only a few drivers on track finishing their last lap. Unfortunately two of the drivers squeezed Paul out of the Provisional Pole spot by fractions of a second. When all was said and done PT found himself P3 for the day with Sea Bass grabbing P1 and A.J. P2. PT ran a fast lap in a time of 57.011 seconds.