Starting todays race in P17 after PT’s worst qualifying session in 6 years he had his work cut out for him from the start. Right off of the start PT passed numerous cars heading into turn one. Unfortunately he got squeezed off track and found himself stuck in the gravel trap. After being pulled out by the safety vehicles he made a pit stop to more than likely check for damage as well as put him on a different pit strategy than the rest of the field. But on lap 16 his day was done. The car lost oil pressure in the gearbox and became stuck in one gear finishing what had been a frustrating weekend all around for Paul.
Paul: It’s been very frustrating for the team. We’ve had a good car all weekend, but just bad luck and just things have happened all weekend that just put us behind. We made a great start and I passed 6 or 8 cars by the first corner then I got squeezed by another car and I spun and then after that the gearbox lost oil pressure and finally the gearbox quit stuck in one gear and making all kinds of noise. It’s disappointing for everybody on the team and we just keep finding new lows. It’s frustrating, you think you’re at the bottom the only it can get is better but it keeps getting worse.”
Morning practice began under wet conditions but once the track dried Paul went on to turn the third quickest lap and was confident that he could repeat that performance during final qualifying. As the 2003 Champion was beginning his qualifying run he made contact with a cone which tore off his front wing and damaged the front suspension on his #3 INDECK Champ Car. His crew worked feverishly and repaired the car with only a few minutes left in the session but traffic ruined the only lap at speed that the Canadian managed to complete. His warm up lap of 1m22.936s puts him 17th on the grid for the race.
Paul: “Qualifying today was a disaster. I was out on my first few laps just waiting for the tires to come in and I tried going over the curbs at the chicane, I touched one of the cones and the front wing broke and collapsed my front left suspension. My guys did a great job repairing the damage but by the time we got out there wasn’t enough time, on the only quick lap I had Bruno (Junqueira) came back into the track right in front of me and ruined my lap. It’s really a shame because we had a good car, this morning we were third quickest and I was confident that we could’ve qualified right up there.”
Assen, Holland – August 31, 2007 – Paul Tracy and teammate Oriol Servia qualified provisionally in the tenth and fifth positions for the Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix, second and final round of the Phanos Champ Car European Team Cup. The Forsythe duo lapped the extremely fast and challenging 2.830 mile circuit under tricky wet and cold conditions but were not able to close a lap when the track was at its quickest.
PT was faced with the difficult situation of having to complete two quick laps as his fastest time was taken away after causing a red flag at the beginning of the qualifying session. His second quickest time of 1:32.719s places him tenth on the provisional grid for Sunday’s race.
Paul: “We should’ve been farther up the grid but we lost our fastest lap for causing a red flag at the beginning of the session. I pushed really hard every single lap because I had to put in two quick times. It was tricky out there with the wet conditions; the grip was changing by the second as the track dried and then when it rained again. This is a really fast track so it’s a shame that it rained because the fans didn’t really get to see these cars at full speed, but hopefully tomorrow it will stay dry for qualifying and we can put on a good show.”