by Dave Geall
PT FINISHES P14 AFTER LESS THAN A LAP
Toronto, Ontario, Canada – July 8, 2007 – Todays race saw an unusual incident take out PT before completing even one lap. After starting P10 he got off to a clean start and made it through turns one and two just fine. At turn three however an incident with two cars in front of PT left Simon Pagenaud's front wing in the middle of the corner an then lodged under the front wing of the number 3 car. Paul either unaware of the wing under his car's nose, pressed on at speed through the next several turns. All came to an abrupt halt though at the back straight leading to turn eight when PT lost all control of the front end due to the wing of Pagenaud under his car. He hit the wall hard, wrecking his car and any chance of a good finish on his home turf.
Paul: “I couldn’t understand what had happened at first, I got a really good start and picked up a few positions, then coming into turn three I saw two cars touch and I just avoided them. I kept going and then suddenly when I got to turn seven it just felt like my front wing fell off and the car didn’t turn at all and went straight into the wall. After watching the replay I just couldn’t believe what actually happened, I mean what are the odds that you could just push a wing around like that for half a lap, it’s extremely unlucky. It’s very disappointing for me because I wanted to give all the Canadian fans a good result, we didn’t qualify well but the car was good and I think without all the mayhem that happened we would’ve been right up there challenging for the win.”
PT TENTH IN TORONTO FINAL QUALIFYING
Toronto, Ontario, Canada – July 7, 2007 – It was a bittersweet day for the Forsythe Team as PT struggled throughout qualifying and only managed to secure a disappointing tenth position for Sunday’s Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto. The qualifying session turned out to be a close battle as only three tenths of a second separated the third and 12th positions.
Toronto native PT started off the day on a high note after finishing third quickest during morning practice and came into qualifying with high hopes. Unfortunately the balance of his #3 INDECK Champ Car was not adequate with the Red Bridgestone tires and he never managed to improve his lap time of 58.882 at 107.299 MPH.
Paul: “The car felt pretty good this morning, we made some changes for qualifying and the car just didn’t respond. I went fairly good on my first run on black tires, then we put on the Bridgestone reds on and I couldn’t go any faster, I was actually slower. I had a clear track and I did four straight laps but I just couldn’t make up any time on the reds. So it’s definitely very disappointing, I thought for sure we would pick up a couple of tenths on reds and that would’ve moved us up to where Servia is compared to us so it’s very frustrating. We’ve been struggling with understeer all weekend, we just can’t seem to get the car to handle well for me, it’s just frustrating.”
PT SEVENTH IN PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING
For hometown hero PT things didn’t fare quite well as the Toronto native struggled with traffic on the racetrack preventing him from squeezing the maximum amount of speed from his #3 INDECK DP01. The 2003 Champion turned a lap of 59.368s which places him seventh on the provisional grid for Sunday’s race. Forsythe Championship Racing will be looking to repeat their 1-2 finish from last year in Toronto in order to pick up some points for the Champ Car Canadian Triple Crown. PT ran a fast lap of 59.368 at 106.421 MPH.
Paul: “I was really struggling with the brakes locking up on the hard braking zones. I got blocked a couple of times by Will Power and then again by Graham Rahal so we still had some time in the car but just weren’t able to show it, and then the last lap which was my quickest the tires were starting to go off so we never got the maximum speed out of the car. But I think we are not bad, obviously Oriol has come across something where he feels the car is pretty good so we’ll take a look at his setup and go from there. We need to get a good result in qualifying tomorrow and in the race, even though the Championship is out of our hands now we are still fighting for the Canadian Triple Crown.”