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Uncensored CΛRT Commentary
by Ed Donath

“No, I’m faster!”

“Hello again Champ Car racing fans…Todd Wickerbill here welcoming you to another edition of Way Behind the Scenes in CΛRT. I’m sure, like your old pal Todd and the rest of our crew, you too have been itching to get back to racing action. Now, with barely three weeks to go before the transporters pull into the paddock in St. Pete, we’ve all begun twitching, as well.

“While, thankfully, the Champ Cars will look and sound pretty much the same as they have over the years, many of the pilots who will navigate them through the city streets, roadcourses and speedways of the world during the 2003 season have names and faces that are unfamiliar to even CΛRT’s most knowledgeable fans…yours truly included.

“Sure, we all know just how fast famous returning race winners Jimmy Vasser, Adrian Fernandez, Roberto Moreno, Bruno Junqueira, Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier and [wink] Mario Dominguez are, but what about Ryan Hunter-Reay, Joel Camathias, Mario Haberfeld, Sebastien Bourdais, Patrick Lemarié, Rodolfo Lavín, and Darren Manning—plus the additional handful of yet-to-be-announced faceless shoes? Do any of these unknowns have what it takes to beat such household names as Michel Jourdain Jr., Alex Tagliani and Oriol Servia to their Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford breakthrough victories?

“Three-time CΛRT pole sitter and eight-time podium standee Raul Boesel—arguably the greatest driver who never won a Champ Car race—joins us tonight. Good evening Raul.”

“Hello, Todd.”

“Please excuse the bluntness of my question, Raul, but in 172 starts over a period of time that spanned 14 seasons in the Champ Car World Series how was it that you always remained a threat to win but, nonetheless, were never able to occupy P1 when the checkers flew?”

“For sure, luck was never a lady to me, Todd. But even throwing away the luck as just an excuse, always there were so many powerhouse teams around; like Penske and Newman-Haas that ran the very best equipment and had the largest staffs of technicians and engineers. They also had the biggest budgets for testing both on the track and in the wind tunnel. Then there was the fierce competition.”

“I’ll say there was competition, Raul! When you broke in weren’t Mario Andretti, Bobby Rahal, Rick Mears, Teo Fabi and Al Unser still winning races?”

“For sure, Todd.”

“Then later, your countryman Emerson Fittipaldi plus Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr., Nigel Mansell, Jacques Villeneuve, Alex Zanardi, Juan Montoya and the late Greg Moore were hotter than pistols.”

“Thank you for defending me, Todd. Boy, how I wish for a ride in the 2003 Champ Car season. Imagine every car pretty much the same and the old wing packages back in place…and a big bunch of rookies that are trying to sort it all out before they are ejected from their seats. I think that maybe two savvy old Brazilians like Big Mo and me as teammates in white and orange cars would make the people forget Emmo and Little Al pretty quick—or even Helio and Gil, for that matter.”

“Helio and Gil who, Raul?”

“Pretty funny, for sure Todd.”

“Thanks Raul. On that note, and in the absence of a rim shot, this is probably a good time to take a commercial break. When Way Behind returns we’ll talk with Gualter Salles and Mike Groff—two guys who claim to be even faster than Raul Boesel. Don’t even think about touching those remotes folks…”

Copyright © 2003 by Ed Donath and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

Ed Donath Archive

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