2003 Preseason Thoughts
THE GOOD: CART is alive! And reasonably well with a great prognosis.
THE BAD: One has to shake their heads everytime they read on other web sites and bulletin boards how it
is great driver so-and-so is coming to the series since there is, or going to be, or could be, a race in his country.
Well, that's fine and dandy, but last time we checked, eleven races, over half the schedule, are in the United
States of America. Which means, using the same logic, over half the drivers should be Americans. As
a matter of fact, that's the way it should be, criticism of being politically incorrect be damned. Say whatever
you want, but history has proven time and time again, that for an individual sport to be successful in America, it
must have predominantly American participants. And, whatever you may think, CART is still an American sport.
AND THE UGLY: Not since the days of Randy Lewis, Dennis Vitolo, and Hiro Matsushita, have we seen a
Wankers 'R Us group like this. Joel Camathias, Roberto Gonzalez (if he shows up), and Tiago Monteiro have
no right being in this series. Just imagine if Alex Yoong had gotten a ride.
FAST GUYS: On the plus side, there are still some mighty fast guys who will keep our eyes on the front
such as Bruno Junquiera, Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier, and newcomer Sabestien Bourdais.
RICH GUYS: Outside of the ride buyers, there are some good rich guys -- those owners who decided to
support the series, some without full sponsorship packages and rent-a-drivers, instead spending some of their own
AND IDIOTS: The so-called journalists who did nothing more than regurgitate IRL press releases without
doing any research themselves, and declared CART dead and buried.
POOK: Now that Pook has outdrawn Tony George and saved CART, maybe we can call on him to deal with Saddam
SCHEDULE: How do you spell record-breaking attendance? 2 – 0 – 0 – 3. Look for even bigger numbers than
ever as Pook’s band of maverick road racers hits the road again.
JUNQUEIRA: Bruno has developed into a world class open wheel racing star. And yet, he remains a hell of
a nice guy with virtually no attitude. If the stars align correctly, look for him to claim the championship in
TRACY: Last year, we wrote about the true winner of the 2002 Indy 500, "Paul? Oh, he'll contend as well.
Right up to the three quarters mark." Ditto.
CARPENTIER: Patrick began flirting with greatness last year. As one of the few drivers who will be with
the same series and team as last year, he has a distinct advantage over the rest of the field. If the flirtation
leads to a full blown love affair, look for Pat’s face near the Vanderbilt Cup in November.
BOURDAIS: The fastest rookie as well as the rookie with the best team. The Trueman award should be a
TAGLIANI, GENTILOZZI: This is going to be one fun pairing to watch.
VASSER: Last year, some people thought he was headed for retirement. After last year’s dominating run
at Fontana, our Valley Boy is only headed for more racing, with this year’s Swedish owned American Spirit team.
FERNANDEZ: Adrian has a terrific organization, great sponsorship, and a nice girlfriend. So why hasn’t
he been winning? Organizational issues were cited in 2001 and frequent injuries in 2002. What’s it going to be
in 2003? Maybe some race wins?
MANNING: It anyone can upset Bourdais for the Rookie of the Year, it's Darren.
MORENO: So, Pupo is back! Roberto is a hero to all middle age balding guys.
SERVIA: Oriol needs a teammate. Badly. Otherwise, he will only have moments of glory.
HUNTER-REAY: Don't be surprised if Ryan does quite well this year despite having a Reynard, because
he has what Servia doesn't, a teammate, one of the finest teammates in racing history.
JOURDAIN: Michel proved he had something last year, but without Vasser as a teammate, and his continuous
cautious style, 2002 may have been his peak.
LEMARIÉ: Patrick is the darkhorse in the Trueman race.
DOMINGUEZ: Mario should not have won either Surfer’s Paradise or Rookie of the Year last year. If he
cannot pull together a valid win this year, let someone else have his Herdez seat.
NEWMAN-HAAS: Best performance by a team in a leading role. Expect at least one more championship this
year, the Vanderbilt Cup or Trueman Rookie of the Year. Maybe both. Stock up on those Cuban cigars, Carl.
PATRICK: Pat has outlasted and outclassed the defecting CART owners and pioneers. He's owed some
GANASSI, GREEN, ANDRETTI: Winners of this year’s "Roger Penske don’t let the door kick you in the ass
on the way out" award
LOLA: Whoever Lola wants, Lola gets.
TURBOS: They're back! For two more years. Enjoy them.
WE WILL MISS: Dario, Scott, and Tony. And not just because they hold the porta potty door open for
certain blonde girls. The Chicago race because the people are so great to us there. And we hope, please God,
that we won’t be missing our favorite road race, Road America at Elkhart Lake.
WE WILL NOT MISS: Rent-a-rides from Japan, Twin Ring Motegi, Chip Ganassi swearing, and engine
manufacturers who care more about beating each other than they care about auto racing.
GIDLEY: America wants Memo. It's as simple as that.
WORD OF THE PRESEASON: Excitement. It has returned to the series.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE PRESEASON: Only two rookies have ever won the CART championship -- Nigel Mansell
in 1993 and Juan Montoya in 1999. It is conceivable Bourdais could make it three.
STAT OF THE PRESEASON: Nine rookies. It will certainly make for some very "exciting" moments during
QUOTE OF THE PRESEASON: Derek Daly on the defecting car owners who set out to destroy CART last year,
"These guys had no business making the decisions at CART when so clearly their only interests were their own."
RUNNERUP QUOTE OF THE PRESEASON: A repeat of a quote last year by Chris Pook, "People write and talk of
the doom and gloom of 2002, but anybody who wants to have a bet on how we're going to be in 2004, I'm happy to
take your bets. Let's put them in an envelope and see who picks up the money in a couple of years." Wonder if
anyone will take that bet this year...?
Copyright © 2003 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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