2003 St. Petersburg Thoughts
RACE: Yes, Virginia (and Roger and Chip and Mikey and Tony and doomsayer journalists), there was a race
in 2003 and 19 cars showed up. So, Penske, Ganassi, Mikey, Nunn, Honda, Toyota, and all other self centered
prima donnas, you can take your back stabbing, traitorous, immoral, unethical, selfish acts and shove them all up
TRACK: Talk about getting it right the first time. Why couldn't Denver and Miami pull it off like St.
Petersburg? A very interesting layout it was -- Long Beach meets Cleveland.
TRACY: All that off season training really paid off in a dominating win. Oh, and call that classless
former crew chief of yours and tell him how much you missed him at the race -- not!
PLAYERS: A well deserved victory for a loyal team.
JOURDAIN: Another consistent performance to start off his second year at Rahal. Michel isn't always
exciting on the track, but he has been a dependable performer since joining Bobby's team.
BOURDAIS: What an amazing resemblance to Greg Moore. In many ways. Bore-day will not be Bore-dom.
JUNQUEIRA: Just one race gone by, and already you have to wonder how much pressure is on Bruno. If
his teammate ends up outshining him all year, you can kiss Junqueira's chances of ever making it to F1 goodbye.
NEWMAN-HAAS: This team may be looking very good (and we mean very good), but it was also the last
team you would have expected to be making all the mistakes they did -- messing up Junqueira's pit stop with a silly
little thing as an air hose coming off and botching Bourdais' pit strategy which ultimately put him in a position
to make a mistake.
HABERFELD: Someone needs to take this guy out back behind the shed and pound a lesson or two into him.
MORENO: He may have finished in fifth place, but he was off the pace all weekend until the end of the
race. Let's chalk this one off to rustiness, but Roberto has got to be back to his old self by Monterrey.
VASSER: A fine run considering he started last.
MONTEIRO: Yeah, he held up Tracy, but you know, it was for position.
CARPENTIER: How to throw away a podium finish in one easy lesson.
CAMATHIAS: Joel got the joke that when you're not the fastest car on the track, it's all about outlasting
the hot dogs who take themselves, and others, out and gain positions through attrition. As a result, he finished
the race, gained points, and didn't piss anyone off. "Brilliant."
MANNING: Good job, mate, until you broke.
WALKER: It's terrific to see Derrick working with someone besides a Japanese rent-a-ride. Watching him
call Darren Manning's race was a refreshing change from his days with "Jimmy the Rocket."
DOMINGUEZ: It's not time for us to eat crow yet. Besides gaining bonus points for giving Fernandez
something to whine about, when qualifying was all said and done, he only beat out rookies and Reynards, and his
race speed was no better. Remember, in this year's watered down field, one must be careful assessing an apparent
sudden rise in skill.
FERNANDEZ: Speaking of Adrian's whining, at least we don't have to look at his ass this time.
TAGLIANI: The first to tag the wall in 2003, Alex took a decent shot at some points and squandered it.
Despite Gentilozzi's public happy face, Paul isn't going to like this.
TRACTION CONTROL: Removing this was the best move CART made all offseason.
FITTIPALDI: Emmo for Christian was a Fittipaldi trade in our favor. Nice to see Nige back in the paddock,
too. Did you recognize him without his moustache? Now, if only we can get Gidley back.
SPEED: Just when you thought they couldn't top themselves after last year's coverage came even better
camera angles, better placed microphones that picked up the sounds of the cars as accurately as if you were there,
and even better in-car camera placements. Just splendid.
NEW AWARDS: You will note in the sidebar, that we will be introducing three new awards for this season.
The Shiggy Award will be given to the driver who bounces off the walls and/or has the most trouble keeping the car
under him at the rate that would make Shigeaki Hattori proud. The King Hiro award is given to the driver who
hangs around the back the most toodling around acting as the perfect moving chicane. Finally, the Gold Coyne
award will be given to the driver who takes the best advantage of buying his ride. All are subjective awards, and
if one is not warranted for that weekend, we will not award it.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Sebastien Bourdais is the first driver in CART history to lead the very first laps
in his career.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Paul Tracy's 20th career win ties him with Earl Cooper for 16th on the
all-time Champ Car list. Cooper raced from 1912-26 and was a board track master and the first three-time national
champion back in the days that were similar to CART with both road course and oval events on the schedule.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Paul Tracy on his win, "I never down-talked CART. I never down-played where I
wanted to be. So, from my standpoint, winning this race is significant to me." Amen!
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Bruno Junqueira on a certain issue he had with the rookies, "I had no
problem with any of the rookie drivers except for Sebastien [Bourdais] being so fast!"
SCHEDULE: The rabid Mexican fans will have a lot to cheer about next month.
Copyright © 2003 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.
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