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CART and Indy Lights Ready for Vancouver: Carpentier Injured, Zanardi Ready, Castro-Neves Fast in Practice

27 August 1997

The next race on the CART "Champ" car calendar is the Molson Indy Vancouver race this coming weekend which also features the companion Indy Lights race. Tony Bettenhuasen_s Alumax CART team has announced that their star driver, Canadian Patrick Carpentier fell off his bicycle , injured his collarbone, underwent surgery and is out of the Vancouver points race. A replacement driver will be named and it may be an IRL pilot. Carpentier will be back in time for Laguna Seca, Sept. 7 and Fontana, Sept 28.

Most of the contending Indy Lights teams practiced at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Ca last week with front runners Helio Castro-Neves and Chris Simmons turning the fastest laps. Neves was under 77 seconds with a 76:337...105.443mph. Top rookie was Christiano da Matta with a 104.951 lap.

Going into Vancouver Castro-Neves holds an 8 point lead in the series. Former motorcycle racer Jeff Ward will finish the season with Johansson Racing.

From France veteran (27 years) Jean-Phillipe-Belloc joins the Lights tour fresh from running F-3 and F-3000 in Europe. Mark Weida has joined the Rick Mears team as an engineer assisting Clint and Casey Mears for the last races of the season.

What:  Molson Indy Vancouver   15th race of PPG CART World series
When:  Sunday, August 31   1p.m. local
Where:  Concord Pacific Place, 1.703 mile road course
Distance:  170.300 miles     100 laps
Records;  One lap    Zanardi, 1996   113.576 mph    170 miles  Al Unser, '95
History:   Zanardi is the PPG cup leader going into the race with 168 
points..38 ahead of Gil deFerran and he has three consecutive wins.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel