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Carpentier secures back-to-back Laguna wins.

Patrick Carpentier secured his first win of the 2004 Champ Car World Series as he followed up his start-to-finish win at Laguna Seca last season with a second straight win at the venue in the Grand Prix of Monterey.

The Forsythe Championship Racing pilot spent the first part of the day behind teammate Paul Tracy, but once he got to the front of the line after the first round of pit stops, the Canadian simply threatened to run away from the field.

At one point he established a 22-second lead over the field, but even a late caution period wasn't to deny him the victory as he came home 5.395 seconds ahead of Newman Haas driver Bruno Junqueira to take the fifth victory of his Champ Car career.

“I almost lost it towards the end because I just lost focus,” Carpentier said afterwards. “Since I was running by myself, I just drifted off and caught myself just in time as two of my tyres went off, I was lucky to be able to save it.

“The Indeck car was good, it got a little loose on the last 4-5 laps, but not complaints other than that. I really love this place. I guess you have to flip over the fence to do good here, because I have done real well here since that incident!”

The race was action-packed from the drop of the green flag as Tracy and polesitter Sebastien Bourdais roared into the first corner nose-to-tail, leaving Carpentier back to third. However Bourdais would not last through the first lap as contact with Tracy left the series points leader with a flat left rear tyre. With the Frenchman forced into the pits, Tracy found himself at the head of a three-car train that included Carpentier and rookie A.J. Allmendinger, who had started an impressive fourth on the grid.

The trio stayed within two seconds of each other through to the first set of pit stops, but as they took place, the whole field was jumbled up.

Alex Tagliani, out of sync with the rest of the field after an early stop, briefly assumed the lead as Carpentier leapfrogged ahead of Tracy as the Forsythe duo made their stops. However the defending series champion would drop out of the running just seven laps later, as he went off course in turn two on lap 38, suffering damage to his front wing assembly that would cause him to stop again for repairs.

Allmendinger followed suit soon after as he tried to make an inside move on Oriol Servia in the Corkscrew turn and came off worse when the two touched. He returned to the pits with suspension damage, and although the RuSPORT team got him back on track, albeit well down on the rest of the field, he was forced to call it a day. Servia, who had started 12th, continued unharmed to put himself firmly in contention for a podium finish.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Patrick Carpentier on his way to second for Forsythe Racing in Montreal
Bruno Junqueira on his way to victory for Newman Haas in Montreal
Oriol Servia, Dale Coyne Racing Lola-Ford, Denver 2004
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing crew working on the boss` car   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/JOE SKIBINSKI]
Josef Newgarden - Ed Carpenter Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Shawn Gritzmacher]
Josef Newgarden - Ed Carpenter Racing [credit: Chris Jones]
Spencer Pigot - Ed Carpenter Racing
Sebastian Bourdais (KVSH Racing) celebrates in Detroit   [image creid: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Sebastian Bourdais - KVSH Racing   [image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Richard Dowdy]
Ed Carpenter - Ed Carpenter Racing [credit: IndyCar Series]
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 celebrates his victory Sunday, March 13, 2016 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. It is the second year in a row Montoya has won this race. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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