Carpentier’s description of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
1-2 The start of the race will certainly be fun for both
drivers and fans. CART’s rolling start will give a different
perspective of the Senna curve. I don’t expect it to be like
Portland where contact between cars is almost inevitable. This
is one of the best passing points (the other is the hairpin)
for the Champ Cars on the track. One of my favorite memories
is my last Atlantic race in Montreal in 1996 when Jeret
Schroeder and I had a great battle all race long, passing each
other on almost every lap in that curve.
The Senna curve will be a great spot for fans. Not only do
they get to see the spectacular start and the checkered flag
but they’ll also be right next to the paddock area where, with
passes, they can check out all the behind the scenes action
like the mechanics working on the cars from close up. I think
fans will be very impressed at the accessibility that CART and
the teams provide them.
During the race, drivers will take the front straight in 5th
gear across the start/finish line, then shift down to 3rd for
the left turn and then 2nd for the right turn and then
accelerate until turn 3.
Turn 3-4 The CART drivers will probably take this
combination in 2nd or 3rd gear.
Turns 1-2-3-4 are very similar to what we see at the
Monterrey, Mexico track. Fans with general admission tickets
will have a great view all along this part of the track.
Turn 5-6-7 Turn 5 is a slow right turn which we will
most likely take in 4th gear. Drivers will probably take the
turn 6-7 combination in 2nd gear. This should be another great
place for general admission ticket holders to check out.
Turn 8-9-10 Drivers will take 8-9 in 3rd gear then
accelerate towards the hairpin.
Turn 10-11 The hairpin is going to be a perfect passing
zone for the Champ cars. Drivers will brake and take it in 1st
gear. There should be plenty of action here. It’ll be another
great spot for fans especially with the stadium like
configuration with stands surrounding that whole area.
Following the hairpin there will be a flat out acceleration up
to 6th gear down the straightaway where, most predict, we’ll
reach similar speeds to the Formula 1 cars.
Turn 12-13 Drivers will take this chicane in 3rd gear.
Passing will be hard to do I’m sure there will be quite a few
attempts at it. I think this “s”, just in front of the pit
entrance, is one of my favorite combinations to drive. It
transitions from a highspeed zone to another high acceleration
zone on the front straight, just in front of the pits. Fans
sitting here will have a good view of the work in the pits,
probably 3 or 4 pit stops during the race, and will see cars
at full speed going past the start finish line in 5th or 6th
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