Champ Car predictions, anyone?

I think it’s safe to say that Junqueria is the favorite for the title this year.

But who could pull the upset? Both Forsythe drivers are fast and experienced, with Carpentier having the slight edge, IMHO. Tracy’s aggresiveness tends to get the better of him.

Also Moreno might have the consistancy to secure the title (yes, I know he’s not signed yet, but it seems like a done deal). It’s a long season, if he can get a couple of wins and back it up with a lots of top five finishes, he could end up on top of the points standings.

On another tack, given the relative parity of the field, we might see a lot of winners among teams that aren’t really competative for the championship. Here’s a run down of who I wouldn’t be surprised to pull off a victory or two this season:
Sebastien Bourdais (is this guy really as good as he appears?)
Jimmy Vasser
Adrian Fernandez
Alex Tagliani
Michel Jourdain Jr

Less Likely:
Oriol Servia (though at the time I’m writing this, he’s the fastest driver at Spring Training)
Mario Dominguez
Darren Manning

Also, the Spring Training Preview at mentions “at least one more and possibly two joining the action by the season opener.” Does anyone know who are they talking about? Alex Yoong has been linked to a third Forsythe car, and had a blurb about Mika Salo trying to land a ride with PK Racing. I asume the Salo deal would ride on him bringing sponsorship to the team.

Any other Champ Car-related topics for discussion? I haven’t seen any threads along these lines, but with all the international dopers around, there must be some racing fans.

Someone in the Daytona 500 thread expressed interest in discussing Champ Car, so I thought I’d give an update.

It looks like the Yoong/Forsythe and Salo/PK deals are not going to happen.

The new Fittipaldi-Dingham team sounds ambitious. Anyone know much about Montiero?

I’ve yet to see any confirmation of Gonzales at Coyne racing, but is listing it like it’s a done deal. Anyone know?

It was damn hard to be a champ car fan last year with all the political stuff happening. (Also for me, it was especially hard since my cable company didn’t offer Speed Channel until mid-season!) And that was all before they had that debacle of an event in Australia. Unfortunately, the racing was pretty dull most of the time too even when the races weren’t held during monsoons.

Looking forward to the “new” CART this year. I just hope it is “improved” as well. On track passing would be nice. Just the fact that there will be a CART season with a participation level that is not that far from the IRL’s participation level is something of a miracle.

While it might appear be tough to have lost Ganassi’s team and Andretti and those folks he dragged with him over the fence, it is nice to have the lineup full of people who are actually happy to be in CART and not actively looking to undermine the series. Glad to see a pack of Brazilian drivers putting the lie to the supposed vision of the IRL. Moreover, glad to see Shigeaki Hattori driving for A.J. Foyt over there. Had to laugh too, at the beating the GM engine folks took to the Honda/Toyota “rookies” at the recent test. Welcome to the real world, boys.

Champ Car Championship? Junky’s gotta get even odds…looks like Newman/Haas remains the best in class. Bourdais will benefit by being Junky’s teammate and finish near the top of the standings. I hope Jourdain finally breaks his cherry with his first win too, cause if he doesn’t this year, he probably never will. Glad to see Moreno back in the series. Personally, I’m most hopefully that the Johansson team with Vasser and Hunter-Reay turns out to be a quality organization worthy of the talents of their drivers.

I don’t have cable at all, so I had to make do with the internet radio broadcasts for most of the races. One of these days I’ll breakdown and get cable.

The Australian race was a farce; I guess that’s the problem with street races. You usually can’t red flag it and finish the next day.

I’d like to see Johansson’s team be competative, but I’m worried about the Reynard in general. I’m not sure it can keep up with the Lola.

The only new team I can see being competative right out of the box is Rocketsports. They have a good driver and an experienced staff.

As for the whole CART/IRL issue, the momentum may swing back to CART eventually. We’ll have to wait and see…