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Your last race, win, pole
#11
0
2000

After a very competitive season in the IRL with one win and a third place finish in the final point standings, Robby decided that the Indy Racing League was not where he wanted to be for the rest of his racing career and so would not stay in the series, despite a very competitive season in 1999. Robby has had some talks with a couple of NASCAR teams, but nothing materialized.

Ultimately, Juan Montoya, the man who replaced Robby at Ganassi in the CART World Series and immediately won the championship as a rookie, was offered a job as test driver at BMW Williams in Formula One for 2000, in order to be able to secure his racing seat at Williams for 2001. Montoya immediately accepted this offer and of course this meant Chip Ganassi had once again to search for a driver to run in one of his Target cars in the CART World Series with the start of the 2000 campaign being barely 2 months away.

Robby in the meanwhile, tested a Minardi F1 car but this test ended up being disastrous, after Robby spun off the car around 3 or 4 times a lap. Robby told afterwards that he's done with Formula One for the rest of his career, because the cars do not suit his driving style.

Chip Ganassi was very clear in telling the media that he didn't want to get Robby onboard of his team ever again, despite the Dutchman being a former CART champion and the fact that Robby won two races in a row for his team in 1998. However, storylines can change dramatically in the world of motorsport. Roger Penske, Ganassi's main rival, was very interested in getting Robby back to the CART World Series in his team but of course wasn't able to do because of both Gil de Ferran and Hélio Castro-Neves being contracted already. Roger however, wanted Robby back in CART so badly, that he managed to get a deal with Chip Ganassi to put the Flying Dutchman in one of Chip's Target cars. In fact, Roger Penske, had paid Robby's ride at Ganassi and this would turn out be a great deal, especially for Roger Penske's future with Robby.

With Robby being back in CART in a very surprising way, the expectations were not half as high for the Dutchman, as they were back in 1998, because of the disastrous season which the Flying Dutchman had with Ganassi before moving to the IRL in 1999, despite two wins in a row, however with the exception of his two wins at Houston and Surfers Paradise, 1998 was indeed considered as a disaster season for Robby.

The 2000 season would start in exactly the same way as 1998 for Robby, as Robby ironically once again crashed in turn 2 at Homestead and so wouldn't finish his first CART race in two years. At Long Beach and Rio, things looked a little bit better as Robby with two 11th place finishes in a row, was able to score 4 points in these two races, however two 11th place finishes still has to be considered as disappointing results.

With Jimmy Vasser leading the championship and with Chip's focus being mostly on Vasser, Robby would surprise his team owner by winning the race at the Japanese Twin Ring Motegi SuperSpeedway, it was Robby's first win on an oval since Phoenix in 1995 and his first win in CART since Surfers Paradise back in 1998. Robby would once again drive a great race in Nazareth, he would not win two in a row but he would finish the race in second position and had overtaken his team mate Jimmy Vasser in the point standings. At this point, Robby is in second position in the point standings, behind new points leader Michael Andretti.

Robby would have a disappointing weekend at Milwaukee, where he ran mid pack all weekend and would only finish in 15th place. At the streets of Belle Isle things went a lot better, as the Flying Dutchman would finish that race in 5th place, he would have another solid weekend in Portland, where he finished 8th. At Cleveland, Robby would be involved in a huge start crash, after qualifying in 6th place, Robby would retire already in turn one. In Toronto, things would get worse as Robby crashed into the back of another car and so ended into the tyre barriers with only three wheels left. During the race weekend at Michigan, things looked promising again as Robby took his first ever career pole position and based on his great pole, he was expected to win his second race of the year. Sadly for him and his fans, this didn't happen as Robby crashed already in turn one and retired for the third time in a row this season.

At Chicago Motor Speedway, Robby seemed once again to be a candidate for the win, but once again would the Flying Dutchman find himself in the wall. Robby's 5th retirement of the season and his 4th consecutive, had became a hard fact. The Mid-Ohio race weekend proved to be very competitive as Robby would finish in 5th place, his first top 5 result since Belle Isle earlier in the year. At Road America, things looked very promising after a 7th place on the grid but Robby would be involved again in a start crash and so had to retire the race with barely having completed a lap.

In Vancouver, Robby showed again lots of promise but he would again put his Target Lola in the wall. This meant retirement #7 of the year for Robby. The next two races would go quite well again, with a 6th place finish at Laguna Seca and a 10th place finish at Gateway International Raceway.

Robby would be very competitive as well at the streets of Houston but unlike in 1998, he would not repeat his win from two years ago but sadly would crash into the wall in turn 3 instead and retire. At Surfers Paradise, Robby scored his final points of the season with an 11th place finish. Robby would close the season in a very disappointing way at Fontana, despite securing his second career pole, which meant Robby's two only poles at this point of his career had been secured at two 500-mile race weekends ironically. The Flying Dutchman would finish the race on a disappointing 17th place, one lap down from the leaders. Chip Ganassi still could look back to a great season, since Jimmy Vasser had become the series champion for the second time of his career and immediately announced that he wanted a new challenge in his career and so had signed a contract with Patrick Racing for the 2001 season.

Robby finished his 2000 campaign in 15th place with 78 points, two poles and one win. With Gil de Ferran moving to the IRL in 2001 to become a team mate of the young and talented Sam Hornish Jr., with lots of Penske backing behind him, Robby would replace De Ferran at Marlboro Team Penske with immediate effect to become the team mate of Hélio Castro-Neves and so being back working together again with the team owner which made the Flying Dutchman a very unexpected champion in 1995. The goal for 2001 is very simple for Roger, Robby and also Hélio; Winning the championship.

TO BE CONTINUED.....
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#12
0
2001

The 2001 season features some very interesting storylines. Robby is back at Penske since 1995, when he won his first and to date, only CART World Series championship. Another interesting fact is that defending series champion Jimmy Vasser, made the move from Ganassi to Patrick Racing. How much is this going to affect Chip Ganassi Racing? From the two experienced drivers they had last year, who had won a combined three championships, he now has two inexperienced but probably very fast drivers aboard. One being Bruno Junqueira, who was very close on getting a deal with Frank Williams' Formula One team in 2000 and the other one being American Memo Gidley.

An even bigger storyline is the comeback of Alex Zanardi, who left after winning the 1997 CART championship and having only competed two years. However, also in 1996, Zanardi proved to be a big talent and of course won Rookie Of The Year honors in great fashion. He's back after a somewhat disappointing career in Formula One. He was able to score points in all three seasons he competed, but he was outpaced by his team mate every year. But with Alex Zanardi's CART results from the past, it clearly hasn't been Zanardi's lack of talent which caused a disappointing Formula One career, as the Italian himself said that the CART Champ Cars simply suit his driving style a lot better. Is he going to be a contender for the championship? Who knows... Zanardi, is going to drive the 2001 season for Mo Nunn Racing, becoming Tony Kanaan's team mate.

The season started with a win for Team Rahal's Kenny Brack, Robby would finish this race in second position, after he started the race from 7th position. At Long Beach, the Flying Dutchman ran mid pack all weekend and a wrong strategy caused Robby to finish on a disappointing 15th place. At Texas Motor Speedway, which CART visited for the first time, things were looking a little better but Robby would crash in turn 1 and so Robby's first retirement of the year had became a fact. At Nazareth Speedway, things went like they were going at Texas, not really terrible in terms of speed, but also at this tricky short oval, Robby would crash into the wall at turn 4 and would retire for the second consecutive time of the year.

Robby would bite back at Motegi by winning the race in a great way. It was the Flying Dutchman's seventh career win, it was also his first win in exactly a year, since his previous last win came also at Motegi, exactly one year ago in 2000 while driving for Chip Ganassi. At Milwaukee, things would go exactly the opposite way as they went at Motegi, since Robby was off the pace all weekend long and a terrible strategy would give the Penske driver a finish far back in the pack, one lap down from the leaders.

At Belle Isle, Robby had a solid weekend and would finish the race in 6th position, he would go one better in Portland and finish that race in 5th place. In Cleveland, Robby had a tough weekend and wasn't able to find the pace, but in a championship in which every point counts, Robby still managed to finish the race in 11th place and so was able to take two points. In Toronto, Robby had a great weekend and would nearly win the race but the Dutchman wasn't able to catch Christian Fittipaldi who eventually took the win; Robby finished the Toronto Molson Indy in 2nd place.

At Michigan Speedway, Robby proved to be very competitive all weekend. He was always running somewhere up front during the whole race and a great strategy helped Robby to get his second win of the season, it was the Flying Dutchman's first 500-mile race win and the first Dutch 500-mile race win in CART, since Arie Luyendyk won the Indianapolis 500 in 1990. At Chicago Motor Speedway, things went exactly the same as they went at Michigan, oh wait. They went even better, Robby won his third race of the season and his second in a row, but he also led the most laps, something which he hadn't done since he won at Road America back in 1995! At this point of the season, Robby has quite a good lead in the point standings and was definitely aiming for his second CART World Series championship.

The next race weekend at Mid-Ohio, proved to be a disaster. Robby wasn't able to find the pace and spun off several times over the whole weekend. Robby failed to score points and finished the race on a very disappointing 17th place. At Road America, Robby would take some important championship points with a 9th place finish, in Vancouver things went even better, as Robby would finish that race in 5th position.

At EuroSpeedway Lausitz, the first ever CART race in Germany, Robby looked very strong all weekend. In fact, Robby led the race at the restart but he jumped the restart and got penalized. The Flying Dutchman was just that angry, that he ignored the penalty and eventually got disqualified from the race. Robby was very mad for a long time but after a couple of hours, Roger Penske was able to calm down his championship contending driver. Hélio Castro-Neves, not being a championship contender, took the win in Germany, which meant that despite the big mistake from Robby, the German 500 would still become a Penske win. Despite Robby's disastrous weekend at Lausitz, the Flying Dutchman still had set the fastest lap of the race, something which he hadn't done since the race at New Hampshire in 1995.

At Rockingham Motor Speedway, the first ever British CART race on an oval and the first British race in CART since 1978, Robby looked to be a contender for the win again. A caution period would happen and still everything was fine for Robby at this moment. Sadly, in lap three since the last restart, Robby would get caught up in traffic and would eventually crash. This meant, once again a very frustrating weekend for Robby, who at this point, had fallen back to second place in the point standings.

At the streets of Houston, Robby looked like he was going to do what he had to do. Win the race. Robby was likely doing that. With only two laps to go, a full course caution would come out and Robby led the race. Robby already thought he had this one in the pocket, which would mark his 4th win of the season. Sadly, with three turns to go in the final lap, Robby's throttle stuck and wasn't able to stall his car. This caused Robby to crash in the pace car and to retire from the race. Still, Robby would be very "lucky" as only three other cars were on the lead lap, this meant Robby still got classified on a 4th position and would take 12 points to Laguna Seca. The sad part of this story, is that Robby had fallen back to third place in the point standings and was out of the run for the championship from now. At this moment, only second place in points is the highest reachable place for the #1 Penske driver in this years' CART World Series championship.

The race weekend at Laguna Seca proved to be disastrous, as Robby wasn't able to get up to speed all weekend. The Flying Dutchman would eventually finish the race in 21st place, not having a shot on a points finish at all. At Surfers Paradise, Robby looked to be in contention for the win, sadly, he would get involved in a multiple car crash and retire from the race.

At the season finale in Fontana, things looked better, especially at the beginning of the race weekend. Robby proved to be quick during all practice sessions and would take his third career pole, which would be his first and only pole of the 2001 season. It was also his first pole in a year, since he took his previous last pole at Fontana, exactly one year ago in 2000, while driving for rival Target Chip Ganassi Racing. The race went terrible in comparison to his practice and qualifying sessions, as Robby was able to hang on with the first 12 during the whole race, but would never play a factor for the win. Robby would finish the race in 10th position and finish the 2001 season in 3rd place with 141 points, 1 pole and 3 wins.

Robby told afterwards that things went into the wrong direction since he was DQ'ed at Lausitz, that really has been a mental bummer for him. Roger, despite Robby basically having thrown away his championship shot all himself and Hélio not having been a championship contender at all, was still very proud on both of his drivers and gave them both a financial bonus.

Robby was offered a contract for 3 years at Penske but since Penske was going to move to the Indy Racing League and Robby still being desparate to win his second CART championship, especially after being so quick in 2001, Robby declined the offer and told with pain in his heart that he was going to try to find a CART racing seat somewhere else and wished Roger Penske and Hélio all the best for the 2002 season in IRL.

Robby not wanting to move to the IRL had partly been because of the fact that Robby always has had terrible results at the Indianapolis 500, even in his very competitive 1999 season in IRL and feared that this was maybe going to cost him his good name which he just had built up again in the world of American Open Wheel Racing, after his very competitive 2001 season in CART.

During the middle of December in 2001, Chip Ganassi called Robby while he was at his American home. Chip told Robby that he apologizes for his not very kind behavior against the Dutchman back in 1998 and 2000. Robby accepted Chip's apologizes immediately and Chip told Robby that he was very impressed with the Dutchman's results in 2001, despite not winning the championship. Of course Chip had also heard of Robby leaving Penske due to their move to the IRL. Chip was also going to put up one full time car in the IRL for the 2002 season but still wanted to keep two cars in CART too. With Kenny Brack moving to Chip's IRL team, who was originally meant to become part of Chip Ganassi's CART team, Ganassi offered Robby a one year contract and so offered him a comeback to his team after just having left his team at the end of the 2000 season.

Robby immediately accepted the offer, since Robby still wasn't signed for the 2002 season and now with Chip and Robby having a proper relationship again, Robby is very happy that despite Penske moving to the IRL, he still was able to find a competitive seat for the next upcoming CART World Series season.

TO BE CONTINUED.....
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#13
0
2002

The 2002 CART World Series season would be the season in which many teams moved to the IRL, luckily many of those teams also decided to put up at least one car on the CART grid. Chip Ganassi Racing is one of them, having signed the 1995 CART World Series champion, Robby.

With the schedule being a little smaller than it was in 2001, but still having as many as 19 races, this season was going be a very exciting one according to many drivers. The championship however, would become the Cristiano da Matta show, as he went on to win the series championship in dominating fashion. This gave da Matta a great reward, a contract at Toyota's Formula One team for the 2003 F1 season as a full time driver with the earlier confirmed Olivier Panis besides him as his team mate.

This CART season started, like it did in 2001, at the semi-permanent road course of Monterrey in Mexico. Robby would impress the whole CART paddock by getting his first ever road course pole, he would win the race too AND lead the most laps. It was Robby's 4th career pole, 10th career win and it was the 4th time that Robby led the most laps in a race. But more importantly, this race marked Robby's first win from pole position, as his previous best finish in a race in which he started from pole was 10th, at Fontana in 2001.

At Long Beach, Robby couldn't quite find the pace and ran mid-pack all weekend. Robby was running just outside the points when during the final lap of the race, Robby would lose control over his car in turn 3 and park it into the wall. Robby would be classified as 15th, a very disappointing result. At Twin Ring Motegi, Robby would get his second win of the season. Right now, many thought Robby would be the man to beat for the championship, after the Flying Dutchman had won 2 of the first 3 races.

In Milwaukee, Robby proved to have a difficult weekend, since he could not find the pace and ran mid-pack during the biggest part of the weekend, as sometimes the Dutchman was even somewhere at the back of the pack. Robby would ultimately finish a disappointing weekend in 19th place. In Monterey, at the great Laguna Seca road course, Robby proved again that he wasn't able to get the speed out of his Lola B2/00 and was running somewhere at the back the whole weekend. Once again a non-points finish for Robby would happen. Many insiders thought that Robby would have some problems with the Lola chassis, after he had a very competitive season in 2001 with a Reynard chassis. Robby told the press that this is not the truth at all and asked them where they based that on, since Robby had already two wins in the bag with his Target Lola car.

At Portland International Raceway, Robby had a solid weekend and ran in the top 10 all weekend long. He would ultimately finish the race in 8th place. At Chicago Motor Speedway, things proved to go even better. Robby, the defending champion of the race, wouldn't be able to win again but at least was able to set the fastest lap of the race and would ultimately finish the race in 3rd position. In Toronto, Robby had again lots of problems with getting up to speed and ran mid-pack all weekend. Robby would finish in 15th place, outside the points for the fourth time of the season.

In Cleveland, things went quite well, Robby would finish the race in 9th place and so took 4 points to the streets of Vancouver where things went even better. In Vancouver, Robby had a good pace all weekend and would finish the second Canadian race of the year in 4th place. At Mid-Ohio, Robby proved to be disastrously slow and ran somewhere at the back all weekend long, this meant after two solid races, another disappointing weekend followed for the driver of the Target Chip Ganassi Racing car.

At Road America, Robby had found the pace again and was in contention for the win during the whole race. He would ultimately finish the race in 5th position and take 10 points. At the circuit Gilles Villeneuve, being new on the CART World Series schedule, Robby had quite a good weekend again and finished the final Canadian race of the year in 8th position. At the streets of Denver, a new street course on the CART schedule, Robby proved to have a tough weekend but was able to run around the top 12 quite well. 12th place was ultimately where the Dutchman would finish his Denver race weekend and so would take 1 extra point to Rockingham Motor Speedway.

In Rockingham, Robby was a contender for the win and had a good pace all weekend long. Sadly, like a year ago, Robby would get involved in a crash with a backmarker car and had to retire for the first time in 12 races. At the streets of Miami at Bayfront Park, another new street race on the schedule, Robby wasn't really able to find the right set-up and so wasn't able to get a good pace all weekend long either. It turned out to be a disappointing weekend with a 17th place finish.

At the streets of Surfers Paradise in Australia, Robby had a very competitive weekend and was definitely the man to beat during the race. Robby won his third race of the season and also led the most laps. At Fontana, Robby looked to continue doing what he did in Australia, with taking his second pole of the season and his third consecutive at Fontana but during the race, Robby proved to lack pace and a wrong strategy would ultimately lead to a disappointing 13th place finish. In Mexico, at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, where the first CART race since 1981 was going to be held, Robby had a tough weekend and was off the pace during all practice sessions and qualifying. The Dutchman would finish the final race of the season in 15th place.

After a season with quite a lot of disappointing races, Chip was still very happy with Robby's performance overall. Robby finished the season in 8th place, just behind his team mate Bruno Junqueira, with 111 points, 2 poles and 3 wins. Chip Ganassi, like Team Green and Mo Nunn Racing, announced their full time moves to the IRL for the 2003 season. Robby was offered a contract at Ganassi Racing for the next 3 years in his IRL team, but Robby turned down the offer and told Chip that he is still way too desparate to win his second CART title and preferably doesn't want to move to the IRL until he has won his second CART championship.

With Cristiano da Matta moving to Formula 1 and Christian Fittipaldi moving to NASCAR, Newman/Haas Racing offered Chip Ganassi to take over Robby for the 2003 season from the Ganassi team and let the Flying Dutchman race the 2003 CART World Series campaign for Newman/Haas Racing. Chip Ganassi agreed with the deal and kept Bruno Junqueira who wanted to give the IRL a try, and took Scott Dixon from PacWest Racing to race for his team in what is also going to be Dixon's first season in IRL. Tomas Scheckter was announced as Ganassi's third driver, the only of the three drivers with full time Indy Racing League experience. Frenchman Sebastién Bourdais was announced at Newman/Haas Racing to become Robby's team mate for 2003.

So, to sum everything up, Robby will once again have to take place in a different office in 2003, however it's still a Lola, he might have to get used to the Ford engine, since he ran with a Toyota engine during his time at Ganassi in 2002. Robby likes to have Bourdais, a rookie, as his team mate as he followed the Frenchman a little bit when he drove in the European ladder series and impressed very much when he was a test driver for Renault's Formula One team. Still, Robby isn't that overly impressed about Bourdais' achievements so far, because Robby knows very well that racing is quite a completely different business in North America, than it is in Europe.

TO BE CONTINUED......
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#14
0
2003

With the CART grid shrinking slowly, but with luckily some new teams and drivers making their series debut, the 2003 CART World Series season is likely to become, despite everything, a very competitive season of Championship Car Racing again.

The schedule is, like in 2002, 19 races and all we know is that the defending champion is not going to defend his series championship this season, because the reigning series champion, Cristiano da Matta, moved from CART to Formula One, to drive for Toyota Racing.

Robby's season would start with being involved in a multiple car crash during the opening lap of the first ever CART race at the streets of St. Petersburg and so would end the first CART World Series race of the season with major disappointment and his 25th career retirement, Paul Tracy took the win, in only his first race for Player's Forsythe Racing. At the Fundidora Park circuit in Monterrey, Mexico, Robby would turn things around completely and would win the second race of the season from pole position, he also led the most laps and had set the fastest lap of the race as well. At Long Beach, Robby proved to be way off the pace and would disappoint very much with a 14th place finish. In England at the very short Indy circuit at Brands Hatch, things went even worse, Robby once again wasn't able to find the right set-up, and was way off the pace again for the second consecutive event, and finished a very disappointing race weekend in 17th position.

In Germany, where the series returned to EuroSpeedway Lausitz after a one year hiatus in 2002, Robby proved to be back on the level which he had in Mexico. Okay, he wouldn't qualify the race on pole position like he did in Mexico, but he took his second win of the season, led the most laps and set the fastest lap of the race. The next race at Milwaukee would be a very historical one, as the first ever night race in CART history was being held. Robby would have a solid weekend and scored 3 points, thanks to a 10th place finish. At Laguna Seca, Robby was likely to have another solid race weekend, but the Flying Dutchman would be involved in a crash with a couple of other drivers in turn 1, right after the start and had to retire for the second time of the season.

At Portland International Raceway, things went very well all weekend and Robby would finish a good weekend in 5th place. The race weekend at Cleveland was another historic weekend, as the first ever CART night race was being held on a non-oval race track. Robby however, wasn't really able to find the right set-up and couldn't really battle for a top spot. The Dutchman still managed to finish the race in 11th place and score 2 points though.

The series went to Canada at this point of the season for two consecutive Canadian street races in Toronto and Vancouver. Robby did a solid job at both Canadian races, with finishing 9th in Toronto and 7th in Vancouver. At Road America, Robby had a superb race weekend and won his third race of the season, led the most laps and set the fastest lap of the race as well, exactly what he did earlier this season at EuroSpeedway Lausitz in Germany. At Mid-Ohio, Robby was way off the pace and couldn't find the right set-up all weekend long. He finished the tough and disappointing race weekend at the great permanent road course in Lexington with a 15th place.

After two races in the U.S., it was once again time to return to Canada for the third and final time, for the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Robby had a consistent and solid weekend and finished the race in 7th place. At the streets of Denver, Robby would even go one better and so finished that race in 6th position. The race weekend in Miami, at Bayfront Park, Robby proved to be way off the pace and couldn't find the right set-up at all. He finished the race in 19th place. At Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico, Robby was once again way off the pace and so wasn't able to give his Mexican fans another win in their country. Robby finished another disappointing race weekend in 15th position.

At the streets of Surfers Paradise, where Robby was the defending race winner, things went quite well again, but not as good as it went in 2002. Robby finished a solid race weekend in Australia in 7th position. The final race at Fontana looked to be a very strong one for Robby, as he was very quick all weekend. It wasn't even a surprise that Robby qualified on pole, which marked his second pole of the season and his fourth straight at Fontana. The race went quite good as well, but Robby would lose some pace as the race went on and ultimately would finish the race in 6th place, which is still a positive result, as Robby's previous best finish at Fontana was only 10th, so it still was by far his best race ever at the 2-mile oval in California.

Newman/Haas Racing describes Robby's 2003 season as a quite competitive one with a couple of "truely amazing performances". However, there was some lack of consistency in the Dutchman's results according to Carl Haas. "Yes, Robby only retired two times this season and scored 11 top 10 finishes out of 19 races, that's not bad at all. But.. If we consider that he only managed to get 4 top 5 finishes and we all know that 3 of those 4 top 5 finishes are of course his 3 wins. Than I'm not really able to call Robby's season a very good one. Also, his 3 wins where his only podium finishes of the season as well. With these kind of results, which aren't bad at all in fact, a championship can't be won. Robby drove way better for us this season, than he did in 1994 as a rookie, but we still think that Newman/Haas Racing isn't the right place to be for Robby. Despite everything, I want to give him credit, because the three races which he won, where races in which he was totally unbeatable. If he would be driving like he did at those three races all season long, he would easily become a two-time series champion."

Paul Tracy won the series championship for the first time of his career and announced immediately that he wasn't going to defend his 2003 championship in 2004. Robby finished the 2003 season in 6th place with 113 points, 2 poles, 3 wins, leading the most laps in 3 races and setting the fastest lap of the race 3 times as well. Despite quite a good season for Robby, the Flying Dutchman was beaten by his rookie team mate, Sebastién Bourdais, who finished his rookie season in 4th place in the point standings.

CART went bankrupt at the end of 2003, but the series wouldn't die, despite many changes were going to be made for the 2004 season. With once again a little smaller grid than the previous season and only 14 races, the series is going to be called the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series powered by Ford and a brand new point scoring system is going to be implemented. Despite everything, 2004 is likely to become another great season of Championship Car Racing. Robby left Newman/Haas, as Bruno Junqueira wanted to come back to the team, after he drove one season in IRL for Chip Ganassi and wasn't really able to match the pace of his two team mates, Scott Dixon and Tomas Scheckter.

Paul Tracy announced his move to the IRL for the 2004 season, to race for Panther Racing alongside Tomas Scheckter who wasn't retained by Chip Ganassi after he failed to win a race. Tracy's move to the Indy Racing League meant that Robby would once again have a shot to get a ride at one of the top teams, despite not being retained by his previous race team. In January 2004, Gerald Forsythe announced that Robby would become the official replacement for Paul Tracy and was going to race for the Forsythe Racing team full time, with Patrick Carpentier besides him as his team mate.

TO BE CONTINUED......
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