CHAMPCAR/CART: 2006 Awards banquet report

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS COLLECTS CHAMPION'S CHECK AT SEASON-ENDING CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES AWARDS BANQUET INDIANAPOLIS (November 20, 2006) -- As part of the bounty for winning the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford ...

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS COLLECTS CHAMPION'S CHECK AT SEASON-ENDING CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES AWARDS BANQUET

INDIANAPOLIS (November 20, 2006) -- As part of the bounty for winning the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford title, Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) was awarded a new Ford Edge at Saturday's Champ Car Awards Banquet. The vehicle would come in handy by the end of the night as Bourdais would fill the new Ford with a myriad of trophies after winning his third consecutive series championship.

Bourdais received Ford's newest crossover vehicle via a video tribute delivered by Ford Chairman Edsel Ford, who congratulated Champ Car and Newman/Haas Racing before telling Bourdais that Ford settled on the Edge as an appropriate gift not only for Sebastien, but for his wife Claire and their soon-to-be-delivered baby girl.

The Frenchman also scored his third Vanderbilt Cup and the $500,000 prize that went along with it, as well as the Hole In The Wall Camps Lap Leader Award, which is given to the driver that leads the most laps of competition over the season. The three-time series champ also earned the season-long Bridgestone Pole Award, leading the series by winning seven of the year's 14 pole positions.

Bridgestone also made news during the evening, announcing a multi-year agreement with the Champ Car World Series that will see the fabled tire manufacturer serve as the exclusive tire supplier to the series, continuing a relationship with Champ Car that began in 1995.

"We are very pleased to announce this multiyear extension tonight, on the heels of such a successful 2006 Champ Car season," said Al Speyer, Executive Director of Motorsports, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT). "We will continue the alternate tire program, we will continue to host hundreds of guests at hospitality units at races, and we will feature new ads in the new and exciting television package. Most importantly, our ongoing commitment to design, develop, produce and deliver the highest quality tires for Champ Car racing has not and will not change. The Bridgestone brand will be very visible to the fans and teams."

Will Power (#15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and his Team Australia crew scored more than their share of hardware over the evening despite having just completed one season of Champ Car competition. Power took home the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year Award as well as the Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award, becoming the first driver other than Bourdais to win the award in its four-year history. Team Australia also earned acclaim by winning the inaugural Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes 'It's All In The Finish' Award, which goes to the team with the most well-designed livery over the season.

Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) came up second in the standings and took home an additional $250,000, but the spirit he displayed in chasing Bourdais all year - even with a broken wrist at the season finale -- earned him the Greg Moore Legacy Award. The award honors the late Champ Car star and goes to the driver that most displays the determination, passion and skill that typified Moore's days as a racer.

"I'm very proud and honored," Wilson said. "Although I never got to meet Greg myself, from the races I watched and what people have said he was obviously a great driver and a great guy. It means a lot to receive this award and the recognition that comes with it."

Nelson Philippe (#4 CTE Racing -- HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) set a series record earlier in the year by becoming the youngest driver ever to win a Champ Car race, and Saturday night he achieved another first. The young Frenchman was named as the recipient of the Bosch Most Improved Driver Award, becoming the first driver ever to win the award in back-to-back seasons. He also teamed with Bourdais to lead France to the Nations Cup title for the second consecutive year.

-credit: ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Sébastien Bourdais , Nelson Philippe , Will Power , Greg Moore
Teams Williams