2004 Champ Car World Series Titlist Sebastien Bourdais Earns First-Team All-America Honors, Paul Tracy Snares Second-Team Status
INDIANAPOLIS (December 17, 2004) -- Sebastien Bourdais (#2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) put together a dominant campaign in taking the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford championship, and has seen that season recognized with a number of post-season awards.
Another accolade came on Friday as Bourdais, who scored his first Champ Car title this year on the strength of seven wins, was named Friday as a first-team All-American in the Open Wheel category of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) All-American team.
In addition, the all-time winningest active driver in American open-wheel racing, Paul Tracy (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) was named to the second team by the AARWBA membership, marking the eighth time in his 14-year Champ Car career that he has been honored in the voting.
"It's great obviously to be recognized for our performance last year as the McDonald's team has such a dominant season," Bourdais said Friday from his home in Le Mans, France. "We had an exceptional season, leading the series in wins and poles and taking the championship and it makes me very happy to see that Newman/Haas Racing and the McDonald's team are getting some recognition from the membership of the AAWRBA."
Bourdais led the Champ Car World Series in wins, poles, laps led, earnings and qualifying average in 2004, setting series records by leading laps in nine consecutive events and by building a still-current streak of 15 consecutive races in which he has qualified in the top three. Bourdais was also the winner of the Bridgestone Passion For Excellence Award for the second consecutive season, an award that takes the aggregate time of each driver's fastest lap at the year's 14 races and measures them against each other. Bourdais' total time for the award was more than two seconds faster than his closest competitor in 2004.
Tracy had another strong season as he looked to defend his 2003 Champ Car title. He finished fourth in the standings but scored wins at Long Beach and Vancouver, joining Bourdais as the only drivers to win multiple races and poles in 2004. Tracy is the leading active open-wheel driver in the United States in wins (28), poles (22), starts (223) and laps led (3,672).
In addition, Champ Car World Series co-owner Paul Gentilozzi was also honored by the AARWBA voters after scoring the Trans-Am championship in 2004. Gentilozzi was named to the second team in the Road Racing category along with Rocketsports Racing teammate and Champ Car broadcaster Tommy Kendall. It was the fifth time that Gentilozzi has been selected to either the first or second teams by the AARWBA members. Toyota Atlantic champion Jon Fogarty was tabbed with honorable mention status after winning the 2004 title, scoring the second Atlantic championship of his career.
The awards will be presented at the AARWBA All-American Team Banquet, which will be held January 15 in Pomona, California. The AARWBA will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2005, and the Champ Car World Series is one of many racing organizations to serve as an official sponsor of the year-long celebration.