QUARTET OF CHAMP CAR STARS NOMINATED FOR 2005 AARWBA ALL-AMERICA TEAM
INDIANAPOLIS (October 28, 2005) -- The end of any sporting season not only gives competitors a chance to reflect on their performances, it affords the rest of the world an opportunity to laud their accomplishments.
One of the oldest and most prestigious of those honors is the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) All-America Team, which has recognized great accomplishments throughout the world of motorsports since 1970. Ballots were distributed throughout its membership today for the 2006 All-America team, and featured a quartet of stars from the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford nominated in the open-wheel category.
Two-time series champion Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) heads the list after clinching the 2005 title last weekend in Australia. Bourdais leads the series with six wins and five poles and has run the fastest race lap in seven events this year. He has completed all but one of the 1,240 race laps run to date, with one race remaining on the schedule and has nine consecutive top-five finishes. Bourdais is no stranger to the AARWBA membership, having earned first-team All-America status last season after winning his first championship.
His Newman/Haas Racing teammate Oriol Servia (#2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) earned his first All-America nomination this year, coming off a year that has seen him earn his first Champ Car victory and his first series pole position. The Spaniard took over the NHR ride for the injured Bruno Junqueira at the year's third race and climbed to a career-best second in the standings with seven podium finishes in 10 starts.
Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is the most decorated of any nominee in the open-wheel category with eight previous AARWBA awards, including three appearances on the first-team list. Tracy joins Bourdais as the only driver to earn multiple wins and poles this season and leads the series in laps led with 512, marking the fourth time in his career that the Canadian star has led more than 500 race laps.
Joining Servia on the list of first-time Champ Car race and pole winners in 2005, Justin Wilson (#9 Intel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) earns his first AARWBA nomination. Currently third in the series point standings, Wilson has seven top-four finishes punctuated by a win in Toronto, the win bringing his RuSPORT team its first-ever Champ Car victory.
The two drivers gaining the most votes in each of the seven categories will earn first-team status, with the third- and fourth-placed drivers earning second-team berths. Any driver that receives at least five percent of the vote without falling into the above categories, will earn honorable mention status. The leading vote getter among the 56 nominees will receive the Jerry Titus Award, which honors AARWBA's driver of the year. The first-team honorees will be feted at the annual AARWBA banquet, to be held in Indianapolis on December 3.