CHAMPCAR/CART: Edmonton: Pre-race notebook, schedule

WHO'S HOT In Toronto Justin Wilson ( ...

WHO'S HOT

In Toronto Justin Wilson (#9 RuSport Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) endured late race cautions to score his first Champ Car victory. In the late stages of the race Wilson had put himself into the second spot, stalking leader Oriol Servia (#2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), waiting to make his move. Wilson's opportunity came on lap 77 in turn three. He looked to the inside of Servia entering turn three and never looked back, taking the checkered flag before celebrating with some perfectly executed donuts.

Oriol Servia looked to be on the way for his first career victory last weekend, but had to settle for his first runner-up finish this season. Since Servia started subbing for injured driver Bruno Junqueira, he has taken the pressure of driving for one of Champ Car's top teams quite well; recording three podium finishes in four races.

Canadian Alex Tagliani (#15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) may drive for Team Australia, but in Toronto he proudly flew his homeland's colors when he brought home his second podium of the season. When Tagliani passed under the checkered flag in the third spot, he scored his third top-five finish this season and extended his streak of only placing outside of the top-ten once at the Toronto circuit.

2004 Champ Car Series Champion Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) retook the points lead in Toronto, after taking the pole position and turning in a solid fifth place finish. Early in the Toronto event after leading the first 34 laps, Bourdais suffered a cut tire exiting pit road while contending for the top position, an extra pit stop to change the tire regulated him back to the ten spot. Bourdais rallied back to score his fifth top five finish in six events.

Jimmy Vasser #12 (Gulfstream/PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) had a relatively quiet day in Toronto, but that was not a bad thing, as he walked away with his best finish this season coming home fourth. This was Vasser's second top-five and fifth top-ten finish in six rounds this season.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

In Toronto Ryan Hunter-Reay (#31 Cytomax Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) picked-up 11 places from his 17th place starting position to finish in the sixth spot. This finish was his best finish and his second top-ten effort in the 2005 season.

Nelson Philippe (#34 Wellbox/Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) recorded his first top-ten career start in Toronto. He followed that performance up by finishing in the ten spot, marking his first top-ten finish in 2005.

In his first ride with HVM Inc. Alex Sperafico (#55 HVM Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) came out of the box quickly scoring his best Champ Car Career finish of eighth place.

Roshfrans Rookie of the year contender Marcus Marshall (#5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is learning the art to driving a Champ Car. This can be illustrated by the fact that he has finished higher than he qualified in every event this season.

DID YOU KNOW

Edmonton is known as the "Gateway to the North" since it was a major pit stop before pioneers raced their way up north or farther west. Auto racing in Edmonton can be traced to an oval dirt track called Breckenridge Speedway, built in 1950. Eventually, the Breckenridge oval was replaced by a smaller asphalt oval called Speedway Park, which later became the focal point of Edmonton International Raceway that is still in existence today.

The road course in the complex first opened in 1968 when the first Can Am race was held. The popular road race track hosted Can-Am, Trans Am, Continental F5000, various Canadian championship series and uncounted club races, up until 1982. Unfortunately due to a growing population, Edmonton International Speedway (located only four miles from the city centre) was closed because of time and noise restrictions. Now a housing estate has swallowed up most of the site, leaving little trace of the circuit, although a short section of the Parker's End portion is still detectable.

There probably are people living in houses north of 137 Avenue, now Castle Downs, who have no idea they reside where Edmonton International Speedway used to welcome some of the greatest race car drivers in the world including Jackie Stewart, Mark Donohue and Dan Gurney, just to name a few. Now Champ Car is giving racing in Edmonton new life, by transforming the barren grounds of the City Centre Airport into Finning International Speedway.

NOTEWORTHY

This weekend's West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton, marks the first time Champ Car has traveled to the "Gateway to the North".

With Champ Car's field being so diverse, Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is the only driver this season who has managed to score more than one victory, the first came in Milwaukee and the second in Cleveland. He is also the only Canadian driver in Champ Car history that has victories in two Canadian venues, Toronto (1993 & 2003) and Vancouver (2000, 2003, & 2004).

Justin Wilson became the second driver ever to claim his first Champ Car win in Toronto. The only other driver to get his maiden victory in Toronto was Adrian Fernandez in 1996.

Sebastien Bourdais led a race-high 34 laps in Toronto, giving him 855 in his career. He is just nine laps behind Wally Dallenbach for 26th place on the all-time Champ Car list.

Andrew Ranger (#27 Mi-Jack/Tide Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) became the youngest driver (19 years 6 months and 2 days) in Champ Car history to record a podium finish when he finished second in Monterrey Mexico.

Entering Edmonton, Timo Glock (#8 DHL Global Mail Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) holds a slim three-point lead in the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year standings over Andrew Ranger after six races.

Alex Tagliani's third-place finish in Toronto allowed Canada to widen its advantage in the Nations Cup to 25 points over France.

BY THE NUMBERS

22,000- The number of tires in place used as barriers on the circuit. 11,000- How many feet of concrete was brought in to create the Finning International Speedway. 1982 -- The last time Can-Am Racing made an appearance in Edmonton. 14- Number of turns on the Edmonton Course. 5- The number of Jubo-trons that will be set up for the event. 3- The number of months it has taken to transform City Centre Airport into Finning International Speedway. 1.96 -- Miles around the temporary road course. 1- How many runways will stay open at City Centre Airport, during the weekend of the Edmonton Event.

FAST FACTS

WHAT: West Edmonton Mall Champ Car Grand Prix of Edmonton

WHERE: Finning International Speedway, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

WHEN: Friday -- Sunday, July 15-17

SUPPORT EVENTS: Toyota Atlantic Championship, Trans-Am Series

CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, JULY 15
Trans-Am practice, 8:00 -- 8:30 a.m.
Champ Car practice, 10:15 -- 11:30 a.m.
Atlantic practice, 11:45 a.m. -- 12:15 p.m.
Trans-Am practice, 12:30 -- 1:00 p.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 2:00 -- 3:00 p.m.
Atlantic qualifying, 3:15 -- 3:45 p.m.
Trans-Am qualifying, 4:00 -- 4:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, JULY 16
Trans-Am practice, 8:00 -- 8:15 a.m.
Atlantic practice, 8:30 -- 9:00 a.m.
Champ Car practice, 10:30 -- 11:30 a.m.
Atlantic qualifying, 12:30 -- 1:00 p.m.
Champ Car qualifying, 1:45 -- 2:45 p.m.
Trans-Am race, 3:00 -- 4:15 p.m.

SUNDAY, JULY 17
Atlantic warmup, 8:00 -- 8:15 a.m.
Champ Car warmup, 9:00 -- 9:30 a.m.
Atlantic race, 10:00 -- 11:00 a.m.
MOLSON INDY TORONTO, 1:00 p.m.

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: SUNDAY, JULY 17 -- SPEED Channel, West Edmonton Mall Champ Car Grand Prix of Edmonton. Qualifying show begins at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time with live race coverage to follow at 3 p.m. Eastern.

TRACK LAYOUT: 1.973-mile street course

RACE LENGTH: 88 laps, 173.624 miles

RACE ROUND: 7 of 14 in the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES POINTS LEADERS: 1, Sebastien Bourdais, Newman/Haas Racing, 150; 2, Paul Tracy, Forsythe Championship Racing, 135; 3, Justin Wilson, RuSPORT, 128; 4, A.J. Allmendinger, RuSPORT, 111; 5, Oriol Servia, Newman/Haas Racing.

NEXT EVENT: July 31, Taylor Woodrow Champ Car Grand Prix of San Jose, San Jose, California.

-ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Wally Dallenbach , Justin Wilson , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Adrian Fernandez , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Jackie Stewart , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Sébastien Bourdais , A.J. Allmendinger , Alex Sperafico , Nelson Philippe , Marcus Marshall , Andrew Ranger , Timo Glock , Mark Donohue