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

FAST FACTS REXALL GRAND PRIX EDMONTON WHAT: Rexall Grand Prix Edmonton WHERE: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada WHEN: Friday--Sunday, July 20-22 SUPPORT EVENTS: Champ Car Atlantic Championship, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, NASCC GT Invitational ...

FAST FACTS REXALL GRAND PRIX EDMONTON

WHAT: Rexall Grand Prix Edmonton

WHERE: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

WHEN: Friday--Sunday, July 20-22

SUPPORT EVENTS: Champ Car Atlantic Championship, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, NASCC GT Invitational Race.

CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, JULY 20
10:15 -- 11:30 a.m. Champ Car practice
2:00 -- 3:00 p.m. Champ Car qualifying

SATURDAY, JULY 21
10:15 -- 11:30 a.m. Champ Car practice
2:00 -- 3:00 p.m. Champ Car qualifying

SUNDAY, JULY 22
9:00 -- 9:30 a.m. Champ Car warmup
1:00 p.m. -- REXALL GRAND PRIX EDMONTON

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE (Eastern Time): SUNDAY, JULY 22 -- Rexall Grand Prix Edmonton, ESPN, 3:00 p.m. Est. (Live).

2006 CHAMPION: Justin Wilson
2006 POLESITTER: Sebastien Bourdais

TRACK LAYOUT: 1.973-temporary airport circuit.
RACE LENGTH: One hour and forty-five minutes

TRACK RECORDS:
Qualifying (one lap) 2006, Sebastien Bourdais, 58.560 seconds (121.291 mph)
Race -- 2005, Sebastien Bourdais, 1:38:55.730 (105.302 mph) based on 88 laps (173.624 miles)

RACE ROUND: Round eight of sixteen in the Champ Car World Series

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. Since its conception in 2005 the Edmonton Grand Prix has been one of the biggest Champ Car success stories, setting a record in its debut for the highest attendance at a Canadian venue.

Noteworthy

By scoring his 28th career pole position in Toronto Sebastien Bourdais moved into sixth on the all time career pole position list. Currently he sits behind: Mario Andretti (67), A.J. Foyt (53), Bobby Unser (49), Rick Mears (40) and Michael Andretti (32).

Edmonton's City Center Airport is one of only 2 tracks that are currently on the Champ Car schedule where Sebastien Bourdais has raced and has yet to post the fastest lap of a race. The second is Las Vegas where Will Power collected that point in the inaugural race on that course.

In 2005 Katherine Legge became the first woman to win a major open-wheel event, during the 2005 season in the Atlantic Championship race at Long Beach. After that first win Legge went on to score back-to-back victories in Atlantic competition in Edmonton and San Jose, before moving up to Champ Car competition.

Robert Doornbos is the first driver to record one win and five podium finishes in his first seven races, since Nigel Mansell accomplished the same feat during his rookie year in 1993.

The last rookie to lead the point standings during a season was Juan Montoya who accomplished the feat in 1999, taking the lead after the fourth race of the year and swapping it back and forth with Dario Franchitti three times in the final eight races. The two drivers ended the year in a tie, but Montoya was given the nod on the strength of seven wins compared to Franchitti's three.

So far this season eight drivers have made their way to podium finishes in the Champ Car World Series. Three of those have been Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year candidates (Robert Doornbos, Neel Jani and Graham Rahal).

By the Numbers

62,921 -- Last year's attendance on race day.
28 -- How many laps Justin Wilson led on his way to his 2006 Edmonton Victory.
3 -- How many points separate the top three in the point standings.
3 -- Thehighest a Canadian driver has finished in Edmonton (Paul Tracy 2005).
3 -- The average Canadian Triple Crown finish for Team Australia as they lead the standings.
3 -- How many drivers have led the Champ Car points standings in 2007 (Will Power, Sebastien Bourdais and Robert Doornbos).
4 -- The most caution periods in a single Edmonton event (2006).
1.5 -- Sebastien Bourdais' average finish in Edmonton.
0.596 -- The margin of victory in 2005 when Sebastien Bourdais won the inaugural event.
0 -- How many times the driver that has led the most laps in Edmonton has gone on to win.
0 -- How many times Edmonton has been won from the pole position.
0 -- How many times it has rained during an Edmonton race.

-ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Michael Andretti , Paul Tracy , Nigel Mansell , Jackie Stewart , Mario Andretti , Bobby Unser , Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , Katherine Legge , Neel Jani , Will Power , A.J. Foyt , Mark Donohue