SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS RACES TO CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD IN EDMONTON Frenchman Renews Quest for Record Setting Fourth Straight Championship with Win EDMONTON -- Heading into the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton there was a three-way battle for the top spot...
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS RACES TO CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD IN EDMONTON
Frenchman Renews Quest for Record Setting Fourth Straight Championship with Win
EDMONTON -- Heading into the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton there was a three-way battle for the top spot in the Series Championship, but after the checkered flag flew, three-time Champion Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) showed his experience by winning the event at Rexall Speedway and built himself a 20 point lead in the standings.
As Bourdais flourished on Sunday, the two main competitors found nothing but trouble. Robert Doornbos (#14 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) began the day as points leader but never found a rhythm during race. Contact on lap 69 with Alex Tagliani (#8 Tide@Wal-Mart Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) in Turn 1 forced the Dutchman one lap down, relegating him to an 11th place finish and dropping him to second place in the standings.
Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards/Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) began his race from the pole position, but slippery paint in his grid slot allowed Bourdais to get the jump at the start and take the lead in the first corner. Power then stayed right on Bourdais tail until the first round of pit stops on lap 20. During the stops under yellow, Bourdais was blocked pulling out of his stall and Power's Team Australia crew took advantage and put the Aussie Vineyards car in the lead. Power held the lead until green flag pit stops started on lap 49. The Australian driver was the first to take service giving the lead back to Bourdais. Giving up the lead was just the beginning of Power's trouble though as a broken piece in his steering assembly forced him back to the pits and caused his only DNF of the season.
Driving a consistent race and always keeping the leader in his sites was Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who earned his fifth straight top-5 finish. With the second place finish, the British driver gained on all but one of his competitors and is now only nine markers out of second position in the standings.
Finishing third was Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing rookie Graham Rahal (#2 Medi|zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who had the best Champ Car event of his young career, running at the front all day after qualifying fourth. The podium finish is Rahal's second this season.
Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosoworth/DP01/Bridgestone) finished fourth for the third straight race. The strong finish propelled Team Australia to the inaugural Champ Car Canadian Triple Crown title. The duo's average finish of 5.2 just bettered the strong effort from Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing's Bourdais and Rahal, who leave the three Canadian events with an average finish of 5.5.
Coming home in fifth and sixth were Forsythe Championship Racing teammates Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Oriol Servia (#7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone). Both drivers fought off challenges from Bruno Junqueira (#19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) throughout the race. Junqueira finished seventh just ahead of Dan Clarke (#4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone).
Rookie Neel Jani (#21 Red Bull-Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) had a great start moving from fifth to third but while he was on pit lane during his first stop, the engine stalled and the Swiss driver fought his way back from 17th to finish ninth. Jan Heylen (#34 Champ Car Grand Prix of Belgium Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) earned his best finish of the season bringing his Conquest Racing car home tenth.
Next up for the competitors in the Champ Car World Series is the San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway in the heart of Silicon Valley. The event begins on Friday, July 27 with practice and qualifying. The race will begin at 3:00 p.m. local (6:00 p.m. ET) on Sunday, July 29. The race can be seen live on ESPN2. Fans can also follow all of the action via the official website of the Champ Car World Series, www.champcar.ws.
QUOTES FROM THE TOP THREE FINISHERS
Sebastien Bourdais: "It was a fun race. It was tough, as usual. It's a place that beats you up, drags you down to your knees, but when you can pull it off, it feels really good. I think everybody was tired towards the end. But the McDonald's car was fast, and that's really all that matters.
Graham Rahal "It's been a solid weekend for the whole Medi|Zone team. The race today was another good performance. Thought I had a good start, but then when I got alongside Justin, realized that Neel was inside of him. So then, you know, kind of the first half of the race was chasing them around. And then pretty much we just saved as much fuel as possible, kind of played into our hands.
Justin Wilson: "It was a long, tough race. It was great fun and we gave everything we had, but it wasn't quite enough. The CDW team did a fantastic job all weekend and I'm really pleased to get another podium here at Edmonton for CDW and all our partners