Bourdais Wins at Long Beach with Alternate Strategy Defending champion Sebastien Bourdais of Newman/Haas Racing picked up the first victory of the 2005 season with a win at the famed Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Bourdais came out on top in...
Bourdais Wins at Long Beach with Alternate Strategy
Defending champion Sebastien Bourdais of Newman/Haas Racing picked up the first victory of the 2005 season with a win at the famed Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Bourdais came out on top in an extremely competitive race marked by an unusually high 11 lead changes and was followed across the finish line by Forsythe Championship Racing's Paul Tracy and Newman/Haas teammate Bruno Junqueira.
Bourdais played his alternate tire strategy to perfection, pulling away from Tracy and building a large lead in his second stint on the alternate specification Bridgestone Potenza race tires. Despite running the final stint on alternate tires himself, Tracy was never able to fully recover that time and finished 4.128 seconds behind Bourdais.
"The Bridgestone tires, especially the alternate tires, gave me a great help," said Bourdais. "They were very quick up to speed, even though I pushed a bit too hard on them and they fell down at the very, very end. They were still very good, and I was able to pull away from PT (Paul Tracy). The regular tires were also very good at the end for me, so I was very happy with that."
Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "This was a really competitive race like we've seen many times over the years here at Long Beach. Particularly gratifying to Bridgestone is the fact that our standard and softer alternate tires played a significant role in the outcome and were a key part of several passes for the lead. Congratulations to Sebastien Bourdais and the entire Newman/Haas organization. We know it's early in the season, but it appears they're picking up right where they left off and are keen on defending their 2004 championship."
Race temperatures ranged from 89 to 97 degrees track and from 70 to 74 degrees ambient (F).
Race temperatures ranged from 32 to 36 degrees track and from 21 to 23 degrees ambient (C).