CHAMPCAR/CART: Mont-Tremblant: Pre-race notes, schedule

WHOS HOT Robert Doornbos ( ...

WHOS HOT

Robert Doornbos (#14 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) has been working on a collection of podium finishes and last weekend in Cleveland he scored his fourth in just five events. His second place finished moved him up to second in the point standings just three points behind the leader. Doornbos also leads the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-year standings by forty points over his nearest competitor. About a month ago Doornbos led the first day of testing and was fourth on the second day at Mont-Tremblant.

Paul Tracy (#3 INDECK Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) hadn't visited the winner's circle since Cleveland in 2005, before last weekend where he relied heavily on strategy to get back to the top step of the podium. The Champ Car veteran was involved in two incidents where he lost a front wing, but still came back to win. The win moved him into the top ten in the point standings after sitting out of two races due to an injury. After racing in Mont-Tremblant early in his career Tracy will be making his first start there since 1985 in Canadian Formula Ford.

In Cleveland, Neel Jani (#21 Red Bull-Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) recorded the best finish of his young Champ Car career when he turned in his first podium finish. The Swiss driver started his day in 11th and the team used their own pit strategy to gain him eight spots during the event. Jani also picked up an extra championship point for gaining the most positions during the event. This weekend Jani will be seeing the Mont-Tremblant course for the first time, not having an opportunity to test there.

In past weekends Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) had been fast, but had been unable to parlay his speed into great starting positions or finishes. In Cleveland, he was able to do both. During qualifying the young Frenchman ran a lap that captured his first front row starting spot. During the race he ran in the top-five most of the day and tied his best finish of fifth position. In testing at Mont-Tremblant Pagenaud posted the 7th quick lap on the first day and moved up to 4th on the time sheet on day two.

Being a rookie with a first year team, Ryan Dalziel (#28 PCM Coswoth/DP01/Bridgestone) may not be making front page news, but he has gradually been making gains since the first race of the year. Currently he is the only driver in the series that has been able to finish better than he qualified in each event. Last weekend, the Scot recorded his third top-ten finish this season.

At his home event Graham Rahal (#2 Medi|Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was hoping to make a big splash and he did, leading the first laps of his young Champ Car career. Unfortunately, strategy was not on his side and he had to pit for fuel with four laps to go dropping him from second to eighth. At testing last month the rookie ran on the Mont-Tremblant course for the first time logging the sixth quick lap on day one and the fifth quick lap on day two.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

During Mont-Tremblant testing Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) showed that he is a driver that adapts to new tracks very quickly. During day one he was third on the time sheet and on day two he ran the quickest lap of the test recording a time of 1:16.41 seconds. Bourdais has won the last five out of the last seven inaugural events on the Champ Car schedule.

Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) knows how to adapt to new courses as well and in testing at Mont-Tremblant he showed that the course would be no different as he posted the second best lap overall. In every inaugural event the Brit has put a tire on the track during his Champ Car career, he has brought his car home in the top-eight. His best qualifying effort at an inaugural event came in 2005 when he claimed the outside pole position in Edmonton.

In the May test at Mont-Tremblant, Dan Clarke (#4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) showed that Team Minardi USA had a handle on the new course when he ran second to his teammate on the first day of the test. Overall the Brit finished the test with a top-seven time.

As a rookie Tristan Gommendy (#22 Pay By Touch-Megaspiera Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) has been learning each track as he visits it. Mont-Tremblant will be one circuit he will not have to adapt to since he participated in the open test there last month. Overall, when the test ended the rookie was third on the time sheet.

NOTEWORTHY

The last time Champ Car raced at Mont-Tremblant was in 1968 and Mario Andretti won from the pole position. In 1967, a doubleheader was held with both races run on the same day and composed of 100 laps. Mario Andretti won in both starts that day in a Hawk Ford. In the first race Bobby Unser sat on the pole and in the second start Mario Andretti was the pole sitter. Those are the only 3 previous Champ Car events that have been held at Le Circuit.

With the Champ Car World Series being based in the Untied State, a common misconception would be that the drivers are just fluent in English. This weekend traveling to the heart of French Canada will be easy for eight drivers, since they speak French: Alex Tagliani, Sebastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud, Tristan Gommendy, Neel Jani, Jan Heylen (#34 Grand Prix of Belgium Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone), Oriol Servia (#7 INDECK Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone), and Robert Doornbos.

By winning in Cleveland, Paul Tracy recorded his 31st career win which ties him in the sixth position with Al Unser Jr. on the all-time Champ Car win list.

Sebastien Bourdais' pole winning run in Cleveland moved him into a tie for sixth with Al Unser on the all-time career pole winners list.

DID YOU KNOW?

Mont-Tremblant, Quebec is a village in the Laurentian Mountains approximately 86 miles (130 kilometers) north of Montreal. Mont-Tremblant is most famous for the Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort, which is 13 kilometers from the village proper, and right at the foot of a mountain called Mont Tremblant, which means "trembling mountain" in French. The city of Mont-Tremblant, was created in 2000 from the merger of the municipalities of Mont-Tremblant and Lac-Tremblant-Nord, the village of Saint-Jovite and the parish of Saint-Jovite. Le Circuit consists of a 15-corner design which utilizes the natural topography of the land and is considered one of the finest and most demanding circuits in the world. The hillsides around the track provide natural grandstands affording spectators with magnificent elevated vantage points. The first event was held on August 3, 1964, on the short 12-turn North Loop. Canadian Ludwig Heimrath drove his Cooper-Ford 289 to victory in the 32-lap feature race. In 1965 the circuit was expanded to its current 2.65-mile layout. British driver John Surtees, the 1964 Formula One World Champion, won the first race on it driving a Lola T-70 Chevrolet. Famous names like Villeneuve, Andretti, Stewart, Moss and Rahal have all raced here on what Michael Schumacher described as the Little Nurburgring.

BY THE NUMBERS

3,150 -- The height of the actual Mont Tremblant in feet, making it the highest mountain range.
645 -- How many miles Champ Car personnel will travel from Cleveland to Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant.
412 -- How many miles separate the Mont-Tremblant Circuit and Toronto's Exhibition Place.
74 -- How many points Simon Pagenaud and Graham Rahal have collected, currently they are tied for second in the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-year point standings.
36 -- The average width of Le Circuit in feet.
39 -- How many years it has been since Champ Car raced in Mont-Tremblant.
15- Total number of turns on the current circuit.
3 -- How many points separate Sebastien Bourdais from rookie contender Robert Doornbos.
1:20.00 -- The current track record at Mont-Tremblant which was set in 2005 by Duncan Dayton in a 1995 Reynard Champ Car.
1.19 -- Length in miles of the South Loop section of the course.
1.53 -- Length in miles of the North Loop section of the course.
0.513 -- How much Paul Tracy won the Grand Prix of Cleveland by over Robert Doornbos, which was the second closest finish in the event's 26 year history.

FAST FACTS

WHAT: Champ Car Mont-Tremblant

WHERE: Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada

WHEN: Friday--Sunday, June 29 -- July 1

SUPPORT EVENTS: Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, Formula Tour 1600 <pre> CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local Eastern):

FRIDAY, JUNE 29 9:00 -- 10:00 a.m. Atlantic practice 10:30 -- 11:45 a.m. Champ Car practice 1:10 -- 1:50 p.m. Atlantic qualifying 2:15 -- 3:15 p.m. Champ Car qualifying

SATURDAY, JUNE 30 9:00 -- 9:45 a.m. Atlantic practice 10:15 -- 11:30 a.m. Champ Car practice 12:45 -- 1:25 p.m. Atlantic qualifying 2:00 -- 3:00 p.m. Champ Car qualifying

SUNDAY, JULY 1 9:00 -- 9:15 a.m. Atlantic warmup 10:00 -- 10:30 a.m. Champ Car warmup 11:30 a.m. Atlantic race 2:00 p.m. CHAMP CAR MONT-TREMBLANT </pre> U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE (Eastern Time): SUNDAY, July 1 -- Champ Car Mont-Tremblant, ESPN, 2:00 p.m. (Live)

TRACK LAYOUT: 2.65-mile permanent road course

RACE LENGTH: One hour and 45 minutes (1:45)

RACE ROUND: 6 of 16 in the 2007 Champ Car World Series

-credit: ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Duncan Dayton , Ryan Dalziel , Justin Wilson , Al Unser Jr. , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Graham Rahal , Mario Andretti , Bobby Unser , Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , Neel Jani , Tristan Gommendy , Jan Heylen , Ludwig Heimrath , Simon Pagenaud , Dan Clarke , Al Unser