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

WHO'S HOT 2004 Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais ( ...

WHO'S HOT

2004 Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonalds Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) looks to be on route to a second championship after his fourth victory of the season in Denver. In Montreal Bourdais will be facing one of the tracks he has yet to win on. Last year he started from the pole position and led 26 laps before falling out of the race due to mechanical difficulty.

Oriol Servia (#2 Pacificare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) continued his strong campaign in Denver, scoring his sixth top-four run in seven races in his Newman Haas mount. The Spaniard has two top-ten finishes to his credit in Montreal, with his best finish being second in 2003 when he took the outside pole and led two laps.

Ronnie Bremer (# 19 American Medical Response/Dale Coyne Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is on a roll since taking over the #19 for Dale Coyne Racing after the Molson Indy Toronto. In three races Bremer has yet to place out of the top-seven, making up at least nine spots from his qualifying position in each race. The last time Bremer saw the course in Montreal was in Toyota Atlantic competition, where he started in the sixth spot before falling out of the race because of mechanical problems.

Mario Dominguez (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) has quietly been moving his way up to the front. Last week in Denver, the Mexican scored his first podium finish of the season when he came home second. Dominguez has strung together three consecutive top-five finishes and is now fifth in the points chase. The last time Dominguez raced in Montreal he finished a solid third and was able to lead eight laps.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

2005 has been an up and down season for Ryan Hunter-Reay (#31 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone), but things are slowly beginning to turn around. Hunter-Reay scored his best finish of the season in Denver when he brought his car home in the sixth spot, gaining eleven spots on a tight street course.

Alex Tagliani (#15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) returns to his "home event" after finishing in the top-ten in the last two years. Last year in Montreal, the French-Canadian won the pole position to the delight of the home town crowd. In the race Tagliani led a record 52 laps (the most anyone has led in a Champ Car event in Montreal) and just came short of scoring a podium finish when he crossed the finish line in the fourth spot.

Timo Glock (#8 DHL Global Mail Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) returns to the site of his Formula 1 debut where he became one of just a handful of drivers to have scored points in his series debut, placing seventh in a Jordan. Glock currently leads the Roshfrans Rookie of the year standings by two points, over a hard charging Ronnie Bremer.

DID YOU KNOW

Throughout its colorful history, Montreal has been a French settlement and a British stronghold. Today it is officially bilingual and proud of its status as the largest French-speaking city in North America and second-largest French-speaking city in the world. In 1977 the French-Canadians, inspired by the success of rising star Gilles Villeneuve (father of Champ Car champion Jacques Villeneuve), decided that they needed a new circuit in Quebec. Building a completely new facility was out of the question. It was too expensive and would take too long, so it was suggested that the problem could be solved quickly by linking up the roads on the Ile Notre Dame to form a race track. The island had been built between the free-flowing St. Lawrence River and the St. Lawrence Seaway and was designed to be the home of the World Fair in 1967 - known as Expo 67. The new island, which was situated just a few minutes from downtown Montreal, was also the site of the rowing basin for the 1976 Olympic Games, after the Ile Notre Dame reverted to being a public park. The first Canadian Grand Prix was run on the new Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on October 8, 1978. Champ Car made its first appearance on the island in 2002 and over the last few years it has quickly become one of the top events on the schedule.

NOTEWORTHY

This weekend Sebastien Bourdais will be gunning for his fourth consecutive win in Champ Car competition this season. The last Champ Car driver to win four consecutive races was Cristiano da Matta, who took four straight on his way to the 2002 series title.

In the previous events in Montreal there no single driver has been able to dominate a race weekend, in that there have been three different pole winners (Cristiano da Matta, Alex Tagliani, and Sebastien Bourdais), three different race winners (Dario Franchitti, Michel Jourdain Jr., and Bruno Junqueira) and 11 different drivers have led laps.

Due to the length of the straightaways in Montreal, the Power-to-Pass allotment for each driver is increased to 75 seconds for this event.

After Bourdais' win in Denver France took the top spot in the Nations Cup Standings. Currently France has a five point lead over Canada.

BY THE NUMBERS

1967 -- The year the World's Fair was held on Ile Notre Dame. 53 -- The number of points that separate Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy in the title fight. 52 -- The number of laps that Alex Tagliani has led in Montreal, which is the most of any driver. 12 -- Turns drivers will have to contend with on Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. 11 -- The number of different drivers that have led laps in three Montreal events. 4 -- The last two winners in Montreal have started in the four spot. 3.4 -- Million people call Montreal home. 2.709 -- length in miles around the permanent road course. 0 -- The number of people that have won from the pole position in Montreal.

FAST FACTS

WHAT:  Molson Indy Montreal

WHERE: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
WHEN: Friday -- Sunday, August 26-28

SUPPORT EVENTS: Toyota Atlantic Championship, Trans-Am Series, Honda/Michelin Challenge

CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, AUGUST 26-- Trans-Am practice, 8:45 -- 9:15 a.m.; Atlantic practice, 9:30 -- 10:00 a.m.; Champ Car practice, 10:15 -- 11:30 a.m.; Trans-Am practice, 1:15 -- 1:45 p.m.; Champ Car qualifying, 2:00 -- 3:00 p.m.; Atlantic qualifying, 3:15 -- 3:45 p.m.; Trans-Am qualifying, 5:30 -- 6:00 p.m.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 27 --Atlantic practice, 9:15 -- 9:45 a.m.; Trans-Am practice, 10:00 -- 10:15 a.m.; Champ Car practice, 10:30 -- 11:30 a.m.; Atlantic qualifying, 1:15 -- 1:45 p.m.; Champ Car qualifying, 2:00 -- 3:00 p.m.; Trans-Am race, 4:00 -- 5:15 p.m.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 28 -- Atlantic warmup, 8:00 -- 8:15 a.m.; Champ Car warmup, 9:45 -- 10:15 a.m.; Atlantic race, 11:15 a.m. -- 12:15 p.m.; MOLSON INDY MONTREAL, 79 laps, 1:45 p.m.

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE:
SUNDAY, AUGUST 28 -- NBC Sports, Molson Indy Montreal, 1:45 p.m. Eastern Time.

2004 CHAMPION:  Bruno Junqueira

2004 POLESITTER: Sebastien Bourdais
TRACK LAYOUT:  2.709-mile road course

RACE LENGTH: 79 laps (214.011 miles)

TRACK RECORDS:
Qualifying (one lap) -- 2002, Cristiano da Matta, 123.512 mph (1:18.959).

Race -- 2004, Bruno Junqueira, 113.049 mph (1:39:12.432), based on 69 laps (186.921 miles).

RACE ROUND: 10 of 14 in the 2005 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

NEXT EVENT: September 24, Champ Car 400, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nevada.

INSTANT REPLAY: Bruno Junqueira kept his 2004 Champ Car title hopes alive with a victory in Montreal last year, taking the lead of the 45th of the day's 69 laps to score his first win of the season. Junqueira inherited the lead when polesitter Sebastien Bourdais and A.J. Allmendinger tangled, but made no mistakes once he got to the front, beating Patrick Carpentier to the line by more than six seconds to score the win. Bourdais led early and was leading when he had contact with Allmendinger, who had rebounded from a first-lap incident with Paul Tracy. Carpentier led a four-car battle to finish second as he Mario Dominguez, Tracy and Justin Wilson waged a spirited war behind Junqueira for the final 20 laps of the day. The victory allowed Junqueira to shave his Newman/Haas teammate's lead to 34 points with four races left on the schedule, a key factor in the Brazilian being able to take the 2004 title fight all the way to the final race of the year. Allmendinger came back to take the fifth spot in the final standings after Wilson suffered mechanical trouble, marking the third top-five run in the last four races for the former Toyota Atlantic champion.

-ccws-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Justin Wilson , Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Oriol Servia , Mario Dominguez , Gilles Villeneuve , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Sébastien Bourdais , A.J. Allmendinger , Ronnie Bremer , Timo Glock , Dale Coyne , Cristiano da Matta , Michel Jourdain
Teams Dale Coyne Racing