McDONALD'S Â® DRIVER BOURDAIS WON THE CHAMP CAR GENERAC GRAND PRIX AT ROAD AMERICA AND BROUGHT TEAM A WIN AT "HOME"WHILE MEDI | ZONE DRIVER RAHAL FINISHED THIRD - McDonald's Â® driver Sebastien Bourdais finally won the Generac Grand Prix at...
McDONALD'S ® DRIVER BOURDAIS WON THE CHAMP CAR GENERAC GRAND PRIX AT ROAD AMERICA AND BROUGHT TEAM A WIN AT "HOME"WHILE MEDI | ZONE DRIVER RAHAL FINISHED THIRD
- McDonald's ® driver Sebastien Bourdais finally won the Generac Grand Prix at Road America after competitive and even dominant runs in each of his three other races at the four-mile permanent road course. In his three previous races where he finished second once and third twice, strategy and the timing of caution periods dictated the end result but the fourth time proved the charm today as Bourdais only relinquished the lead for two laps during pit stop cycles and the only caution period of the race came out for a Lap 1 accident in the back of the field. The win enabled Bourdais to increase his slim pre-race 12 point advantage over second place Robert Doornbos to 37 after the Dutchman encountered problems and finished 14th. Will Power, who was ranked third in the championship standings also had problems and retired in 16th due to gearbox failure and now trails Bourdais by 53 points. Bourdais earned the maximum amount of points available after setting the fastest time in Friday and Saturday's qualifying sessions, winning the race and setting the fastest lap. He took the checkered flag 9.7 seconds ahead of second place Dan Clark and third place Graham Rahal. Bourdais' 28th Champ Car victory was also the 10th for the team at this track as well as their 102nd overall.
Following are his post race comments: "We had a great car, so thanks to the McDonald's crew," said Bourdais. " Today was the greatest day ever at Road America for us. It is obviously one of the best weekends for us this season. The McDonald's car was great from the beginning when we unloaded to the end. It was quick, we made a few changes and it seemed that it was hard to drive but super quick. With two great qualifying runs on Friday and Saturday, and to dominate today it seems the team has been a little greedy. I fought understeer during the first stint, it started out OK and then got really loose for the second half of the stint. It was just really difficult with the red option tires, I really struggled. When we put the black sided Bridgestone tires on, the car got back to normal so we could push and save fuel. From there it was a pretty smooth ride. It was a great team win."
- Medi | Zone driver Graham Rahal earned his third podium finish of the season with third place in the Champ Car Generac Grand Prix at Road America and moved from eighth to fifth in the championship point standings. He started the event fourth and was passed by Bruno Junqueira at the start but got by Will Power to maintain fourth. The only caution period of the race came out on the first lap for an accident in Turn 5 caused by Simon Pagenaud that included Ryan Dalziel and Paul Tracy. During the caution, Champ Car officials declared that Junqueira jumped the start and he would have to serve a drive through penalty once the race resumed. The green flag waved on Lap 4 and Power took fourth from Rahal but the 18-year-old regained the position on Lap 5. When Junqueira served his penalty on Lap 6, he moved into third place and began to close on second place runner Robert Doornbos. He made his first stop on Lap 14 and exchanged the red Bridgestone alternate tires for black primary ones and returned to third place once the pit cycle was complete. He passed Dan Clarke, who moved up courtesy of a different pit sequence, for position after his stop and began to pressure second place Doornbos whom he passed for second place on Lap 23 utilizing Push to Pass. He made his second pit stop on Lap 27 and returned to the track in second place just ahead of Clarke and steadily built a lead of over five seconds on him. He made his third and final stop on Lap 40 lost second place to Clarke, who benefited from an out of sequence pit strategy due to stopping on the early race caution. Clarke was able to stretch his fuel two laps longer and returned to the track ahead of Rahal, putting him third. He closed to one second of the Englishman but was unable to keep the pressure on him to attempt a pass due to needing to save enough fuel to complete the race. He finished 2.5 seconds behind the Englishman and added to his podium finishes in Houston (second) and Edmonton (third). He collected 25 points for a total of 170 and moved from eighth to fifth in the point standings.
Following are his post race comments: "It was a great day for the whole Medi | Zone team," said Rahal. "We certainly had a lot of pace today and if it wasn't for us having to save fuel during that last run, I think we would have had something, if not for Sebastien, but for sure Dan. I certainly think this team is on the rise and that we can have a good end to our season."
- Up Next: The Champ Car World Series will take next weekend off before traveling to events in Belgium (August 26) and the Netherlands (Sept. 2).