CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America: Series race report

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS ENDS DOMINANT WEEKEND WITH WIN Three-time Series Champion Gets First Win at Historic Road America ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. (August 12, 2007) -- Sebastien Bourdais ( ...

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS ENDS DOMINANT WEEKEND WITH WIN
Three-time Series Champion Gets First Win at Historic Road America

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. (August 12, 2007) -- Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) had done everything he could at Elkhart Lake's Road America except climb to the top step of the podium. In each of his three previous starts at the 4.048-mile circuit, the French driver started on the front row and finished on the podium, but circumstances kept him from getting the win. At this weekend's Champ Car Generac Grand Prix of Road America all of that changed as he led 51 of 53 laps, set the fastest race lap and won by nearly ten seconds.

Much like his previous runs at Road America, Bourdais was dominant throughout the weekend pacing both qualifying sessions by more than one second. Early on in the race it was a little closer as Robert Doornbos (#14 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) stayed close on the Frenchman's tail through the first fuel stint. Doornbos continued to run behind Bourdais until lap 24 when he ran wide in Turn 3, and Graham Rahal (#2 Medi|Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) moved by for second. On the next lap, the Dutchman was overtaken at the entry of Turn 5 by his Minardi Team USA teammate Dan Clarke (#4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone), the two made contact which damaged Doornbos' front wing and sent him to the pit lane for a lengthy repair.

Clarke had worked his way into the top four by pitting during the only full course caution of the event. "Speedy" Dan came in for service on lap 2 and returned to the track 12th. During the next 13 laps the young Englishman worked his way to the lead before having to come back to pit road for routine service. Clarke rejoined the race in third place and then on his final stop he was able to get by Rahal for second, earning his best career finish, with the runner-up spot.

The 18-year-old, Rahal held on for third place, his third podium finish of the season. Finishing just behind the American was Oriol Servia (#7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who drove up from his 14th spot on the grid. By gaining ten positions, Servia also earned the bonus point for most positions gained during the race.

Coming home fifth was Alex Tagliani (#8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone), who earned his only career win here in 2004. Tagliani started sixth and moved up to fourth early in the race, but Servia was able to extend his fuel stint to get by the Canadian. Belgian driver Jan Heylen (#34 Grafiprint Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) built some momentum heading into his home event as he earned his best finish of the season placing sixth. The finish also marked the third straight top-ten for the Conquest Racing Team.

Rookie Tristan Gommendy (#22 Pay By Touch/MegaSpirea Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) finished seventh with Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) eighth. Finishing ninth was Bruno Junqueira (#19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone), who overcame a drive-thru penalty for jumping the start to finish in the top ten. Swiss driver Neel Jani (#21 Red Bull-Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) ended the day tenth.

Next up is a European vacation for the Champ Car World Series as it heads to Zolder, Belgium and Assen, Holland for its next two events. The Champ Car Grand Prix of Belgium will run from August 24-26 while the Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix of Holland Presented by Audi, Gant, Hertz, Hof van Saksen, Pioneer and Jumbo runs from August 31 -- September 2. Both races can be seen on same day tape delay on ESPN Classic at 1 p.m. ET. 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 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 a great team win."

Dan Clarke "I am really happy with my second place finish, it is the best of my career. What a track to do it at, Road America is a real driver's racing circuit."

Graham Rahal: "It was a great day for the whole Medi|Zone team. 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 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."

-credit: ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Oriol Servia , Graham Rahal , Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , Neel Jani , Tristan Gommendy , Jan Heylen , Dan Clarke
Teams HART