CHAMPCAR/CART: San Jose: Pre-race notes, schedule

WHO'S HOT After finishing in the runner-up position four times in 2006 Justin Wilson ( ...

WHO'S HOT

After finishing in the runner-up position four times in 2006 Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) recorded his first win of the season in Edmonton last weekend. The Brit started the day in the third position and ran down Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonalds Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) to take the lead for the first time on lap 54. Wilson led the final 21 laps of the race holding off the Frenchman during two separate restarts. Wilson's win vaulted him back into the second position in the championship battle. Last year in San Jose, Wilson started from the ninth position and was able to move up five positions to fourth on a track that was very challenging to pass on.

A.J. Allmendinger (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) recorded his fourth consecutive podium finish last weekend in Edmonton. The American had been plagued by flu like symptoms all weekend, but was able to persevere keeping his streak of not qualifying outside of the top four this season alive and was able to hold on for a third place finish. Last year in Allmendinger's hometown of San Jose, the Californian started the race in the fourth position and held that position until he made contact with the wall and was not able to continue on.

Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) began his day from the outside pole position in Edmonton and collected his fourth top five finish of the season. His fifth place finish helped him move from the sixth position into fourth in the championship standings. Last year in San Jose, the Canadian began the day in the three spot and was able to get past Oriol Servia to bring home his car in the second position 3.724 seconds behind Bourdais.

Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) set a new career mark for his best finish on a road course when he brought his car home in the sixth spot in Edmonton. Currently the Australian holds the lead in a close Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year battle by nine markers over Dan Clarke (#14 CTE Racing-HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone).

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Going into last year's inaugural Grand Prix of San Jose Sebastien Bourdais was on a hot streak after winning in Edmonton. The Flying Frenchman exhibited how easy it was for him to adjust to new tracks two weeks in a row when he paced the field for 63 out of 93 laps. Bourdais started the day on the pole before crossing under the checkered flag.

Oriol Servia (#6 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) had a strong run in the inaugural Grand Prix of San Jose. On a day that challenged both drivers and their racing machines, Servia started the day from the outside pole position and crossed the finish line in the third position.

Katherine Legge (#20 Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) captured her third Champ Car Atlantic Series win in her rookie season on the streets of San Jose last year. She started the day in the fourth position, took the lead on lap 29, and never looked back leading the final 16 laps of the race. Legge currently sits third in the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year standings just six points out of second.

Champ Car rookie Charles Zwolsman (#34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) started on the pole for last year's Atlantic race on the San Jose course. The Netherlander fell back to second on the start when Tonis Kasemets (#18 Flexvoit Abrasives Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) beat him into the first corner. A heated battle ensued until Zwolsman took the lead on lap 10. He led 20 laps on the day, the most of any driver during the race, and took home a podium finish at the end of the day.

NOTEWORTHY

Sebastien Bourdais has now led 1,445 laps in his series career, and is just two laps away from tying Alex Zanardi for 19th on the all-time list.

A.J. Allmendinger is the last American driver to earn four consecutive podium finishes since Al Unser Jr. strung four up in 1995.

Even though Sebastien Bourdais is clearly leading the championship standings, there are still some very close battles going on throughout the field. Currently second place Justin Wilson is five markers in front of A.J. Allmendinger. Three points currently separate fourth place Paul Tracy and fifth place Andrew Ranger. While a scant three points separate sixth through eighth and four markers separate ninth through twelfth in the points standings.

The Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year battle has been one of the closest on the circuit. Will Power claimed the lead for the second race straight in Edmonton, before Dan Clarke had spent a two-race run at the top. Clarke now trails Power by nine markers, while Katherine Legge is seventeen markers out of the lead.

Bruno Junqueira's win in Monterrey last season gave him victories in each of his first five seasons as a Champ Car driver. A win this season would make the Newman/Haas Racing pilot the first driver since Bobby Rahal (1982-87) to earn wins in each of his first six years in the series.

In the Nation's Cup standings Wilson's victory in Edmonton helped England close within 19 points of taking the lead from France. Currently the United States is in the third position nine markers behind England.

DID YOU KNOW?

The City of San Jose was California's first civilian settlement, founded in 1777. Originally, the city served as a farming community to provide food for nearby military installations. It became the first city to be incorporated in California in 1850 and was the site of the state's first capital. After over 150 years as an agricultural center, increased demand for housing from veterans returning from World War II and starting families, as well as aggressive expansion during the 1950s and 1960s led to businesses being attracted to the city. By the 1990s, San Jose's central location within the booming technology industry in the area earned the city the nickname as the Capital of Silicon Valley. The official name of the city is The City of San Jose. Today San Jose boasts the highest disposable household income of anywhere in the country. With the largest concentration of technology expertise in the world, it is not surprising that over half of the adult population holds a college degree. The city has 25 companies with 1,000 employees or more. San Jose also has the best public safety record of any metropolitan area in the United States and has been for five consecutive years.

BY THE NUMBERS

4,000 -- The number of tires that will be used to build tire walls for the San Jose Course. 300 -- How many days on average the sun shines in San Jose. 96.101 -- Last year's pole speed set by Sebastien Bourdais. 63 -- How many laps Sebastien Bourdais led on the way to his inaugural San Jose Grand Prix victory. 50 -- How many miles south San Jose is located from San Francisco. 3.5 -- How many miles of block and fencing it took to build the San Jose course. 3.724 -- How many seconds Sebastien Bourdais crossed the start/finish line in front of Paul Tracy. 3 -- San Jose is the third largest city in California.

FAST FACTS

WHAT: Champ Car Grand Prix of San Jose Presented by Taylor Woodrow

WHERE: San Jose, California

WHEN: Friday--Sunday, July 28-30

SUPPORT EVENTS: Champ Car Atlantic, Formula BMW, Historic Stock Cars, Drifting

CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local): FRIDAY, JULY 28 -- 9:15 - 10:00 a.m., Atlantic practice; 10:15 - 11:30 a.m., Champ Car practice; 1:15 - 1:45, Atlantic qualifying; 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., Champ Car qualifying. SATURDAY, JULY 29 - 9:45--10:15 a.m., Atlantic practice; 10:30--11:30 a.m., Champ Car practice; 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., Champ Car qualifying; 3:45 - 4:15, Atlantic qualfiying. SUNDAY, JULY 30 - 8:00 - 8:15 a.m., Atlantic warmup; 8:30 - 9:00 a.m., Champ Car warmup; 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.; Atlantic race; 12:45 p.m. CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF SAN JOSE PRESENTED BY TAYLOR WOODROW.

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE (Eastern Time): SUNDAY, JULY 30 -- Champ Car Grand Prix of San Jose Presented by Taylor Woodrow, 3:45 p.m. Eastern Time NBC (live)

2005 CHAMPION: Sebastien Bourdais
2005 POLESITTER: Sebastien Bourdais

TRACK LAYOUT: 1.448-mile street course
RACE LENGTH: 97 laps (140.456 miles)

TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying (one lap) -- 2005, Sebastien Bourdais, 54.243 seconds (96.101 mph). Race -- 2005, Sebastien Bourdais, 1:45:42.889 (76.431 mph) based on 93 laps (134.664 miles)

RACE ROUND: 9 of 14 in the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

INSTANT REPLAY: The inaugural Champ Car race in San Jose overcame some early teething pains and produced an exciting race in front of more than 150,000 fans for the three-day weekend. As would be the case for the majority of the second half of the season, Sebastien Bourdais was the man to beat, although no one ever really figured out how to do it. Bourdais started on pole and led 63 of the day's 93 laps to earn the win, giving up the lead only when Ronnie Bremer and Bjorn Wirdheim experimented with alternate pit strategies in an attempt to derail the Bourdais express. Bourdais fought off one challenge at the end of the day as Cristiano da Matta's accident forced a Lap 84 restart, but Bourdais was equal to the task, holding off Paul Tracy for the win while Oriol Servia rounded out the podium. Justin Wilson and Mario Dominguez completed the top five while rookie took the sixth through eighth position, led by eventual Rookie of the Year Timo Glock.

-ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Al Unser Jr. , Bruno Junqueira , Bobby Rahal , Paul Tracy , Alex Zanardi , Oriol Servia , Mario Dominguez , Sébastien Bourdais , A.J. Allmendinger , Katherine Legge , Bjorn Wirdheim , Ronnie Bremer , Andrew Ranger , Charles Zwolsman , Timo Glock , Will Power , Tonis Kasemets , Dan Clarke