CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Lola race report

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SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA - The fight for Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season honors continues thanks to Bruno Junqueira's victory today in his #6 PacifiCare Lola/Ford- Cosworth/Bridgestone racer. The 14th different Lexmark Indy 300 winner on the 2.795-mile Surfers Paradise street circuit winner in the series' 14 visits to the Gold Coast of Australia, the Brazilian noted, "The weekend started out pretty difficult for us; Friday we had a gearbox problem and almost did not get to qualify and Saturday we almost had the pole," he said.

"The PacifiCare Lola was very good. I took the lead when [polesitter Paul] Tracy made a mistake; my engineer Rocky decided we would be one lap short on fuel." Expecting to make a timed final call to the pits. "I was putting in qualifying laps every lap and blazing over the chicanes. I tried to pull away from Sebastien," his Newman/Haas Racing teammate Bourdais (#2 McDonald's Lola) leading the point standings 335-313.

While Bourdais was disappointed not to clinch the title he thought second place was "a pretty good result but no exactly the one we wanted because we wanted to finish in front of Bruno. I couldn't get by with a clean move so I backed off,' the Frenchman said.

Third went to the 2002 Surfers Paradise winner Mario Dominguez in the #55 Herdez Lola for his third podium of the season. The Mexican moved into fifth place in the point chase and found the contest "an interesting and exciting race. My Lola was terrific."

An error left reigning champion Paul Tracy fourth at the checkers with his #1 Indeck Lola. A very disappointed Tracy felt "we had a Lola that could have won the race." Ryan Hunter-Reay finished fifth with the #4 Herdez Lola after winning in 2003.

Finishing sixth Californian A.J. Allmendinger earned Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year honors with his #10 Western Union Lola. He acknowledged, "It was one of our goals at the start of the season but I'm disappointed with the race. We had a great Lola car and, unfortunately our strategy just didn't work the way we hoped. Overall I'm good with the weekend as a whole because Surfers Paradise is a really tough street course."

The blockbuster season finale for the Champ Car World Series occurs November 7th with the Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante Presented by Banamex/Visa on the 2.796-mile Autrodomoro Hermanos Rodriguez road course in Mexico City.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Mario Dominguez , Ryan Hunter-Reay , A.J. Allmendinger