CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Friday notes

CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Friday notes

McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS ON PROVISIONAL POLE FOR THE STEELBACK GRAND PRIX OF TORONTO AND REGAINED SOLE POSESSION OF THE POINTS LEAD; MEDI | ZONE DRIVER RAHAL EIGHTH Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone: "I ...

McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS ON PROVISIONAL POLE FOR THE STEELBACK GRAND PRIX OF TORONTO AND REGAINED SOLE POSESSION OF THE POINTS LEAD; MEDI | ZONE DRIVER RAHAL EIGHTH

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone:

"I don't know if it's just me, but it was slippery out there. It was a big sliding party. It was a lot of fun, but obviously when you start sliding in between walls it can get pretty hairy out there. Between touching and hitting a wall, it's a fine line but we managed to do that today. We're going to have to make some progress for tomorrow. It was just a good effort from the McDonald's team. I think the conditions changed quite a bit between the afternoon and the morning. It's very good to be back on top here. It's a fun event. It's a fun course. To be able to assure yourself a front row start spot, it's a big advantage. We'll try and capitalize on that tomorrow. I think what makes our strength is the consistency in our efforts. It's very rare to find ourselves in the hole. That's what makes that team most of the time better than the others. It's all to the credit of the team. Every time we unload the car it's pretty much right on the money, then I've just got to do my job from there, which isn't always easy. But it's a lot easier when you start from a close car than a car that's way, way off."

* FAST FACTS: Leads the point standings with 146 points while second place Doornbos has 145. Will be his fifth race here. Started and finished third here in 2006. Regained the points lead here in 2005 after finishing fifth. Started from pole and led the first 34 laps before contact with Tracy while the two were racing out of the pits limited his result. Won from pole here in 2004 after leading 75 laps and setting the fastest race lap. Started sixth and finished fourth in rookie season in 2003. Became the first open wheel driver to win three consecutive championships since Ted Horn accomplished the feat from 1946-1948 and only the second in the 98 year history of the sport. He has the rare opportunity to win four consecutive championships this year if he can again capture the Vanderbilt Cup, which would extend his run that began in 2004. Bourdais would be making history as no Champ Car driver has ever won four straight championships. Four in a row is very rare in professional sports in fact it has never been done in either NASCAR or NFL and it hasn't been accomplished in the last twenty years in the NBA, NHL or MLB.

Graham Rahal, No. 2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone:

"The Medi | Zone team doesn't quite have the speed yet. You have to be brave to go quick here and I am confident we can but the car isn't close enough yet. The brake zones are rough and bumpy which makes it difficult and challenging at the same time but the car is very poor in the braking areas, especially in turns five and eight so it's tough to maximize braking. In Turn 3, which is the highest speed corner on the track, I am faster than Sebastien but at other, slower corners I lock my brakes. We have been able to improve on Saturday at the past races so hopefully it will be the case tomorrow."

* FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here and first in a Champ Car. Started from pole in the 2006 Atlantic race here but was hit by Raphael Matos on the first lap. Repaired the damaged suspension and returned to the track a few laps down but later retired in 15th place. Set the fastest race lap. Finished second in the Champ Car Atlantic championship after a title hunt that concluded in the season finale. Led 129 laps to champion Pagenaud's 31. He earned a series-high five wins (42 percent), four poles (33 percent) and six podium finishes (50 percent) in the 12 events and at 17 years old was the youngest race winner in series history (Monterrey, Mexico on 5-21-06).

-credit: n/h/l

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