CHAMPCAR/CART: Assen: Pre-race notes, schedule

WHAT: Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix WHERE: TT Circuit Assen, The Netherlands WHEN: Friday--Sunday, August 31 -- September 2 SUPPORT EVENTS: ATS Formel-3-Cup, Dutch Supercar Challenge, Benelux Racing League V6 and BRL light, Tachyon Motorsport...

WHAT: Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix

WHERE: TT Circuit Assen, The Netherlands

WHEN: Friday--Sunday, August 31 -- September 2

SUPPORT EVENTS: ATS Formel-3-Cup, Dutch Supercar Challenge, Benelux Racing League V6 and BRL light, Tachyon Motorsport American GT's

CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31
10:05 - 11:20a.m., Champ Car practice
2:00 - 3:00 p.m., Champ Car qualifying

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER, 1
10:15 - 11:30 a.m., Champ Car practice
2:00 - 3:00 p.m., Champ Car qualifying

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER, 2
9:00 - 9:30 a.m., Champ Car warmup
1:00 p.m. Start of BAVARIA CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX.

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE (Eastern Time):
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 -- Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix, ESPN Classic, 7:00 a.m. (Live).
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER, 7 -- Replay, ESPN 2, 1:30 a.m.

TRACK LAYOUT: 2.83-mile permanent road course

RACE LENGTH: One hour and forty-five minutes

TRACK RECORDS: TBD

RACE ROUND: Round twelve of sixteen in the Champ Car World Series

2007 CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES POINTS LEADERS: 1, Sebastien Bourdais, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, 283; 2, Robert Doornbos, Minardi Team USA, 230; 3, Will Power, Team Australia,221; 4, Justin Wilson, RSPORTS, 211; 5, Graham Rahal, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, 196; 6, Oriol Servia, Forsythe Championship Racing, 189; 7, Neel Jani, PKV Racing, 182; 8, Alex Tagliani, RSPORTS, 174; 9, Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia, 173; 10, Bruno Junqueira, Dale Coyne Racing, 165.

DID YOU KNOW?

The history of the TT Circuit Assen goes back to 1925. Until 1954 the circuit consisted of brick-paved public roads, running through the villages of Borger, Schoonloo and Grolloo. At that time the track was 17.75mi/28.4 km in length. Races were held there annually until the second World War (1940-1945) slowed the racing action, but racing resumed there until the idea of a new type of circuit was conceived. The Assen race track was built in 1955, and initially had a length of 7.705 km. The current track has a length of 4.555 km with the longest straight measuring .970 km. The curves in Assen are banked and the surface is extremely grippy, so drivers are able to drive much faster on the course than other circuits. Today these sloped or curved bends have been modified due to safety issues and to accommodate more types of racing. Nowadays the circuit is used for several World Championships including international and national race meetings for motorcycles. The most important annual events are the historic Dutch TT and the Dutch Round of the World Superbikes which has been running there since 1992. The Circuit is considered "The Cathedral" of motorcycling by the fans and racers alike. In 2006 the track went through a series of alterations to make it compatible with a variety of racing series including Champ Car, in fact only one section of the circuit is original as the finish line has never moved.

NOTEWORTHY

Since being founded in 1984 Dale Coyne Racing has been a fan favorite because of the heart the team has shown, but their results have never really shown the potential of the team. Last weekend in Zolder it all changed as Bruno Junqueira was one step of the podium away from putting the team into Victory Lane. Before then, the team had two third place runs, one with Oriol Servia in 2004 and one with Roberto Moreno in 1996.

Three-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais has shown in the past that he is a master of learning new courses, in fact he has won six out of the last nine inaugural events on the Champ Car schedule. The streak started at Brands Hatch in 2003 and continued to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2004, Edmonton and San Jose in 2005, 2006 in Houston, and Zolder last weekend. The only inaugural events that the Frenchman has been a part of and walked away winless was his first Champ Car race in St. Petersburg in 2003, Las Vegas in 2007, and Mont-Tremblant 2007.

So far this season ten drivers have made their way to podium finishes in the Champ Car World Series. Three of those have been Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year candidates (Robert Doornbos, Neel Jani and Graham Rahal). Six of them have been from Europe (Sebastien Bourdais, Dan Clarke, Robert Doornbos, Neel Jani, Oriol Servia, and Justin Wilson).

Every little point that a Champ Car driver can score during the weekend is important when it comes to the point chase. When looking at picking up every point he can, Sebastien Bourdais has it down to an art. This season he has collected 19 out of the 44 bonus points that have been available this season. In Champ Car bonus points are given for the driver posting the fastest lap in each qualifying session, recording the fastest race lap and improving the most positions during the race. Bourdais has collected 11 of his points during qualifying, but where he has really excelled is that he has recorded 8 out of the 11 points for the fastest lap of the race. Will Power is currently second in the fight for these valuable points gaining 6 in qualifying, 1 for recording the fastest race lap and 1 for improving most positions during a race.

Rookie competitor Robert Doornbos has logged more laps than any other driver in the Champ Car World Series and is the only driver who has been running at the end of every event. Out of the 893 laps that have been run this season, the Dutchman has completed 883 of those. Fellow rookie Simon Pagenaud is second on this list recording 866 laps. The rest of the top five in completed laps include: Neel Jani (854), Alex Tagliani (840) and Will Power (837).

By winning his 30th career pole position in Zolder Sebastien Bourdais is currently sixth on the all time career pole position list. The only drivers that are ahead of him on the list are Michael Andretti (32), Rick Mears (40), Bobby Unser (49), A.J. Foyt (53), and Mario Andretti (67).

Sebastien Bourdais recorded his 29th career win in Belgium, which places him in eighth on the all time race winner roster, tied with Rick Mears. In all of those in the top ten the Frenchman has less than half of their starts at 70, meaning he has won over 40% of the races he has entered in Champ Car competition. As for podium finishes he currently has 42 which translates into him finishing on the podium in 60% of his Champ Car starts.

BY THE NUMBERS

1,863.779 -- How many miles Robert Doornbos has completed during his rookie year in the Champ Car World Series.
411 -- Laps that Bourdais has led in the last nine inaugural events.
77 -- How many years Assen has been hosting motorcycle racing events.
53 -- How many points Sebastien Bourdais leads the championship by.
14 -- Turns on the Assen circuit. 11 -- How many Champ Car drivers call Europe home.
8 -- Times this season that Sebastien Bourdais has recorded the fastest lap of the race.
5.7 -- The average finish of Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year leader Robert Doornbos.
5 -- Times that a European driver has won in Europe (Sebastien Bourdais 2007 and 2 events in 2003, Dario Franchitti 2002 and Kenny Brack 2001).
3 -- Number of podium finishes for Dale Coyne Racing in its history (Bruno Junqueira, 2007; Oriol Servia, 2004; 1996 Roberto Moreno).
2.83 -- In miles the length of the course in Assen.

-credit: ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Michael Andretti , Bruno Junqueira , Roberto Moreno , Alex Tagliani , Dario Franchitti , Oriol Servia , Kenny Brack , Graham Rahal , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Bobby Unser , Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , Neel Jani , Will Power , Simon Pagenaud , Dale Coyne , A.J. Foyt
Teams Dale Coyne Racing