INDIANAPOLIS (June 14, 2003) -- With his dominating start to the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season, Paul Tracy not only earned himself three consecutive victories, but also garnered the prestigious SPEED...
INDIANAPOLIS (June 14, 2003) -- With his dominating start to the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season, Paul Tracy not only earned himself three consecutive victories, but also garnered the prestigious SPEED Channel Presents the National Driver of the Quarter award for his efforts.
Now as voting for the second-quarter award begins, another consecutive-victory streak has landed one of Tracy's fellow CART Champ Car drivers in the running for the award, voted on by a select panel of 18 media members as well as fans.
Sebastien Bourdais was one of eight nominees for the second-quarter honors, getting the nod on the strength of back-to-back wins at Brands Hatch and EuroSpeedway Lausitz. The victories were the first two of the young Frenchman's career and propelled him into the top-five of the season-long points race.
Bourdais led 95 laps en route to his first career win at Brands Hatch, then paced 74 laps and led a trio of drivers to the finish line at EuroSpeedway Lausitz in a thrilling finish that saw him best Mario Dominguez by 0.084 seconds. He became the first rookie in Champ Car history to win from the pole in his very first oval-track start and is the first rookie since Juan Montoya in 1999 to win back-to-back races in the series.
Fans can vote for the second Driver of the Quarter award by following the links on the series' official website www.champcarworldseries.com or by logging on to www.speedtv.com. The fan vote can play an instrumental part in the voting as last year's winner -- 2002 CART Champ Car titlewinner Cristiano da Matta -- won a narrow victory when the fan vote swayed the tally toward the Brazilian. Nearly 45,000 fans voted in the first-quarter voting, which helped Tracy earn a spot as one of the finalists for the Driver of the Year award, which will be announced in November.
Bourdais is one of eight nominees for the award, along with NHRA Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon, winner of The Winston All-Star race Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bobby Labonte, Indianapolis 500 winner and two-time CART champion Gil de Ferran and USAC star J.J. Yeley.