THREE MAN RACE FOR VANDERBILT CUP HIGHLIGHTS CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES SUMMER SWING Doornbos First Rookie to Lead Championship Standings Since Juan Montoya in 1999 INDIANAPOLIS (July 16, 2007) -- As the 2007 Champ Car World Series season nears...
THREE MAN RACE FOR VANDERBILT CUP HIGHLIGHTS CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES
Doornbos First Rookie to Lead Championship Standings Since Juan Montoya in 1999
INDIANAPOLIS (July 16, 2007) -- As the 2007 Champ Car World Series season nears its halfway point, the race for the Vanderbilt Cup is tighter than a pair of designer jeans. Three drivers are vying for the coveted trophy with rookie Robert Doornbos (164 points) leading Will Power (162) by a scant two points and three-time defending Series champion Sebastien Bourdais (161) just three points back.
Sitting just behind the log jam at the top is CDW driver Justin Wilson (138 points.) In the last four races, Wilson has moved from 36 points back to 23 in arrears. It won't be an easy road for the British driver but it is a challenge he is ready to undertake. The Champ Car points system allows a driver to make up a maximum of 30 points per event, meaning a driver would need to sweep every point for the event and the point leader would need to finish last. The last time a driver has swept all of the available points was in 2006 at Montreal when Sebastien Bourdais paced both qualifying sessions, set the fastest race lap and won.
If history is any indication, this year's title chase will come down to the last lap of the season in Phoenix. The last time the points race was this close after seven events was 1999. After the seventh race that year, rookie Juan Montoya led Dario Franchitti by two points and the late Greg Moore by four markers. As the 1999 season wore on, Montoya and Franchitti would trade the title lead three times in the final eight races with the Series championship coming down to the final race. Montoya and Franchitti tied each other with 212 points and Montoya was awarded the championship based on his seven victories compared to Franchitti's three.
How the Champ Car Points System Works
A driver can earn a maximum of 34 points during an event weekend. 31 points are awarded to the race winner along with bonus points for the fastest driver in qualifying on both Friday and Saturday. During the race a bonus point is given to the driver that records the fastest lap as well as to the driver who makes up the most positions during the race. The gap in points awarded between first and second is four, while the number of points between each position from two through 10 is only two markers. From 10-to-20 only one point separates each finishing position. The larger gap between first and second rewards the winning driver for his accomplishment and gives more value to a race win. The current points system was put in place for the 2004 season and marked the first change since 1983.
Round Eight of the Champ Car World Series schedule is slated for Sunday, July 22 at City Center Airport in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The race will begin at 3 pm ET (1 pm local) and can be seen live in the United States on ESPN and in Canada on Global.