Junqueira earns second mile high victory Leads Newman/Haas one-two in Lola stalwart's 350th Race Bruno Junqueira showed his enjoyment of the Mile High City of Denver, CO by winning the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver for the second ...
Junqueira earns second mile high victory
Leads Newman/Haas one-two in Lola stalwart's 350th Race
Bruno Junqueira showed his enjoyment of the Mile High City of Denver, CO by winning the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver for the second straight year, bringing the #1 PacifiCare Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone Champ Car first to the flags ahead of his teammate Sebastien Bourdais, whose #2 McDonald's/Lilly Lola was just .335 seconds back at the close of 106 laps around the 1.647-mile, 9-turn Pepsi Center circuit. Oriol Servia's #20 Visteon Lola was third, as the top seven leaders all rode with Lola chassis.
"This is exactly what I needed," crowed Junqueira. "This is one of the most difficult places we race at and to find good balance in our Lola with the different corners made of concrete and asphalt surfaces is tough." Bourdais was "very happy for the team to win their 350th race. I tried but I never had a chance to get Bruno and I wasn't about to try something stupid." A problem on his second stop with an air gun gave Servia perspective on his finish and happiness "with our second straight podium" after difficulties in Friday's preliminary qualifying, when he was ninth.
Point leader Paul Tracy took fourth in the #3 Team Player's Lola after a fierce battle with fifth-finisher Adrian Fernandez in his #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Lola. Tracy found his Lola "real quick in clear air but there was no passing today. The cars have little downforce in this altitude." Fernandez realized "it was all about track position today and passing was difficult even after the pit stops."
Michel Jourdain Jr. took sixth behind this duo, calling it a "very tough day, a long race" for the #9 Gigante/Centrix Financial Lola. "We did the best we could hope for," he said. Mario Dominguez's #55 Herdez Competition was up and down the race standings all day in this fierce street battle and took the seventh finishing slot from 14th on the grid. "I was really happy with the Lola today and the team gave me great pit stops. I was really confident all race because I had a good car under me. I had a lot of fun," he said.
The battle for this year's Vanderbilt Cup continues September 26-28 at the Grand Prix Americas in Miami, FL. Tracy leads the standings by 18 points over Junqueira (204-186) and Jourdain retains third with 165. Bourdais bounced back to fourth with 142 points by finishing second today.