CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Lola race report

Bourdais bags third win in a row in Rocky Mountain brawl 2004 Champ Car titleholder Sebastien Bourdais made the best of his competitors' errors and secured his third straight victory in the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver today, earning a...

Bourdais bags third win in a row in Rocky Mountain brawl

2004 Champ Car titleholder Sebastien Bourdais made the best of his competitors' errors and secured his third straight victory in the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver today, earning a 53-point advantage in his quest for a repeat championship.

Driving the #1 McDonald's Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone racer to a 15.269-second advantage over Mario Dominguez' #7 Indeck/Forsythe Championship Racing Lola, the Frenchman fought hard to catch polesitter Paul Tracy (#3 Forsythe Lola) but the Canadian put paid to his victory hopes with an uncharacteristic shunt while leading by more than 10 seconds.

"When I saw PT in the wall, I was very surprised because he makes very few mistakes." Although feeling ill during the weekend and recovering from his own similar warm-up shunt, Bourdais was in the catbird seat to take advantage of Tracy's misstep and secured an extra point for setting the fastest lap of the race at a record 60.574 seconds.

Dominguez too overcame errors to take his best finish of the season from third on the 18-car grid. "It was a tough race, to say the least," the Mexican revealed. "I hit the drink button when I tried to talk on the radio and it squirted water all over the inside of my helmet." He cleaned the mess during caution and tried in vain to reel in Bourdais.

Third podium slot went to A.J. Allmendinger in his #10 Western Union Lola, racing for the Loveland, CO RuSPORT team in their home contest. "It was a struggle today, but the Lola was pretty good on the first part of our stints." Oriol Servia secured fourth place for the #2 PacifiCare Lola team despite a hole in his sidepod (from the first lap melee) that cost the Spaniard between 2-300 pounds of downforce. "That is huge here because of the altitude," Servia noted. In his second drive with HVM, Rodolfo Lavin brought the #55 Lola home fifth and believed "the Lola was great. It responded so well and was good at corner entry, exits and under braking."

The 97-lap race was interrupted twice: five laps at the start for a four-car pile-up and again when Tracy impacted the Turn 4 wall. The quick pace resulted in a new race record pace of 1:49:45.135 and there were 13 cars running at the close.

The Champ Car World Series takes a weekend off and returns with the Molson Indy Montreal on the beautiful Gilles Villeneuve circuit August 26-28.

-lola cars-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Oriol Servia , Mario Dominguez , Gilles Villeneuve , Sébastien Bourdais , A.J. Allmendinger , Rodolfo Lavin