CHAMPCAR/CART: Drivers earn special awards

Champ Car Stars Earn Racer Magazine Awards INDIANAPOLIS (February 10, 2005) -- The Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford is held in high regard among racing drivers, owing to the diversity of the tracks on the schedule...

Champ Car Stars Earn Racer Magazine Awards

INDIANAPOLIS (February 10, 2005) -- The Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford is held in high regard among racing drivers, owing to the diversity of the tracks on the schedule that sees its drivers compete on road and street courses as well as ovals and superspeedways.

But at its core, Champ Car is a series that thrives on its road and street courses. It is on the tricky road and street layouts where the turbocharged 750hp scream machines and the men that drive them get their opportunities to reach their limits, in a series where the top drivers gain status as some of the best in the world.

This season was no different in that regard as two of Champ Car's finest pilots have been recognized by the readers of RACER Magazine as the top road racers in the world. Series champion Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) was named as the Road Racer of the Year for 2004 in the March issue of the magazine, getting the nod over the winningest driver in Formula 1 history, Michael Schumacher.

Bourdais earned the award after a Champ Car season that saw him win his first series championship on the strength of seven wins and eight poles. He qualified in the top three for every race and also paced the series in laps led.

"This is a great honor, not only for myself, but the entire McDonald's and Newman/Haas Racing teams," Bourdais said. "I come from a road-racing background and it means a lot to me that the readers of RACER think highly enough of me, and highly enough of what it takes to win in Champ Car, to award me this honor."

Roshfrans Rookie of the Year A.J. Allmendinger (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) is only 23 years old but has already been officially 'retired' from an award category after dominating it for three seasons. RACER readers named the RuSPORT pilot as the Most Promising Road Racer of the Year for the third consecutive season, prompting magazine editors to remove his from consideration for the award in the future. The Californian won the award after winning a championship in the Barber Dodge Pro Series in 2002 and again after scoring the Toyota Atlantic title in 2003, and took the honor ahead of Scott Speed and Danica Patrick in 2004 after a Champ Car season in which he earned nine top-six finish and a pair of podiums.

"It is a very high honor for me to receive this award again and hopefully we can do well enough this year to be considered for even higher honors," Allmendinger said. "Our RuSPORT team is working very hard to take the next step toward championship contention and we hope to challenge Sebastien and everyone else in 2005. Thanks to all of the RACER magazine readers for this honor, it means a lot to me to receive the same honor that guys like Gil de Ferran, Greg Moore and Cristiano da Matta have gotten."

-ccws-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Sébastien Bourdais , Scott Speed , A.J. Allmendinger , Greg Moore , Danica Patrick , Cristiano da Matta