Bourdais Races Mistake-Free to Win Inaugural Edmonton Race The intense grip from his Bridgestone tires admittedly wore down Sebastien Bourdais, but the reigning series champion and 2005 points leader soldiered on and drove to victory today.
Bourdais Races Mistake-Free to Win Inaugural Edmonton Race
The intense grip from his Bridgestone tires admittedly wore down Sebastien Bourdais, but the reigning series champion and 2005 points leader soldiered on and drove to victory today. Starting 10th, the Newman/Haas Racing driver had worked patiently for a top-five finish, but mistakes plagued other front-runners and Bourdais took the lead on the 80th of 88 laps around the temporary circuit constructed at Edmonton City Centre Airport.
Bourdais put his McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires across the finish line 0.596 of a second ahead of teammate Oriol Servia, who drove the PacifiCare Ford/Lola/Bridgestone to its fourth podium finish in five races since joining the team. It is the second victory of the 2005 season for Bourdais and 12th of his 2-year Champ Car career -- all the wins coming on Bridgestone tires.
"I would have been pretty happy with just a top-five," Bourdais admitted. "I was just hanging in there, trying not to make any mistakes. At the end they all made mistakes; I don't know, maybe they were tired. What a race! I just can't qualify this one. To be honest, the steering wheel started to be very, very heavy and I tried to keep some strength for the end. The Bridgestone tires were really fantastic; they had too much grip at the end and I was not able to use it all. I'm sure we need to work a little on the set-up to make it a bit easier to drive."
"The first half of the race was really tough," Servia said, "but the second half of the race was quite good. The car got better the more laps we ran, so I'm happy. The Bridgestone tires were very good, very stable. The fastest laps were always at the end of the run, the tires were not getting too hot when the tires were old, so I was really happy the way the Bridgestones held on the whole race."
Quote from Joe Barbieri, Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport: "What a race and what an event! That was certainly an unexpected finish but we commend Sebastien, Oriol and the Newman/Haas team for persevering until the race came to them. Both the Bridgestone standard and alternate tires held up very well today under tough conditions that saw drivers running at near-qualifying pace almost all day long. Since this was the first actual use of the Potenzas on this track, we're very pleased with their performance. We can't wait to return to Edmonton in 2006. The crowds were huge all weekend; they were enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. From the Bridgestone perspective, the grand prix here was an unqualified success."
Race session temperatures ranged from 90 to 100 degrees track and from 77
to 79 degrees ambient (F).
Race session temperatures ranged from 32 to 38 degrees track and from 25 to 26 degrees ambient (C).