CHAMP CAR POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT WITH SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, ORIOL SERVIA AND PAUL TRACY ERIC MAUK: All right, Ladies and Gentlemen, we'll go ahead and get started with our post race press conference for the inaugural West Edmonton...
CHAMP CAR POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT WITH SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, ORIOL SERVIA AND PAUL TRACY
ERIC MAUK: All right, Ladies and Gentlemen, we'll go ahead and get started with our post race press conference for the inaugural West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton, round seven of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. We will be joined by our top three finishers on the day today. Our third place finisher, driver of the #3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Forsythe Championship Racing, Paul Tracy. He led 30 laps on the day. Has now led 3,999 laps in his Champ Car career.
PAUL TRACY: One more is all I needed.
ERIC MAUK: Earns his fifth podium of the year, the 67th of his career. Paul, pretty wild day for you today. Tell us a little bit about how you feel about it.
PAUL TRACY: Well, it's kind of a mixed day today. We started off the race really well. My goal was to get ahead of Justin (Wilson) at the start. We went side by side through turn one. I got ahead of him through the chicane. Then we got to the tight corner, a right-hander. He stuffed it down the inside of me over the curb. I didn't see him until the last second. I turned in. We locked up wheels. I almost slid into the tire barrier. I got out across in front of him to the next corner. Really set after AJ. Saving fuel. I was surprised. I thought that, you know, he would be quicker than that. My car seemed to be handling well. For whatever reason, Justin was long gone. We kind of dropped him.
We came up on the first real round of back markers, and he (A.J.) went to dive inside somebody and locked the brake up and made a small mistake and ran wide at the long hairpin. I was able to drive down the inside and get around him. Really, was about to pull away, just start to edge away from him, and then the yellow came out. Second stint, went on to blacks. The car was good for the first few laps. I just -- I locked the brake really badly and flat-spotted the tire. It just compounded itself. I kept continually locking it. Locked an outside front, flat-spotted that one. The rear tires started to go away, and I really started to struggle.
You know, both AJ and Justin got by me. They just left me. I thought, "Okay, well." They were quick all weekend, so we'll try to hang on to third. My tires went away so bad, we had to pit early. When I came out, I got behind -- came out of the pits behind Marcus Marshall. He was going three seconds a lap slower than what I was doing earlier. He wouldn't let me by for six, seven laps. He didn't want to let me go. Ultimately I tried to pass him and spun when I was trying to pass him. That pretty much relegated us to where we were at. We got lucky in the end with AJ and Justin spinning out. Ended up back on the podium.
ERIC MAUK: Talk a little bit about the tremendous support from the Edmonton people and the people of Alberta in this inaugural event. Huge crowd out here today.
PAUL TRACY: People were saying over the winter this wasn't a place to have a race; it should have been another venue or in Vancouver. This is the biggest-attended race that I think Canada has ever had. It's an unbelievable event. Greg (MacDonald) has done a great job, the promoter, did all the promotion. The guy's a hard worker. He's done a great job up here. I have to applaud the whole City of Edmonton for everything they've done for our sport, for Champ Car.
ERIC MAUK: Congratulations on the result today. Our race runner-up, driver of the #2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Newman/Haas Racing, Oriol Servia. Oriol led a pair of laps on the day, scores his fourth podium finish in the last five races, the ninth podium of his career. Perhaps even more importantly he moved up another spot in the points, now fourth in the points. Oriol, another strong run for you. How do you feel?
ORIOL SERVIA: I'm actually quite happy. In Toronto, you saw I wasn't that happy with my second place because for a while I thought I was going to win it. This one, I mean, all weekend we were almost up there, but definitely the RuSPORT guys were faster. I mean, during the race I knew was going to be a little bit of a survival game. Mistake-free was definitely probably going to bring me a podium, me starting fourth. This is what happened.
At the end, me and Sebastien were very close. Obviously, I wasn't going to try anything stupid. He did a mistake-free all those laps in front of me so I had nothing to do. I'm just very happy to finish second. Strong result for the PacifiCare car.
ERIC MAUK: You were in second those last few laps. Like you said, you didn't want to do anything stupid, but still you were on the 'push to pass'.
ORIOL SERVIA: Well, looks like I always get to the end with too much 'push to pass', you know. I wanted to put some pressure on Sebastien. Again, as I said, if he was going to make a mistake, I was going to take advantage of it, but not trying anything stupid. But he didn't. He did some very clean laps at the end, very fast. It was a good result.
ERIC MAUK: Congratulations. The winner of the inaugural West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton, our series points leader, the defending Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford champion, driver of the #1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Newman/Haas Racing, Sebastien Bourdais. Sebastien led 12 laps on the day, earning his 12th career win. That ties him for 18th all time, ties him with Cristiano da Matta. His second win of the year, 20th podium of his career. As well, he has reached 12 Champ Car wins in just 39 starts, making him the fastest driver in terms of starts ever to win 12 Champ Car races. Alex Zanardi won 12 in 41 starts back in the late '90s. Sebastien, not the way you're used to winning them, but a win is a win. How do you feel?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Feels great. Just feels great. If there's one point and one moment to be up there in the media center, it's at the end of the race. I can't be any happier than that. As Paul said, it's been a first-class event. Just pure joy to be winning this first race here. I really couldn't believe it when I saw under yellow Justin spinning in front of me and then AJ making a really small mistake. It was just as it has been for me on Friday in qualifying, just brushed the wall. It clipped, I guess, the valve or something, put him a flat tire, he couldn't make the next corner. I know how it feels to chase your first win and not achieve that. It happened to me the first two starts in 2003. I'm sure he's devastated. He probably deserved this one, he was fast all weekend long. You know, we just pretty much collected ourselves today and just made a mistake-free race, just took the benefits of everybody's mistakes. That was just unbelievable.
ORIOL SERVIA: Wasn't easy not to do mistakes. Don't get us wrong. It was so easy. So easy. Even in qualifying -- sorry to interrupt. To put three laps together, it was really hard. It was really, really hard not to make one today, really difficult. It's really challenging track. I think the most challenging place I ever been.
Continued in part 2