CHAMPCAR/CART: Las Vegas: Bridgestone race report

Bourdais Doubles Down for 2nd Straight Las Vegas Win In true Las Vegas fashion, Sebastien Bourdais overcame the odds not once but two times to win for the second consecutive year on the 1.5-mile oval and edge nearer to his second straight Champ...

Bourdais Doubles Down for 2nd Straight Las Vegas Win

In true Las Vegas fashion, Sebastien Bourdais overcame the odds not once but two times to win for the second consecutive year on the 1.5-mile oval and edge nearer to his second straight Champ Car World Series title.

Bourdais saw the shock cover on his McDonald's Ford/Lola on Bridgestone Potenza tires fly off just a quarter of the way through the 166-lap event, seriously affecting the handling. Then on lap 124, the Newman/Haas Racing driver ran into the back of race leader Paul Tracy when Tracy slowed suddenly with the intention of going to the pits. The contact sent Tracy into the wall and out of the race. Bourdais' car sustained front nose damage, but he continued and drove on to victory by 0.312 of a second over teammate Oriol Servia.

Afterward, Bourdais commended the performance of his Bridgestone tires, which held up well despite the loss of significant downforce with the loss of the shock cover. "The Bridgestone tires were fine at the beginning," Bourdais said, "but we were probably giving up 300 pounds of downforce when we lost the front deck (shock cover) on the car. I was wearing the tires quite quickly after that, yet they were still holding on quite well. It was fine."

Behind the Newman/Haas duo, Jimmy Vasser placed third in the PKV Racing/Gulfstream Ford/Lola/Bridgestone. Vasser, too, was pleased with the Potenzas' performance following his first podium finish of the season. "The Bridgestones held up great all day," Vasser said. "The tires were very consistent all day long; we didn't have any issues at all."

Quote from Joe Barbieri, Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport: "For the second straight year, the Champ Cars put on an incredible show at Las Vegas, with plenty of nail-biting racing and high drama. And for the second straight year, the Bridgestone tires played a big role in helping the drivers deliver that theater at 200 miles an hour. We came back to Vegas with a new compound specification this year and it performed as advertised, giving the drivers great wear and consistency. Sebastien's drive to victory tonight showed that even when pushed to the extremes, the Potenzas do the job. His car was way down on downforce for three-quarters of the race, yet he continued to run right up front at near-qualifying pace, lap after lap after lap. And the Bridgestone tires were with him every step of the way, all the way to victory lane."

Race temperatures ranged from 80 to 77 degrees track and from 80 to 77 degrees ambient (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 27 to 25 degrees track and from 27 to 25 degrees ambient (C).

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Sébastien Bourdais