BOURDAIS TURNS SUPERSPEEDWAY "HAT TRICK" WITH LOLA LAS VEGAS Sebastien Bourdais continues to belie his road racing heritage during a third superb year of Champ Car competition, earning his third straight superspeedway victory in the Champ Car ...
BOURDAIS TURNS SUPERSPEEDWAY "HAT TRICK" WITH LOLA
LAS VEGAS Sebastien Bourdais continues to belie his road racing heritage during a third superb year of Champ Car competition, earning his third straight superspeedway victory in the Champ Car Hurricane Relief 400 Saturday night on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway oval. In taking his second consecutive win on this track by 0.312 seconds from teammate Oriol Servia Bourdais padded his point lead over the Spaniard by 67 ducats (310-243) with three contests yet to run in the 14-race 2005 season.
The driver of Newman/Haas Racing's #1 McDonald's Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone racer led from the pole yet was passed on the seventh lap by 14th starter Paul Tracy (# Indeck-Forsythe Championship Racing Lola), who would pace the field for a race-leading 107 laps before customary contact between these two ended Tracy's day against the Turn 3 wall and foiled the 2003 champ's bid for a second title.
"It's not been a smooth ride," Bourdais acknowledged. "We lost the front hatch just before the first pit stop and the Lola wasn't as fast as we lost downforce." Staying behind Tracy to assuage the loss of a couple hundred pounds of downforce, "I had to just keep on my toes to just adjust the car. I would correct it all the time and it was a nerve-wracking race! This was a bumpy ride but, all-in-all a very good result for the team."
Servia led for six laps in his #2 PacifiCare Lola, calling the 166-lap contest "good fun." Saving fuel at the start in the hope of a later yellow, Servia's hopes went unrequited. "At the end it was impossible to overtake and Sebastien and I even touched wheels. I think both my sidepods were marked and it was pretty exciting at 200 miles per hour. It was a good race and I'm very happy for the team to be one-two again."
Jimmy Vasser scored his 32nd Champ Car podium in a stellar career with the #12 Gulfstream/PKV Racing Lola. Noting the team he co-owns "put the Lola together right with tight body fit to make it really slippery as possible, doing a lot of detail work," Vasser used their prowess to finish third from that starting position.
Mexican aces Mario Dominguez (#7 Indeck-Forsythe Lola) and Rodolfo Lavin (#55 HVM Lola) finished fourth and fifth respectively. Rookie Bjorn Wirdheim (#4 HVM Lola) had his best Champ Car finish in sixth place. Fifteen of 18 cars finished the race.
The Champ cars' next hurdle is the inaugural Champ Car World Grand Prix of Ansan on the Ansan, South Korea road course on 16 October.