CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Pre-event notes, schedule

NOTEWORTHY Since being founded in 1984 Dale Coyne Racing has been a fan favorite because of the heart the team has shown, but their results have never really shown the potential of the team. While in Europe it all changed as Bruno Junqueira...

NOTEWORTHY

Since being founded in 1984 Dale Coyne Racing has been a fan favorite because of the heart the team has shown, but their results have never really shown the potential of the team. While in Europe it all changed as Bruno Junqueira was one step of the podium away from winning at Zolder and followed that up at Assen by finishing third. Junqueira's European performance doubled the number of podiums Dale Coyne had earned in the previous 23 years. Before then the team had two third place runs, one with Oriol Servia in 2004 and one with Roberto Moreno in 1996. Junqueira added yet another podium finish to tally with a third place in Australia.

So far this season eleven different drivers have made their way to podium finishes in the Champ Car World Series. Three of those have been Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year candidates (Robert Doornbos, Neel Jani and Graham Rahal). Seven of them have been from Europe (Sebastien Bourdais, Dan Clarke, Robert Doornbos, Jan Heylen, Neel Jani, Oriol Servia, and Justin Wilson) Australia, Canada and Brazil have also been represented on the podium by Will Power, Paul Tracy and Bruno Junqueira respectively.

Every little point that a Champ Car driver can score during the weekend is important when it comes to the point chase. When looking at picking up every point he can, Sebastien Bourdais has it down to an art. This season he has collected 20 out of the 52 bonus points that have been available this season. In Champ Car bonus points are given for the driver posting the fastest lap in each qualifying session, recording the fastest race lap and improving the most positions during the race. Bourdais has collected 12 of his points during qualifying, but where he has really excelled is that he has recorded 8 out of the 13 points for the fastest lap of the race. Will Power is currently second in the fight for these valuable points gaining 7 in qualifying, 1 for recording the fastest race lap and 1 for improving most positions during a race.

By winning his 31st career pole position in Zolder, Sebastien Bourdais is currently sixth on the all time career pole position list. The only drivers that are ahead of him on the list are Michael Andretti (32), Rick Mears (40), Bobby Unser (49), A.J. Foyt (53), and Mario Andretti (67).

Sebastien Bourdais recorded his 30th career win in Australia, which places him in eighth on the all time race winner roster, one win short of tying Paul Tracy's 31 career wins. In all of those in the top ten the Frenchman has less than half of their starts at 72, meaning he has won over 40% of the races he has entered in Champ Car competition. As for podium finishes he currently has 43 which translates into him finishing on the podium in 60% of his Champ Car starts.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is named for the famous Mexican brothers Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez and was modeled after Italy's Formula One Monza track. The track got its name shortly after it opened when Ri-cardo Rodriguez tragically lost his life here in a non-title event (Ricardo's brother Pedro would also lose his life behind the wheel two years later). The circuit hosted its first Formula One Mexican Grand Prix one year later and remained part of the F1 calendar through 1970, when the track suffered serious crowd control problems and after the 1970 event the FIA refused to give the Mexicans a new World Championship date because they were unable to guarantee that the crowd would not invade the track. Champ Car made its first appearance on the circuit in 1980 and 1981, but did not return again until 2002. After the last F1 Mexican Grand Prix in 1992, a baseball sta-dium was built on part of the circuit, so when Champ Car series began coming to the track in 2002, it was partially bypassed by a series of sharp turns entering and exiting the baseball field and reentering the track.

BY THE NUMBERS

1962 -- The year the first race was ran at Autodromo Her-manos Rodriguez.

63 -- In 2004 Sebastien Bourdais led all 63 laps of the Mexico City race to capture his first cham-pionship title.

12 -- The least number of laps a winner in Mexico City has led (Kenny Brack, 2002).

17 -- The num-ber of turns on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez course.

6 -- The furthest back any driver has started and won the Grand Prix of Mexico City (Kenny Brack, 2002 and Rick Mears, 1981).

4 -- In four out of seven races the series champion has gone on to win the race.

4 -- The most times a yellow flag has flown during a Grand Prix in Mexico City.

3 -- Three drivers that call Mexico home have led laps during a Champ Car race in Mexico City (Michel Jourdain Jr., 2002; Adrian Fernandez, 2003; and Rodolfo Lavin 2005).

FAST FACTS GRAN PREMIO TECATE PRESENTADO POR BANAMEX

WHAT: Gran Premio Tecate Presentado por Banamex

WHERE: Mexico City, Mexico

WHEN: Friday--Sunday, November 9 -11

SUPPORT EVENTS: Campeonato Vintage - Vintage

CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9 -- 10:15 - 11:30 a.m., Champ Car practice; 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., Champ Car qualifying.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10 - 10:15 - 11:30 a.m., Champ Car practice; 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., Champ Car qualifying.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 - 9:00 - 9:30 a.m., Champ Car warmup; 1:00 p.m. GRAN PREMIO TECATE PRESENTADO POR BANAMEX

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE (Eastern Time):

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 - GRAN PREMIO TECATE PRESENTADO POR BANAMEX, ESPN2, 2:00 p.m. Live

2006 CHAMPION: Sebastien Bourdais

2005 POLESITTER: Justin Wilson

TRACK LAYOUT: 2.774-mile Permanent road course

RACE LENGTH: 66 laps (183.084 miles)

TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying (one lap) -- 2006, Justin Wilson, 1:24.801 seconds (117.763 mph). Race -- 2006, Sebastien Bourdais, 1:51:31.146 (98.504 mph) based on 66 laps (183.084 miles)

RACE ROUND: 14 of 14 in the 2007 Champ Car World Series.

-credit: ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Michael Andretti , Bruno Junqueira , Adrian Fernandez , Roberto Moreno , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Kenny Brack , Graham Rahal , Ricardo Rodríguez , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Bobby Unser , Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , Rodolfo Lavin , Neel Jani , Jan Heylen , Will Power , Daniel Clarke , Dale Coyne , A.J. Foyt , Michel Jourdain
Teams Dale Coyne Racing