CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Season finale preview

Adios & Au Revoir! Champ Car Finishes Season, Bourdais His Champ Car Career, in Mexico This Weekend Local faves Dominguez and Martinez to stir home crowd passion Four-time Champ Bourdais to compete in final Champ Car race Wilson and Doornbos...

Adios & Au Revoir! Champ Car Finishes Season, Bourdais His Champ Car Career, in Mexico This Weekend

Local faves Dominguez and Martinez to stir home crowd passion
Four-time Champ Bourdais to compete in final Champ Car race
Wilson and Doornbos will battle for second place in final season standings

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (November 6, 2007) - The Champ Car World Series concludes an intriguing season in Mexico City while four-time Series champion Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) wraps up his Champ Car career in what's certain to be an emotional season finale.

The Gran Premio TECATE Presented by Banamex at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez also will feature two popular Mexican drivers looking to stir the local fanbase while Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Robert Doornbos (#14 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) do battle for second place in the season standings and unofficial designation of pre-season "favorite" to capture next year's Vanderbilt Cup.

While the moves of Mario Dominguez (#28 TECATE Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and David Martinez (#7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) will be closely monitored in Mexico, other eyes will turn to the battle for second place between Wilson and Doornbos.

The competition between the two at the 2.774-mile permanent road course promises to be fierce as both drivers gained some momentum at the last race. RuSPORT's Wilson, who spent most of the season sitting in fourth place, moved ahead of Minardi Team USA's Doornbos in the standings thanks to his win in Assen, Holland, in front of Doornbos' home crowd. The Briton then increased his lead with a podium finish in Australia. His recent success and his past performances in Mexico City (one win, a second and two poles) place him as the favorite to claim the title of runner-up, but to do so he will have to face the charges of the "Flying Dutchman."

Doornbos started the season with podiums in six of nine races, including two wins (Mont-Tremblant and San Jose). A couple of difficult races in Europe put him out of contention for the Championship title, but a strong run at Surfers Paradise put him back in the fight for "second-best." His run from 14th to fourth in Australia helped him clinch the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year Award and increased his lead in the BBS Hard Charger standings to 11. The BBS Hard Charger Award will be given to the driver who gains the most positions from his qualifying position at each race over the course of the season.

Expect a fierce battle for the prestigious race title as all drivers want to end the season on the podium. Additionally, while Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) can still hope to take third place in the season standings away from Doornbos, the Australian is caught up in a fierce fight for fourth with five drivers still able to reach him. Fortunately for Power, he has received clearance from Champ Car medical officials to race in Mexico City after sustaining two hairline fractures to his left wrist in Australia. Armed with a special carbon fiber brace that he will have the chance to test with extra on-track time prior to Friday morning practice, the Team Australia driver will be able to defend his championship position.

Rookie Graham Rahal (#2 Medi|Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) is his closest competitor in fifth place, 14 points behind with 220. Rahal has scored four podium finishes this season and also is battling with PKV Racing's Neel Jani (#21 Red Bull-Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and former Champ Car Atlantic rival Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) of Team Australia for second place in the rookie of the year standings. Both Jani and Pagenaud have been consistent throughout the season, but Jani, who leads the French rookie by five markers, has climbed onto the podium three times while Pagenaud still searches for his first top-three finish.

Sitting between the two rookies in seventh place with 216 points is veteran Bruno Junqueira (#19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth DP01/Bridgestone), who has given Dale Coyne Racing its best-ever string of results with three podium finishes in the last three races. With 100 starts under his belt, the Brazilian has finished on the podium 34 times.

While some will be looking to improve their position in the final standings, Bourdais of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing will be soaking it all in as he competes in his final Champ Car World Series race before moving on to pursue his dream of Formula 1. The first driver to win four consecutive Championships in Champ Car history would like nothing more than to end his Champ Car career the same way he usually ends all his races--with a victory. Bourdais has always had much success at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with two wins and a second place in the last four races.

With Bourdais saying his final goodbyes and on-track battles that promise to be even more exciting with an extra 50 hp on the Power-to-Pass, the crowd is in for quite a treat. But what the Mexican fans would love is to see one of their own come home with the big prize. Pacific Coast Motorsports' Dominguez will be making his sixth appearance in Mexico City aboard a Champ Car. Dominguez's best finish in his home race came in 2003 when he climbed onto the third step of the podium.

As for fellow Mexican Martinez, he will be making his second start in Mexico City driving for Forsythe Championship Racing, after having made his Champ Car debut at the road course in 2006, starting and finishing ninth. Spectators present at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will also get the chance to follow Champ Car Atlantic driver David Garza, who recently signed on with Forsythe Championship Racing's Atlantic team, as he makes some demonstration laps aboard a Formula BMW Americas car over the course of the weekend.

The first round of qualifying for the Gran Premio TECATE Presented by Banamex, Round 14 of 14 on the Champ Car World Series schedule, takes place Friday, Nov. 9, at 2 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET). The final grid will be set on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m. local (3 p.m. ET). The race goes green at 1 p.m. local time and will be broadcast live in the U.S. on ESPN2 on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 2 p.m. ET. TV Azteca will broadcast the race in Mexico on a one-hour tape delay at 3 p.m. ET.

-credit: ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Bruno Junqueira , Graham Rahal , Mario Dominguez , Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , David Martinez , Neel Jani , Will Power , David Garza , Dale Coyne
Teams Dale Coyne Racing