CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee: Bridgestone race report

Stellar Bridgestone performance in cold helps Jourdain to 1st win. Concerns over tire performance in the chilly Milwaukee evening proved unfounded as Michel Jourdain of Team Rahal drove hard all night long and came away with his first Champ Car...

Stellar Bridgestone performance in cold helps Jourdain to 1st win.

Concerns over tire performance in the chilly Milwaukee evening proved unfounded as Michel Jourdain of Team Rahal drove hard all night long and came away with his first Champ Car victory. Jourdain, in his eighth season, led a dominant 234 of the 250 laps around the historic Milwaukee Mile, celebrating its centennial this year.

Tonight's race marked the coldest temperatures the Bridgestone/Firestone motorsports program has faced since it entered Championship Auto Racing Teams competition in 1995, yet the tires were more than up to the challenge. Time after time on restarts and following pit stops, the drivers were able to get their Bridgestone Potenza race tires up to proper temperature and pressure quickly - despite track temperatures that dipped to 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) by the end of the race. The Potenzas drew rave reviews for their performance.

"The tires were just perfect," Jourdain said. "On cold tires, that was the concern, but they were just perfect. And they lasted perfect the whole stint. The engineers from Bridgestone told us to be careful on cold tires, but they build a much better tire than even they think they do."

"Michel went hard right from the first lap," said Team Rahal co-owner Bobby Rahal. "I was worried the way I saw him go into turn one. I thought if he gets through there, they (the Bridgestone tires) are pretty good, and they did a great job. The tires were super."

"Everybody was so worried about cold temperatures and the tires were fine," said second-place Oriol Servia of Visteon/Patrick Racing. "Even going out of the pits on cold tires, the first turn was a little slippery, but by the next turn there were already almost there. It was very progressive. I'm very impressed with the Bridgestones."

Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "Tonight posed another special challenge for the Bridgestone Potenzas. The temperatures were colder than we expected; the coldest that we've ever raced on in Champ Car competition. While it was a challenge for everyone, the cars at the front put on some incredible racing. Congratulations to Michel Jourdain and Team Rahal; they've been loyal members of our racing team for some time now and we're happy to see them in victory circle. Michel was hooked up all night and never seemed hampered by the cool temperatures or anything else."

Race temperatures ranged from 52 to 45 degrees track and from 52 to 47 degrees ambient (F).

Race temperatures ranged from 11 to 7 degrees track and from 11 to 8 degrees ambient (C).

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Oriol Servia , Michel Jourdain