PACIFICARE DRIVER SERVIA FINISHED THIRD IN THE TIME WARNER CABLE ROAD RUNNER 225 AT THE MILWAUKEE MILE; McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS DROPPED TO SIXTH AFTER PIT SPEED PENALTY - PacifiCare driver Oriol Servia drove to his sixth career podium finish...
PACIFICARE DRIVER SERVIA FINISHED THIRD IN THE TIME WARNER CABLE ROAD RUNNER 225 AT THE MILWAUKEE MILE; McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS DROPPED TO SIXTH AFTER PIT SPEED PENALTY
- PacifiCare driver Oriol Servia drove to his sixth career podium finish with a third place in the originally scheduled 225-lap Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 at the legendary Milwaukee Mile. Servia was brought in to replace Bruno Junqueira who was injured in a crash in last weekend's Indy 500 for Milwaukee. Newman/Haas Racing has had limited success in recent years on the legendary Milwaukee Mile but the team made big gains on Saturday to have both cars run competitively at the front.
Servia started from his ninth place qualifying position but moved into eighth place on the second lap and held the position through the first caution period for Ryan Hunter-Reay's crash and moved into seventh place on Lap 38 when he passed Cristiano da Matta. He moved into third place as others made their first stops before he pitted two laps later on Lap 74. The team had made a tire pressure adjustment to improve the handling of his race car and performed a flawless pit stop.
He returned to the track and moved into sixth place once the pit cycle was complete and into fifth place on Lap 86 when temporary race leader Ronnie Bremer made his out of sequence pit stop. He held the position until his second pit stop on Lap 130 when the majority of the field stopped during the caution period to remove the car of Andrew Ranger who crashed while trying to avoid the slow car of Mario Dominguez. During the stop a crewman had a problem with one of the nuts in the wheel gun and the stop was slightly delayed although Servia regained his position one he returned to the track.
When the race went green again on Lap 138 Servia passed Bourdais for fourth place and began to slightly pull away for the ensuing laps before Bourdais closed the gap again later. He held second place until he closed on Justin Wilson and passed the Englishman for third place on Lap 172. On Lap 191 Champ Car declared the event to be a timed one rather than the originally scheduled 225 laps and that the event would continue for 15 minutes or 33 laps. On Lap 200 Servia made his third pit stop and returned to the track and regained third place once the pit cycle was complete. He held the position through a final restart from a caution for debris and earned 25 points for his third place finish and moved from 13th in the point standings to sixth with a total of 48 to leader Bourdais' 77. After starting fifth, Paul Tracy took the lead of the race on Lap 17 and controlled the event between pit stops to earn his fourth win here.
Following are Servia's post race comments:
"It was easy, the team made this so easy," said Servia. "It was a great car and we had great stops so the team made it easy for me. I'm very happy I had a chance in the PacifiCare car this weekend. We had a very good car and I'm happy I was able to deliver. The team was happy and I want to be back in the car, it is a really good car. The PacifiCare car was going forward, forward, forward and I was just a passenger. Bruno deserved a win but I tried. We improved the car for the race. I don't think we were the fastest but we kept moving forward and that was important. Maybe if there were 100 more laps I could have gone for the win but I am extremely happy. I really enjoyed every minute."
- McDonald's driver Sebastien Bourdais took the points lead with his sixth place finish in today's originally scheduled 225 lap Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 but was disappointed with the lack of a podium finish due to speeding in the pits on his third and final stop and incurring a drive through penalty that caused him to go one lap down to the leaders.
At the start of the race that was ultimately declared a two-hour timed event, tenth place starter Mario Dominguez passed Bourdais. He continued to run in seventh place through the first caution period for Ryan Hunter-Reay who made hard contact but was taken to a local hospital for a CT Scan and was ultimately released. On Lap 38 Bourdais passed Cristiano da Matta for sixth place and held the position until he passed Mario Dominguez for fifth on Lap 52. He held fifth until his first pit stop on Lap 72 where the team performed a flawless pit stop that included a tire pressure change.
He returned to the race in 12th place but moved back into fifth once the field completed their stops. Once temporary leader Ronnie Bremer made his out-of-sequence stop, Bourdais moved into fourth place which he held until his second pit stop on Lap 130 during the caution period to remove the crashed car of Andrew Ranger who lost control while trying to avoid the slow car of Mario Dominguez. The McDonald's crew performed a quick stop as well as added one turn of front wing and a slight tire pressure adjustment and he returned to the track in fourth place which he held until Lap 139 when he was passed by his Milwaukee teammate, Oriol Servia, for position after the restart from yellow. He remained in fifth place until Lap 183 when he passed Justin Wilson, whom he had been reeling in for the recent laps.
On Lap 191, the series announced that rather than the scheduled 225 laps the event would be declared a timed one and there would be 15 minutes or 33 laps remaining. He held fourth place until his third pit stop on Lap 199. The team performed another quick stop and Bourdais beat previous second place runner A.J. Allmendinger out of the pits by a safe margin. Once back on track on Lap 202 the Champ Car officials declared that Bourdais had entered the pits at 55 mph rather than the 50 mph speed limit and he had to serve a drive through penalty. He returned to the track in sixth place, one lap down to the race leader and ultimately finished in the same position. He collected 19 points for his finish and moved from second place into the points lead with a season total of 77 to second place Justin Wilson's 70.
Following are his post-race comments:
"The McDonald's car was better than any I have had here before," said Bourdais. "Unfortunately it was for nothing because we got the pit speed penalty. The brakes were completely absent through the race and I had to pump the pedal coming in to the pits but I forgot on the last stop and crossed the line at 55 mph. I know better than that and I am mad at myself because we missed the chance at a podium. We passed A.J. by a good margin coming out of the pits and he ended up finishing second. We improved the car throughout the race; the team did a great job. It's frustrating because we had a car to be right there and fight until the end."
- Up Next...Round 4 will take place in two weeks at Portland International Raceway where Bourdais drove to victory last year from pole and Junqueira was the provisional pole sitter and finished second.