2004 CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES CHAMPION BOURDAIS GOT BEHIND THE WHEEL AS REIGNING SERIES CHAMPION FOR THE FIRST TIME AT THE CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY; JUNQUEIRA PARTICIPATED IN SECOND TEST IN PREPARATION FOR 2005 SEASON FONTANA, Calif. (March 7, 2005) --...
2004 CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES CHAMPION BOURDAIS GOT BEHIND THE WHEEL AS REIGNING SERIES CHAMPION FOR THE FIRST TIME AT THE CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY; JUNQUEIRA PARTICIPATED IN SECOND TEST IN PREPARATION FOR 2005 SEASON
FONTANA, Calif. (March 7, 2005) -- Reigning Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais got behind the wheel of his No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth Lola-Bridgestone race car for this first time since he clinched the title on November 7, 2004 for a two day test on the short road course at The California Speedway March 3-4. He was joined by his teammate, Bruno Junqueira, for the first day of testing in what was Junqueira's second test since the conclusion of the 2004 season where his consistency earned him a second place finish in the standings for the third consecutive time.
Bourdais was able to run approximately 150 miles on Thursday but Junqueira's one day test was cut short before the 50-mile mark due to an off track excursion that damaged suspension on his race car. Bourdais also had an off-track excursion on Thursday in the same location but was able to continue in his spare race car. The following day Bourdais ran less than 50 miles due to inclement weather.
"It was great to get back in the McDonald's car for the first time since November," said Bourdais who turned 26 on February 28. "I have raced in a buggy in the desert (SCORE Baja 1000), competed in the Race of Champions in France, and raced a sports car (Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona) and stock car in Daytona (IROC) but I have been looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the McDonald's Champ Car for a long time. The test was mostly to clear the dust off of everything including myself and the team and we accomplished that. I'm looking forward to the test in Sebring later this month."
"We found a couple of things that made the car quicker on the course and were able to set a time that was close to one we set the previous year in similar conditions," added Junqueira. "I think we made some progress but we won't know for sure how we stack up against everyone else until we get to Long Beach."
The Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season will begin on April 10 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The next test for the test will be on March 23-24 at Sebring International Raceway with Bourdais behind the wheel.
Newman/Haas Racing LLC, owned by actor/race car driver Paul Newman and racing entrepreneur Carl A. Haas, is the most successful team competing in the Champ Car World Series. The team will begin their 23rd season in Champ Car competition in 2005 and will attempt to score their sixth overall title after winning 82 races and 86 pole positions. Current drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira were preceded at the team by Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy, Christian Fittipaldi and Cristiano da Matta. For more information log on to www.newman-haas.com, www.brunojunqueira.com, www.sebastien-bourdais.com or www.champcarworldseries.com.