Sebastien Bourdais employed his alternate Bridgestone Potenza tires early in the race, building a lead of more than eight seconds en route to his second victory of the 2004 season. Bourdais, running late in the race on the primary Bridgestone ...
Sebastien Bourdais employed his alternate Bridgestone Potenza tires early in the race, building a lead of more than eight seconds en route to his second victory of the 2004 season. Bourdais, running late in the race on the primary Bridgestone specification, was stalked all the way to the finish line by Newman/Haas Racing teammate Bruno Junqueira, who was running his final stint on a set of alternates. Junqueira, running out of time, cut the lead to just over one second before Bourdais took the checkered flag.
"The Bridgestone tires were great here. The regular tires were just fine, but the alternate tires were much better," said Bourdais. "Not only were they quicker, but they were durable as well. I was faster between three-tenths and five-tenths (of a second) from the middle to the end of the stint, so it was perfect."
"Bridgestone did a great job here," added Junqueira. "I was quite impressed with the alternate tires. I wish I'd had a chance to run those in qualifying, and I'd have been on the pole no problem. They were really awesome, and I think Bridgestone did a good job on that - I was lapping very fast at the end of the race."
This was the second time this season that Bridgestone brought an alternate tire for use in a Champ Car World Series event. The alternate tire features a softer compound than the primary tire specification, providing more grip and, in turn, faster performance. According to Champ Car regulations each team was issued two sets of alternate tires in addition to the six sets of primary spec tires received. Each car is required to utilize at least one set of alternates in the race.
Quote from Joe Barbieri, Project Supervisor, Bridgestone Motorsport: "We definitely saw a noticeable difference between the performance of the alternate spec as compared to the primary spec Bridgestone tires. We will certainly continue to work on improvements to the concept and hope to employ it again later in the season. Congratulations to both Sebastien and Bruno - they put on quite a show at the end and made this an exciting race for the Portland fans."
Race temperatures ranged from 132 to 135 degrees track and from 83 to 91 degrees ambient (F).
Race temperatures ranged from 55.5 to 57.2 degrees track and from 28.3 to 32.7 degrees ambient (C).