FAST FACTS G.I. JOE'S PRESENTS CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND WHAT: G.I. Joe's Presents Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland WHERE: Portland International Raceway, Portland, Oregon WHEN: Friday--Sunday, June 16-18 SUPPORT EVENTS: Champ...
G.I. JOE'S PRESENTS CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND
WHAT: G.I. Joe's Presents Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland
WHERE: Portland International Raceway, Portland, Oregon
WHEN: Friday--Sunday, June 16-18
SUPPORT EVENTS: Champ Car Atlantic, Formula Ford 2000, US Touring Car Series
CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local): FRIDAY, JUNE 16 -- 9:15--10:00 a.m., Atlantic practice; 10:15--11:30 a.m., Champ Car practice; 1:15--1:45 p.m., Atlantic qualifying; 2:00--3:00 p.m., Champ Car qualifying.
SATURDAY, JUNE 17 - 9:20--10:00 a.m., Atlantic practice; 10:15--11:15 a.m., Champ Car practice; 1:00--1:30 p.m., Atlantic qualifying; 1:45--2:45 p.m., Champ Car qualifying; 5:00--5:15 p.m., Atlantic final practice; 5:30--6:00 p.m., Champ Car final practice.
SUNDAY, JUNE 18 - 10:00--11:00 a.m., Atlantic race; 12:30 p.m., G.I. JOE'S PRESENTS CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND
U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE (Eastern Time): SUNDAY, JUNE 18 -- G.I. Joe's Presents Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland, 3:30 p.m. CBS Sports (live)
2005 CHAMPION: Cristiano da Matta
2005 POLESITTER: Justin Wilson
TRACK LAYOUT: 1.964-mile road course
RACE LENGTH: 105 laps (206.220 miles)
TRACK RECORDS: Qualifying (one lap) -- 2005, Justin Wilson, 57.597 seconds (122.756 mph). Race -- 2005, Cristiano da Matta, 1:51:51.404 (110.616 mph) based on 105 laps (206.220 miles)
RACE ROUND: 5 of 15 in the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.
2006 CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES POINTS LEADERS: 1, Sebastien Bourdais, Newman/Haas Racing, 136; 2, Justin Wilson, RuSPORT, 105; 3, Andrew Ranger, Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing, 75; 4, Mario Dominguez, Forsythe Championship Racing and A.J. Allmendinger, RuSPORT, 69.
INSTANT REPLAY: Cristiano da Matta scored his first victory since returning to the Champ Car World Series as well as the maiden win for PKV Racing by taking the checkered flag in Portland. He used a creative pit strategy to get to the front, then ran away from the field, besting second-placed Sebastien Bourdais by more than 10 seconds. Da Matta had a fast car but had been bottled up in the middle of the field, so the team called him into the pits much earlier than the rest of the field, in order to get him some clear track. The plan worked perfectly as he paced 50 of the day's 105 laps in taking victory. His success came at the expense of Justin Wilson, who started from pole and led 43 of the first 45 laps of the day before a failed oil pump ended his effort. Bourdais lengthened his points lead by finishing second while Paul Tracy earned the final step on the podium.
VITAL RACE STATISTICS
Time of Race: 1:51:51.404
Average Speed: 110.616 mph
Margin of Victory: 10.128 seconds
Caution Flags: One for five laps
Lap Leaders, Da Matta, 50; Wilson, 43; Bourdais, 7; Tracy, 5.
By winning in Milwaukee, Sebastien Bourdais became the first driver since A.J. Foyt (1964) to win the first four races of a season. Cristiano da Matta is the last Champ Car driver to win four consecutive Champ Car races, doing in 2002 on his way to the series championship.
Sebastien Bourdais earned his 20th career Champ Car victory in just his 49th career starts with a win in Milwaukee. The feat obliterates the former record of 79 starts to reach 20 wins, held by A.J. Foyt. Mario Andretti (80), Tony Bettenhausen (96) and Rick Mears (97) are the only other drivers to reach 20 wins in their 100 starts.
There has not been a repeat polewinner in Portland since Emerson Fittipaldi went back-to-back in 1991-92. In fact, Fittipaldi and Danny Sullivan are the only drivers to win more than one pole in Portland.
A.J. Foyt and Al Unser Sr. are the only drivers ever to win five consecutive Champ Car events. Foyt (1964) and Unser (1970) each won the series championship after winning five straight although Unser did not run the title the first time he strung five together, finishing third in the 1968 championship despite the five straight wins.
Paul Tracy is expected to make his 128th consecutive Champ Car start this weekend, a string that is 10th on the all-time list. Directly ahead of him are Gil de Ferran (129) and Mauricio Gugelmin (130)
Katherine Legge set a new Champ Car high for best finish by a female driver with a sixth-place finish in Milwaukee. She also became the first female driver ever to lead laps in the 97-year history of the series.
Alex Tagliani is expected to return to action after seeing his streak of 107 consecutive starts snapped in Milwaukee. Tagliani was sidelined after an accident in Saturday practice at the Milwaukee Mile.
Bruno Junqueira's win in Monterrey last season gave him victories in each of his first five seasons as a Champ Car driver. A win this season would make the Newman/Haas Racing pilot the first driver since Bobby Rahal (1982-87) to earn wins in each of his first six years in the series.