CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES DRIVERS TO CHASE MEMORIES AT ROAD AMERICA This weekend's race to mark 25th edition of Champ Car racing at Elkhart Lake's historic road course One of the most fabled tracks in the United States, Road America is ...
CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES DRIVERS TO CHASE MEMORIES AT ROAD AMERICA
This weekend's race to mark 25th edition of Champ Car racing at Elkhart Lake's historic road course
One of the most fabled tracks in the United States, Road America is probably one of the circuits where the drivers of the Champ Car World Series share the most memories. At this year's 25th edition of the Generac Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America, some drivers will be re-visiting some good and some bad memories, while others will try to create some of their own.
Looking to create some good memories of Elkhart Lake and regain the point in the Championship standings will be Dutchman Robert Doornbos (#14 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone), who scored his second victory this season in San Jose two weeks ago. Sitting only 10 points behind Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone), Doornbos has finished on the podium in six out of nine races and has completed the most laps with 763 of the 17-driver field.
Team Australia's Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) will also be looking to make his trip to Wisconsin a memorable one. In his rookie season last year, the Australian only managed a 13th place finish, one lap down, but this time around promises to be different as the driver who sits third in the points standings topped the first day of testing at Road America in June.
Sitting atop the charts on the second day of that two-day test was championship leader Bourdais, who has yet to win in Road America. Last year in Elkhart Lake, Bourdais was on the verge of clinching his third consecutive championship. This year, the Frenchman is caught in a three-way battle for the title. The top-three drivers are within 24 points of each other and each have won multiple times this year, splitting all but one victory amongst themselves.
The only other driver to win this season is Canadian Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who is amongst only three active Champ Car drivers who have won at Road America. The other drivers are Alex Tagliani (#8 RSPORTS Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Bruno Junqueira (#19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who both earned their first Champ Car win at the fabled track.
A total of seven Champ Car drivers have scored their maiden victory in Elkhart Lake, including drivers such as Jacques Villeneuve and Christian Fittipaldi. This season, rookies Graham Rahal (#2 Medi |Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and Neel Jani (#21 Red Bull /Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) of PKV Racing, who have each climbed onto the podium more than once this year, will be gunning to add their name to the illustrious list of first-time winners.
Also looking to put his name on that last is the driver who probably has the best memory of Elkhart Lake. Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) of Team Australia clinched the Champ Car Atlantic Championship and the $2 million dollar bonus there last season, in what was the season finale for the Atlantic Series. This year, the Frenchman is still looking to etch in his memory, not only his first win, but his first Champ Car podium. Having collected four top five finishes in the last five races, the rookie is only a step away, especially after being quick in testing at the historic track back in June.
At the other end of the spectrum in the memories category, Katherine Legge (#11 Dale Coyne Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) may have the worst memory of the 4.048-mile permanent road course following her spectacular crash last year, that fortunately left her unscathed. Right there in the middle, is Dan Clarke (#4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who captured his first series pole in 2006 and who would like to add a first career win to his resume.
Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) will be looking to bounce back after some bad luck hit him in San Jose where he started on pole position. The Briton's car will be sporting a "Stay Back" on the rear face of the upper rear wing, advising his fellow competitors to keep their distance after contact from behind put him 20 laps down.
The No. 34 car of Jan Heylen (#34 Grafiprint Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) will have a completely different look this weekend as it will shed it's black livery for a green and white paint scheme representing the colors of new primary sponsor Grafiprint. The Belgian has built some momentum in the last two races earning back-to-back top ten finishes.
The Champ Cars will hit the track for the first round of qualifying at 5:30 PM Central Time and return to set the final grid on Saturday in the second round of qualifying at 2:00 PM Central Time. The 25th edition of the Generac Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America will go green at 2:00 PM Central Time and can be seen live on ABC.