CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Pre-race notes, schedule

DID YOU KNOW? Located 83 km from Brisbane, Surfers Paradise holds a special place in the iconography of the Gold Coast. The first occupants of the area, the Banjalang people - knew of the delights of the area long before Europeans arrived, as...

DID YOU KNOW?

Located 83 km from Brisbane, Surfers Paradise holds a special place in the iconography of the Gold Coast. The first occupants of the area, the Banjalang people - knew of the delights of the area long before Europeans arrived, as the area around Surfers was renowned for its excellent fishing grounds. The coastline was explored by Captain Cook in 1770, marking the first European in the area and then by John Oxley in 1799 and 1802. The origins of the modern town of Surfers Paradise dates back to 1923 when James Cavill paid £40 for a block of land and proceeded to build his famous Surfers Paradise Hotel. Two years later the bridge across the Nerang River was built improving access to the hotel which boasted a small zoo and excellent gardens. In 1933 locals encouraged by the success of the hotel, petitioned to have the name of Southport changed to something which evoked undiluted pleasure, thus the name Surfers Paradise started being used. During World War II the hotel was used by convalescing soldiers, some of whom later returned with their wives and families to enjoy the beach and the excellent climate

NOTE WORTHY

Since being founded in 1984 Dale Coyne Racing has been a fan favorite because of the heart the team has shown, but their results have never really shown the potential of the team. While in Europe it all changed as Bruno Junqueira was one step of the podium away from winning at Zolder and followed that up at Assen by finishing third. Junqueira's European performance doubled the number of podiums Dale Coyne had earned in the previous 23 years. Before then the team had two third place runs, one with Oriol Servia in 2004 and one with Roberto Moreno in 1996.

So far this season eleven different drivers have made their way to podium finishes in the Champ Car World Series. Three of those have been Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year candidates (Robert Doornbos, Neel Jani and Graham Rahal). Seven of them have been from Europe (Sebastien Bourdais, Dan Clarke, Robert Doornbos, Jan Heylen, Neel Jani, Oriol Servia, and Justin Wilson) Australia, Canada and Brazil have also been represented on the podium by Will Power, Paul Tracy and Bruno Junqueira respectively.

Every little point that a Champ Car driver can score during the weekend is important when it comes to the point chase. When looking at picking up every point he can, Sebastien Bourdais has it down to an art. This season he has collected 20 out of the 48 bonus points that have been available this season. In Champ Car bonus points are given for the driver posting the fastest lap in each qualifying session, recording the fastest race lap and improving the most positions during the race. Bourdais has collected 12 of his points during qualifying, but where he has really excelled is that he has recorded 8 out of the 12 points for the fastest lap of the race. Will Power is currently second in the fight for these valuable points gaining 6 in qualifying, 1 for recording the fastest race lap and 1 for improving most positions during a race.

Rookie competitor Robert Doornbos has logged more laps than any other driver in the Champ Car World Series and is the only driver who has been running at the end of every event. Out of the 893 laps that have been run this season, the Dutchman has completed 883 of those. Fellow rookie Simon Pagenaud is second on this list recording 866 laps. The rest of the top five in completed laps include: Neel Jani (854), Alex Tagliani (840) and Will Power (837).

By winning his 31st career pole position in Zolder, Sebastien Bourdais is currently sixth on the all time career pole position list. The only drivers that are ahead of him on the list are Michael Andretti (32), Rick Mears (40), Bobby Unser (49), A.J. Foyt (53), and Mario Andretti (67).

Sebastien Bourdais recorded his 29th career win in Belgium, which places him in eighth on the all time race winner roster, tied with Rick Mears. In all of those in the top ten the Frenchman has less than half of their starts at 71, meaning he has won over 40% of the races he has entered in Champ Car competition. As for podium finishes he currently has 42 which translates into him finishing on the podium in 60% of his Champ Car starts.

BY THE NUMBERS

316,459 -- The attendance record for Australia set during the 2005 race weekend.

17 -- The furthest back any driver has come back to win from in Surfers Paradise (Adrian Fernandez, 2000).

9 -- The most official lead changes to be recorded in an Australian Champ Car race (set in 2006).

8 -- The highest number of drivers to lead laps during a race in Surfers Paradise (2006).

9 -- The record for cautions during the Lexmark Indy 300 (2003).

3 -- How many times the winner has started from the pole position in Surfers Paradise (Nigel Mansel, 1993; Jimmy Vasser, 1996; Dario Franchitti, 1999).

1 -- How many times the Australian Champ Car race has been run caution free.

FAST FACTS

WHAT: Lexmark Indy 300

WHERE: Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia

WHEN: Friday--Sunday, October 19-21

SUPPORT EVENTS: V8 Supercars, V8 Utes, Aussie Racing Cars, Carrera Cup

CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19
10:00 - 11:15 a.m., Champ Car practice
1:55 - 2:55 p.m., Champ Car qualifying.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20
10:00--11:15 a.m., Champ Car practice
2:00 - 3:00 p.m., Champ Car qualifying.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21
9:00 - 9:30 a.m., Champ Car warmup
1:25 p.m. LEXMARK INDY 300

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE (Eastern Time): SUNDAY, OCTOBER 21 - Lexmark Indy 300, ESPN Classic, 11:30 p.m. Live

2006 CHAMPION: Nelson Philippe
2005 POLESITTER: Will Power

TRACK LAYOUT: 2.795-mile street course
RACE LENGTH: 59 laps (164.905 miles)

TRACK RECORDS:
Qualifying (one lap) -- 2002, Cristiano da Matta, 1:30.936 seconds (111.547 mph).
Race -- 2001, Cristiano da Matta, 1:51:47.260 (97.511 mph) based on 65 laps (181.675 miles)

RACE ROUND: 13 of 14 in the 2007 Champ Car World Series.

2007 CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES POINTS LEADERS: 1, Sebastien Bourdais, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, 301; 2, Justin Wilson, RuSPORT, 243; 3, Robert Doornbos, Minardi Team USA, 238 4, Will Power, Team Australia, 228; 5, Graham Rahal,

-credit: ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Adrian Fernandez , Roberto Moreno , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Graham Rahal , Mario Andretti , Rick Mears , Bobby Unser , Sébastien Bourdais , Robert Doornbos , Nelson Philippe , Neel Jani , Jan Heylen , Will Power , Daniel Clarke , Simon Pagenaud , Dale Coyne , A.J. Foyt , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Dale Coyne Racing