CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Bridgestone race report

Bourdais Makes It Three in a Row and Four for 2004 Sebastien Bourdais of Newman/Haas Racing started up front and avoided the mishaps behind him all day, driving away to his third consecutive victory of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car...

Bourdais Makes It Three in a Row and Four for 2004

Sebastien Bourdais of Newman/Haas Racing started up front and avoided the mishaps behind him all day, driving away to his third consecutive victory of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season. It is also the second-year Champ Car driver's fourth win of the year and seventh of his young career (all on Bridgestone tires), and propelled him into the season points lead.

Bourdais, piloting the McDonald's Ford/Lola on Bridgestone Potenzas, led 75 of 84 laps in a race shortened by the time limit. The 25-year-old was never threatened when he ran out front, charging across the finish line 1.396 seconds ahead of PKV Racing's Jimmy Vasser. Countryman Patrick Carpentier thrilled the partisan Canadian crowd by placing third.

The abrasive and changing Toronto circuit surface had a few teams concerned about excessive tire wear going into the race, but Bourdais proved how well the Potenzas could hold up by logging the fastest lap of the race while running on tires with 22 grueling laps on them. Afterward, the race winner praised the Potenzas' performance.

"The consistency was a real issue for us and we worked really hard on it," Bourdais said. "We made a car that was taking very good care of the rear tires. You restart from nearly zero (mph) all the time here and you can have a lot of wheel spin, and if you don't control that you just kill the tires. I think we had the perfect package, we took good care of the tires and they gave us a very good return."

"The tires were fantastic," said Carpentier. "At first it was because of the (excessive rear brake bias) that I was loose, but once I cured that the tires held up for me quite well and we moved up to the front."

Quote from Joe Barbieri, Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport: "Even with all the aggressive driving that the fans saw today, the Bridgestone tires held up extremely well under these difficult conditions. It was Champ Car's suggestion to bring softer tires to help the racing by creating more passing opportunities. We did, even though we knew some teams could and would abuse their tires. Those that set up their cars properly to make the tires last longer finished up front. The great crowd here was treated to a lot of excitement and no one can say that this street course race was just 'follow the leader.' With all that happened here today, we're really looking forward to Vancouver, where we'll bring the same tire specification as this weekend."

Race temperatures ranged from 118 to 122 degrees track and 85 to 90 degrees ambient (F).
Race temperatures ranged from 48 to 50 degrees track and 29 to 32 degrees ambient (F).

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Sébastien Bourdais