CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Lola race report

Sebastien Bourdais performed his first Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford ³hat trick² today in the 19th Molson Indy Toronto with victory on the 1.755-mile Exhibition Place street circuit. The driver of Newman/Haas...

Sebastien Bourdais performed his first Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford ³hat trick² today in the 19th Molson Indy Toronto with victory on the 1.755-mile Exhibition Place street circuit. The driver of Newman/Haas Racing¹s #2 McDonald¹s Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone racer won his third race in a row, leading 75 of 84 total laps in a timed race. Bourdais claimed the lead in the points chase for Champ Car¹s Vanderbilt Cup with 164 points.

Avoiding trouble behind him that resulted in seven full-course cautions, pole man Bourdais relied on a well developed Lola chassis to keep him ahead of his foes. ³You know, I just push really hard and try to pit early on the second stop to make sure we were not going to get stopped by a yellow. I put a very good lap [the best of the race on lap 58] and just pulled away. After that it was a pretty easy race. I think we did a really good job today,² Bourdais said in praising his team.

1996 Champ Car titleholder Jimmy Vasser, starting 11th secured his best Molson Indy Toronto finish in second place, marking a 31st podium in his 189th consecutive start and moving to sixth in the points chase (101) for the #12 Gulfstream Lola team Vasser co-owns. Patrick Carpentier too, earned his best Toronto finish in the #7 Indeck Lola from 6th grid spot, overcoming two pit-stop stalls and a brake bias problem to take the final podium slot and keeping third in points with 129. ³I managed to stay out of trouble,² the Canadian veteran laughed. ³I am a better racer than qualifier and that showed today.²

This was another wild street fight with action from the green flag at notorious turn #1, the Princes Gate. Former points leader Bruno Junqueira¹s #6 PacifiCare Lola (136 points) and the #55 Herdez Lola of Mario Dominguez were out of contention at the first turn. While there were 12 cars running at the end, five of six retirements were due to contact. 2003 Champ Car champion Paul Tracy took fifth in his #1 Indeck Lola despite being involved in several on-course altercations as he tried to move to the front of the field. Tracy led four laps in the process. Tracy holds 108 fourth-place points.

The Champ Car World Series reconvenes at the Concord Pacific Place in Vancouver, B.C., Canada on July 15th for race #7 in a 16-contest campaign.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Mario Dominguez , Sébastien Bourdais