IndyCar » 23 May 2004
Bourdais on top in Monterrey.
With the race past half-distance Junqueira found his way past Lavin, but Bourdais took another lap to go past and lost several lengths to his team-mate. It didn't matter, however, as Oriol Servia slammed over a kerb and into the tyre wall, bringing out a caution and closing up the field.
The restart on lap 45 saw Carpentier get a good jump over Dominguez, Junqueira and Bourdais, while several cars headed pitwards, Wilson's equally rookie team-mate Alex Sperafico getting it wrong and sending his tyre changer flying as he bounced off the pit wall. A lap later leader Carpentier was in, a slick stop sending him out with enough fuel to take him to the end, and with almost everyone else needing to stop. Everyone except Dominguez, who was in next lap, handing Junqueira the lead but an even better stop sending him out ahead of Carpentier.
Up front Bourdais was virtually pushing his team-mate around as the pair tried to turn quick laps before having to pit. They made their stops with 20 laps left, and the Newman Haas squad did their job, both coming out ahead of Dominguez and Carpentier. With the pitstops complete, Bourdais resumed the lead and stretched it over Junqueira, Dominguez and Carpentier, these well ahead of Tagliani and Tracy.
Just in time to liven up the finish, Lavin was assaulted up the back by Mario Haberfield at turn 10, bringing out yet another full course yellow. The green flew with eight to go, Bourdais getting the jump over Junqueira and Dominguez and duly reeling off the final laps to take a well-judged victory four seconds ahead of his team-mate, to the delight of spectating boss Paul Newman. Dominguez took third after a good recovery following his second lap mistake, Carpentier in fourth then Tagliani and Wilson, while Vasser served up the last drama, spinning off on the final corner and failing to take the flag.
All of which puts Bourdias in championship pole position as the ChampCar circus heads for the Milwaukee Mile in two weeks time. Can he maintain his current title-challenging form?
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