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Bourdais run ends with Tracy victory
26 July 2004
The Champ Car winning streak of Sebastien Bourdais has come to an end after Paul Tracy took the honours in the Molson Indy Vancouver.
The reigning Champ Car World Series champion led for the majority of the 85 lap race, coming home ahead of the RuSPORT duo of Michel Jourdain and AJ Allmendinger – the rookie claiming his first Champ Car podium in the process.
On the green flag, Tracy immediately took the early lead, while behind him Bourdais, bidding for a fourth straight win, got the jump on Rodolfo Lavin to take second. Through the early stages of the race, Tracy established a small lead over the Frenchman with Lavin dropping back into the clutches of fellow Mexican Mario Dominguez with Patrick Carpentier ensuring all three Forsythe cars were running in the top five.
However that wasn't to last as Carpentier made contact with the #14 car of Alex Sperafico while lapping him, putting both drivers out of the race. At almost exactly the same time, Lavin was spinning out of third, dropping eleven places down the field and leaving Tracy alone to uphold Forsythe honours with Bourdais in close pursuit.
Tracy was the first of the front-runners to pit on lap 33, handing the lead to Bourdais who came in a lap later. But the big winner in the first round of stops was rookie Allmendinger, who benefited from a slick stop to jump into second. Once into the top two, Allmendinger set about proving he was worthy of the position by setting a series of blistering laps. Despite that, Allmendinger still found himself behind team mate Jourdain after the second stops with Bruno Junqueira (who had suffered suspension failure in qualifying) ahead of Newman Haas partner Bourdais in fourth.
Such was Tracy's lead, he had time in hand for a late 'splash and dash' without losing his lead, taking the chequered flag nearly six seconds ahead of Jourdain with Allmendinger third – a result made all the more pleasing when rookie rival Justin Wilson could only manage 14th.
Behind the top three, Junqueira claimed fourth from Bourdais, with Dominguez rewarded for a solid drive with sixth.
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