Sebastien Bourdais further stamped his dominance on this years Champ Car World Series title chase with his third consecutive win of the 2006 season in Sunday's Tecate Grand Prix of Monterrey.
Even though the final results of the 76-lap blast around Monterrey's dusty 2.104-mile Fundidora Park circuit mirrored those in Long Beach and Houston, like he did in Texas one week ago the Newman-Haas Racing driver had to work every inch of the way for his 19th career CCWS victory.
In a race slowed by just one minor caution period for debris, which coincided nicely with the first of two rounds of mandatory pit stops, pole sitter Bourdais took the chequered flag three seconds clear of fellow front row starter Justin Wilson after an intense race long duel between the two.
From the inside of row one on the 17-car grid Bourdais was able to hold off RuSPORT's Wilson into the first corner and proceeded to keep the Englishman at arms length through the first fuel stint, which ended with the sole caution of the day on lap 24.
Swift pit work from Wilson's crew got the #9 CDW Lola out ahead of the #1 McDonalds example and the ex Minardi and Jaguar Formula One man went on to lead the middle portion of the race with considerable ease as Bourdais found himself trapped behind the second RuSPORT entry of AJ Allmendinger.
From third on the grid Allmendinger had shadowed Bourdais for the first 24 laps and then forged his way ahead with a gutsy move around the outside of turn two on the lap 26 restart. However the young American driver didn't have the pace of his English teammate and could only succeed in holding Bourdais up as Wilson escaped to a three second lead.
With no further caution flags to bunch up the field the final round of pit stops took place under green flag conditions and would prove pivotal to the outcome of the race.
Allmendinger stopped from second on lap 53, finally releasing Bourdais while Wilson pitted from the lead on lap 55, going from the red walled option tyres to the harder regular compound as Bourdais squeezed one extra hot lap on light fuel tanks out of his car. The extra lap would be critical as Bourdais completed his slightly shorter stop and returned to the track with his nose ahead of both the RuSPORT machines
Despite one concerted passing attempt from Wilson as Bourdais tried to get his tyres up to temperature it soon became clear that Bourdais had the race under control and so it proved, for despite a late race scare as Will Power regained the track after a turn one moment directly in front of the leader, nearly forcing him off the track, Wilson was a beaten man.