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Portland 2007: Bourdais brings up NHLR ton.


The Mazda Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland presented by Joe's Sports and Outdoor began and ended in historic fashion, with Justin Wilson leading away from Champ Car's first standing start and Sebastien Bourdais leading the field home for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing's 100th race win.

Every driver was able to get away at the start, setting the tone for a caution-free day - the first in Champ Car since Road America 2000 - which saw Bourdais# #1 McDonald's Panoz cruise to its third straight win after success in both Long Beach and Houston.

Polesitter Wilson stormed out to an early lead and continued to pull away, gaining a 15-second lead before the first round of pit-stops.

"I got a little too much wheelspin and Robert Doornbos got a clean jump," the Briton revealed, "I was just watching him alongside - when he braked, I braked. That made it pretty simple. I was on the inside and got through."

“I thought I had a better start than Justin," Doornbos agreed, "I proved it because I was alongside him - then I just got a bit too excited with a miss-shift and the advantage was gone. There was such a big fuss about the start approaching the weekend, but I think we proved that you can make normal starts without any hassle as long as you are just relaxed. I think the procedure went very well."

The best start, however, came from Will Power, who jumped from seventh to third after the Festival Curves - with Bourdais and Alex Tagliani hot on his heels. Further back, the returning Paul Tracy gained four positions on the first lap but spun in turn six third time around and spent the rest of the race on an alternative strategy as he tried to work his way back through the field, eventually finishing tenth.

Tracy was the first driver to duck into pit-lane for service, on lap 17, while Bourdais stretched his fuel economy to the max, not pitting until the 29th circuit, then short-filling the #1 car and coming out in second position. Power's Team Australia crew also did their job, allowing the Las Vegas winner to gain third from Minardi Team USA's Robert Doornbos. The two would continue to battle throughout the 103-lap event, with the Dutchman eventually retaking the place to earn his third podium finish in four Champ Car. Power finished fourth.

"My third podium in four races, obviously it's great," Doornbos said, "It's good for the team, and the guys did a good job with the pit-stops, very consistent. We proved today that, if we want to win races or challenge these guys - Sebastien or Justin - we need to improve the car more. We have now two weeks to make the next jump, so hopefully the guys can work hard and we can be even stronger in Cleveland.”

While Doornbos and Power were battling, Bourdais began to close the gap Wilson had built up, running slightly faster lap times throughout the second stint and putting himself in position to challenge the Briton just after the second round of pit-stops. Bourdais lined Wilson up down the main straight and got the better of him through turn one, before pulling steadily away to record a near 14-second victory.



Related Pictures

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2007 Champ Car World Series. 8-10 June 2007.  Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland. Portland International Speedway. Portland, Oregon, USA. Sebastien Bourdais, race winner.
2007 Champ Car World Series. 8-10 June 2007.  Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland. Portland International Speedway. Portland, Oregon, USA. Justin Wilson.
2007 Champ Car World Series. 8-10 June 2007.  Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland. Portland International Speedway. Portland, Oregon, USA. Robert Doornbos.
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The field scatters as the drivers avoid the cars of Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Briscoe at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais exits pit lane during practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon (right), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 during the IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio. Sebastien Bourdais (left), driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. It`s Dixon`s first victory of the season. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais celebrates second place in the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course on Sunday August 3 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais and Josef Newgarden lead the field into Turn 6 during the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais apexes Turn 1 during during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his family after winning the pole during qualifying Saturday, August 2, 2014 for Sunday`s IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio, (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole during qualifying Saturday, August 2, 2014 for Sunday`s IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio, (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole during qualifying Saturday, August 2, 2014 for Sunday`s IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio, (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #11 Hydroxycut KVC Racing Technology Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole during qualifying Saturday, August 2, 2014 for Sunday`s IndyCar Series race at Mid Ohio Raceway in Lexington, Ohio, (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais celebrates winning pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Source on Saturday, August 2 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais celebrates winning pole position for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Source on Saturday, August 2 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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