Sebastien Bourdais received a useful boost to his quest for a fourth successive Champ Car World Series title when his victory in the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton was accompanied by poor results for Will Power and Robert Doornbos.

The Frenchman leapt into the lead at the start of the race, the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, and led Power and Justin Wilson through to the first round of pit-stops, but then had to give chase to the Australian after their relative pit positions gave Power the upper hand. The roles were then reversed late in the race, before Power and Doornbos both ran into problems.

Having seized pole position in Saturday's second qualifying session, Power was confident that he could lead the early portion of one-and-three-quarter-hour race around Edmonton's City Centre Airport, but it was Bourdais who made the better start, sweeping around the outside of the Team Australia machine - which appeared to get excessive wheelspin off the line - at the quick opening turn.

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Neel Jani also got a demon start from fifth, jumping both Graham Rahal and Wilson to hold third for the opening lap, before the Briton redressed the balance entering the second tour.

The entire 17-car field made it through the opening corner unscathed, with Ryan Dalziel moving up to sixth from eighth, only to drop the Pacific Coast car three laps later and fall to the rear of the field. That, however, was the only incident of note as the race unfolded, with the order changing little as drivers attempted to save fuel.

The real action was at the rear where Mario Dominguez - a late, late substitute for the injured Tristan Gommendy at PKV - made up early ground, passing Alex Figge and Katherine Legge to turn last spot on the grid into 14th by lap eight. The recovering Dalziel also passed both drivers in quick succession, with Legge appearing to be in some sort of trouble as Figge also moved ahead, relegating the British girl to 17th.

With Bourdais easing away from Power, and the Aussie doing likewise to Wilson, it took a full course yellow to provide some excitement, the yellows flying for debris just as the pit window opened.

The entire field took the opportunity to duck in for fuel and tyres, but it was Power who emerged first, the yellow-and-green car on the red option Bridgestones. Bourdais was back in third, the legacy of a poor pit box following his Toronto result and an inadvertent block from Legge as she trailed the rest of the field in for her stop. Jani was another in trouble, the Swiss driver getting a slow turnaround from PKV and dropping to the back of the pack.

With the field still held behind the safety car for a lap or so after all had rejoined, Jani was able to make short work of Legge and Figge at the green, and Power also wasted little time in putting the hammer down, eking out a three-second lead over Wilson by lap 29.

Again, the order changed little, with few close battles on track - or at least few that resulted in place changes - leaving the pit-stops to provide the only reshuffle. Behind Bourdais, team-mate Rahal was up to fourth at the expense of the unfortunate Jani and Power's team-mate Simon Pagenaud, while Bruno Junqueira dropped back from his initial, allowing both Alex Tagliani and Paul Tracy through.

Those at the rear of the field then moved up a spot with the first retirement befalling Dominguez, who was advised to pull off when the rear of his PKV machine started trailing a smokescreen. The Mexican suggested the engine was not to blame, however, pointing the finger at the gearbox or exhaust.

Having been gifted a place, meanwhile, Legge was unable to make the most of it, quickly joining Dominguez on the sidelines when her Dale Coyne car ground to halt four laps later, with just 36 tours under its belt. The Briton, who was still shrugging off the effects of a heavy crash in Saturday practice, blamed a locking gearbox or differential for her exit.

As the second round of pit-stops loomed, Wilson and Bourdais began to home in on Power, the Aussie's red-walled tyres possibly starting to give up the ghost and allowing the black-rubbered pursuers to close the gap between them. With the track remaining green, however, the emphasis was now on who had achieved the best fuel management in the second stint.

The top three ran longer than the first of the stoppers, but then found both Jani and Jan Heylen exiting right in front of their three-way battle for supremacy. Unable to jump the backmarkers, Power was the first to head pitwards, leaving 2006 race winner Wilson out front, but still unable to do anything about Heylen ahead.

The Briton was in next time around, on lap 50, but Bourdais managed to stretch his load a further two tours, suggesting that he may also have been delayed by taking on slightly more fuel at his first stop. Whatever the intricacies, the Frenchman turned the tables on his rivals, returning to the track at the head of those who had have stopped.

Again, the pit crews had their say in the running order, with Power dropping back to fourth as Rahal received quicker service on lap 51 and emerged in front of the Team Australia car. Wilson remained second, between the two Newman/Haas/Lanigan entries, with Pagenaud bouncing back up to fifth, ahead of Tracy, Junqueira, Oriol Servia and points leader Robert Doornbos.

The Dutchman had struggled in qualifying, but expected more from his race after topping the final warm-up session. Instead, he found himself mired around tenth, battling not only Servia but also Minardi team-mate Dan Clarke, who had earlier survived a major off across the grassy infield without damage.

If Doornbos - the points leader heading to Edmonton - thought that that was bad, however, things were about to get worse. Shortly after Power had made an unscheduled pit-stop to get troublesome steering looked at, Doornbos was on the receiving end of a hefty whack from Tagliani, the Canadian keen to unlap himself on at least one rival.

The RSports car came off worst, breaking its front left suspension, but Doornbos was spun to a standstill in turn one, and lost a lap waiting for the safety team to bump start him.

Ironically, that left the Dutchman still in ninth at the chequer - the same result that Bourdais had been subjected to after a brush with the Minardi car in Toronto - but Doornbos did benefit from his closest rival being forced to call it a day, Power completing just a handful more laps before deciding that it was too dangerous to continue.

Along with Tagliani, the Australian was the final retirement, leaving 13 cars to make it to the flag.

The final round of pit-stops passed off largely without problems, Bourdais resuming in front of Wilson and Rahal, with Pagenaud, Tracy and Junqueira completing the top six. Tracy and Junqueira had indulged in the most spirited battle of the closing stages, the Brazilian all over the back of his Canadian rival before ducking inside the Forsythe car at turn one - only to run wide on exit and allow Tracy back through.

Although they exited line astern after the third and final stop, Junqueira never had another opportunity, and even dropped behind Tracy's team-mate, Servia, by the chequer.

Bourdais, meanwhile, sailed serenely on to claim his second Edmonton win in the event's years, while the reigning champion, Wilson, chased him home, Rahal completed the podium - his second of the year - with Pagenaud doing all he could to uphold Team Australia's lead in the Triple Crown standings - a forlorn effort after Power's retirement.

Behind the Forsythe pair and Junqueira, Clarke, Jani and Heylen completed the unlapped runners, with Doornbos and the PCM duo all coming home a lap down.

The combined fortunes of the pre-race top three now means that Bourdais has resumed a familiar mid-season position, and heads to San Jose next weekend with a useful 20-point advantage over Doornbos, with Power a further five behind the Dutchman. Wilson, meanwhile, has moved further into contention and now trails Power by four points.