Justin Wilson finally landed a first Champ Car win of 2007 as he triumphed on a circuit that has been good to Britons in the past.
While that earlier success came on two wheels, Wilson proved that he should not be counted out of the battle for second in the championship – assuming Sebastien wraps the title up in Australia – by leading from start to finish and only losing top spot when the out-of-sequence Bruno Junqueira took over during the pit-stops.
Wilson made a cracking start from second on the grip, going wheel-to-wheel with polesitter Bourdais into the first corner and holding his nerve to come out of the opening complex in front. His immediate task was made easier when Bourdais momentarily slowed and dropped back, having accidentally activated his pit-lane speed limiter!
That error promoted Neel Jani, Tristan Gommendy – the PKV pair having swapped places at the start – and Bourdais' Newman/Haas/Lanigan team-mate Graham Rahal into the top four, before the Frenchman recovered his composure.
Bourdais' problem was not the only excitement in the first four corners either, as light contact between Alex Tagliani and Junqueira caused the fast-starting Paul Tracy to take avoiding action and end up in the gravel.
The Canadian had been left at the back of the grid after losing his front wing and suspension in qualifying, but had his immediate task eased when both Pacific Coast cars opted to start from the pit-lane, giving PT a clear run at those two rows ahead of him. Switching to the inside, the veteran was able to make up several places into turn one, but found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time as the field entered Strubben.
The pace car came out to facilitate the recovery of Tracy's car from the gravel, prompting Oriol Servia, home hero Robert Doornbos, Tagliani and the two PCM cars to pit for fuel, putting themselves mildly out of sequence with the leaders.
The yellows were withdrawn two laps later, and Jan Heylen was immediately on the move, regaining the place he lost to Will Power at the start. The Australian's plight worsened next time around as Dan Clarke also found a way past the yellow-and-green machine, while Junqueira passed Coyne team-mate Katherine Legge at the same time.
The Brazilian's attempts to move up the order were to be stymied shortly afterwards, however, as he was forced into the pits with a flat right front tyre. The problem, under green flag conditions, threw Junqueira into an alternative strategy that would have him at odds with majority of the field, and yo-yo'ing up and down the order until the closing stages.