Paul Tracy led nearly every step of the way in Sunday's Gran Premio Telmex/Gigante at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to put one hand on the 2003 Champ Car World Series crown as his main title rival Bruno Junqueira struggled over the bumpy 2.786-mile circuit.

Although he failed to give outgoing sponsor's Player's a farewell victory in Miami two weeks ago, Tracy gave the new look PF Racing squad just the debut they needed as he demoralised his Champ Car World Series opposition with another imperious display.

The Canadian veteran withstood a late race assault from Sebastien Bourdais to cross the finishing line with a 1.7secs margin of victory over the Frenchman with Miami winner Dominguez another 1.5secs adrift after a stirring drive and some excellent pit work from the Herdez Competition crew.

Tracy's seventh win of the season draws him 29 points clear of Junqueira with two races, and a maximum of 45 points up for grabs meaning that unless Junqueira closes the points gap by at least eight markers in Surfers Paradise, Tracy will be celebrating his first CCWS title Down Under. The Brazilian Newman-Haas driver wasn't a match for Tracy from the start and despite an early move to pass front row starter Tiago Monteiro for second place, he faded away in the closing laps to finish a disappointed seventh.

Bourdais assumed second position from his teammate during the second of three mandatory pitstops and was able to keep the pressure on Tracy for the final 22 lap green-flag stretch to the finish, never falling more than a couple of seconds behind the leader but never close enough to make a move for the lead. Bourdais' seventh podium finish of the year though assured the Frenchman the 2003 Jim Trueman rookie of the year as Englishman Darren Manning's eventful afternoon only netted him a ninth place effort
Behind the ecstatic Dominguez, Michel Jourdain Jr also rallied from a poor grid slot to finish fourth although the result leaves him all but mathematically eliminated from the title hunt while rookies Mika Salo and Monteiro rounded out the top six.

 

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