Sunday's Lexmark Indy 300 had a 'one of those days' type feel about it from the moment polesitter Sebastien Bourdais blatantly allowed his Newman-Haas teammate Bruno Junqueira to twice get the jump on him at the start.

The Frenchman had stolen pole position away from his teammate in Saturday's final qualifying session around the 2.795-mile Australian street circuit but as the Champ Car field came to the starters flag for what was scheduled to be a 65-lap race, Bourdais was clearly waiting for Junqueira to take the lead before he put the power down.

The first time he tried it, CART official starter JD Wilbur was wise to his tactics and aborted the start but things were little different the next time around as Junqueira once again got a clear jump into the first chicane.

However now the race was on and with third place starter Tracy trying to get around the outside of the Frenchman for second spot, contact was unfortunately inevitable and the points leader was turned around in front of the whole field at the first chicane.

"I don't know if he (Paul Tracy) was going to make the chicane," said a defensive Bourdais. "I still had half of a car on the way. I don't know why Paul took such a big chance."

While Tracy fell to the rear of the field Bourdais was able to continue in second position although the #2 Lilly sponsored Lola-Ford was far from healthy as the day of drama continued to unfold.

When the first drops of rain appeared on the radar ten laps into proceedings, Bourdais actually closed the four second deficit to leader Junqueira but as they worked their way out of the first chicane on lap 12, suddenly the amount of water on the track was greater and while the leader managed to save a massive tank-slapper, Bourdais was not to lucky and he pounded the inside wall with the front end of his car before spinning to a halt in the centre of the track.

Bourdais explained that his earlier contact with Tracy led to his untimely exit.

"It bent the tie rod," explained the 2002 FIA International Formula 3000 Champion. "The car would pull to the right under braking and snap when I put the power down. It wasn't as big when the track was dry but it was when it began to rain. The contact with Paul ultimately led to the crash because it was too hard to control the car in the wet."

While the newly crowned Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year was vilified by some of his rivals for not only letting Junqueira ahead at the start but also creating a complete smokescreen for those behind him when he span back across the track following his crash. But for Bourdais, lost points and the end of his chance to take third place in the final standings was punishment enough.

"The result of the race eliminated our chance to finish third in the championship and that makes the outcome even more disappointing," he concluded.

The Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will return to the United States for the season finale King Taco 500 at the California Speedway.

 

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