While he gets set to make his final Champ Car appearance at the end of an unrivalled five years in the series - a stint that has yielded an incredible four drivers' crowns and the 'Rookie of the Year' laurels in his debut campaign - S?bastien Bourdais is chasing one final accomplishment before bidding au revoir...

Should the Frenchman triumph in Mexico City this weekend, he will extend his tally of season victories to eight - past the seven he achieved in both 2004 and 2006, and equal to the modern era (1979-present) record currently held jointly by Michael Andretti (1991) and Al Unser Jnr (1994). In order to do so, one of the drivers he will have to beat is Justin Wilson, who Bourdais passed at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodruguez last year in a breathtaking final lap battle.

"That race was an exciting one," the 28-year-old reminisced about his 2006 Mexican outing. "I guess we put on a heck of a show for the fans. There were a lot of speed differences at times, because some guys had the Bridgestone alternate tyres on while others had the primary tyres so there were different paces. That's what really allowed us to pass Justin.

"He decided to go with new tyres on the last stop and we didn't change them to save time and kept the old, wet (rain) tyres on what was pretty much a drying track towards the end when he was struggling. We had a good run and it was, for me, one of the best races in a long time."

As he attempts to repeat that season-ending success in 2007, the Newman/Haas ace can reflect on a CCWS career that has brought him a 42 per cent win average, 43 per cent average of starting from pole position and an amazing 60 per cent average of finishing on the podium in his 72 Champ Car races to-date. He clinched his maiden Champ Car title with victory in Mexico three years ago, and clearly has no intention of lifting his foot off the gas pedal until the chequered flag drops on him for the very last time.

"We have one more race to go before we turn the last page of my Champ Car career and it's done and over," said the man who will fulfil his lifelong ambition next year of joining the grand prix grid. "All I hope is that people remember we went after it and gave it our very best, and we haven't won these four championships just waiting for the points to accumulate and being consistent. We obviously tried to put on the best show we could, and we had a lot of fun doing it.

"We've won the championships, but not only that, I think I grew up as a man and as a driver. I learned a lot from a lot of obviously very experienced people, and I've learned from the best. These guys are really close friends and everything, so I think we'll still stay in touch, and it's not because I'm going to move on to another challenge that I'm going to forget. Not at all; it's going to be something that will stay a part of me forever.

"I hope the McDonald's team can put on a good show again in Mexico City. Obviously you don't want to finish your career in the series with some frustration or regret, so we'll give our very best and hope we can finish in style.

"I owe these guys my total dedication. We've been working really hard together for these past five years, and I just couldn't stand myself if I didn't give it all I had. They deserve the very best, and we're going to do just that until the very end."

Comments

Loading Comments...