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The yellows were withdrawn two laps later, and Jan Heylen was immediately on the move, regaining the place he lost to Will Power at the start.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.

Undeterred by being passed by the Brazilian, Legge set the fastest lap of the race on lap nine and improved on it next time around. It was the high point of the race for the Briton, however, for, having acquired a top ten place by avoiding the Tracy incident, she gradually slipped backwards thanks to a combination of tardy pit-stops and an on-track clash with Dalziel.

She also lost her status as fastest driver on track when Junqueira resumed and promptly stole the best lap time, and the Brazilian was to be elevated to the lead when the field got its next chance to top off with fuel and change tyres when a yellow was thrown for debris in turn ten on lap 14.

Junqueira was the only driver not to stop under the caution, and was not involved in the race to exit the pits. Wilson held on to his advantage by narrowly edging Jani to the exit, while the Swiss' PKV team-mate, Gommendy, came close to contact with Rahal as they exited side-by-side.

The order, however, remained largely unchanged, with Junqueira heading Wilson, Jani, Gommendy, and Rahal, although the American was being hotly pursued by the fired-up Heylen, who had passed Pagenaud shortly before the caution and gained another place by beating Bourdais out of the pits. Pagenaud, having also conceded a spot to Clarke prior to the yellow, emerged from the pits in tenth, behind team-mate Power, while Servia and Doornbos both made ground at the expense of Legge, who had held both comfortably at bay in the early stages.

Tracy, meanwhile, was done for the day, trailing the field in but not rejoining with them, the victim of falling oil pressure. The 2003 series champion was to be the only retirement of the day, capping a miserable couple of days that had started so well with a top three time in practice.

With the pack having mostly switched the black Bridgestones - Tagliani and Figge the only exceptions - Heylen continued his surge, passing Rahal on lap 18, before the American then ceded another three spots in one go, an error allowing Bourdais, Clarke and Power to move up.

Legge, too, lost ground, a brush with Dalziel into turn one seeing her run wide at the expense of three places, dropping her to last on the road, while Jani suffered perhaps the most bizarre moment of the race a couple of laps later when metal debris from a dislodged marker cone became embedded in his Red Bull machine, badly affecting its handling. The Swiss driver dropped four places in the space of a lap, his challenge to Wilson all but over.

When Junqueira pitted on lap 27, a largely untroubled Wilson retook the lead but, if the leader was without problems, there were others who weren't, several drivers reporting that their Power to Pass' systems were not working correctly. Determined that the situation should not unfairly punish those unfortunates, race officials decreed that, from lap 22, no-one would be able to use the system for the remainder of the race, although that had failed to deter Heylen from completing his passing spree by getting around Gommendy on lap 24.

Possibly the remainder of whatever had afflicted Jani, debris brought out another caution on lap 30, prompting the majority to stop for fuel and tyres. Junqueira was again promoted to the front, but the order received a minor shake-up when Bourdais stalled trying to exit. With the field still being controlled by the pace car, however, the Frenchman - along with Tagliani - called in next time around to add a little extra to their tanks. Once the green returned, the three-time champion wasted little time in mounting his recovery, passing both Figge and Legge on lap 34, and then accounting for Dalziel two tours later.

Running with a clear track at the other end of the train, Junqueira posted another candidate for fastest lap, only to see Rahal counter it on lap 45. Clarke, meanwhile, had been forced to take his third stop under green as fuel mileage finally came into play.

Tagliani, despite topping up with Bourdais, was in again on lap 47, with others to have taken advantage of the lap two yellow following suit, Doornbos and Figge on lap 48 and Jani joining Junqueira next time around, putting Wilson back in front.

Gommendy was still pushing to try and regain second from Heylen, setting fastest lap on 50, but he was unable to make any impact on the road before the pair pitted, along with Wilson, Rahal and Legge a lap later. With the lead trio rejoining unchanged, but Junqueira's strategy getting him between Heylen and Gommendy - and with no boost to call on - it appeared that a mistake would be required for any further change of position up front.

Further back, it was a slightly different story, with those earlier stoppers finding that they required a 'splash and dash' to make the flag. Clarke was the biggest casualty, giving up fifth place to rejoin in front of team-mate Doornbos in eleventh, while Tagliani and Figge went a lap down after also calling in, the American stalling to confirm his fate.

On track, Bourdais was determined to grab as many points as he could but, being stuck behind Pagenaud, had to make a move. He tried in turn six, but ran out of braking room, taking to the gravel and only just rejoining behind his adversary and ahead of the chasing Servia and Rahal.

While the midfield remained unchanged, confirming Bourdais in seventh, there was a late twist that caused hearts in the Newman/Haas/Lanigan camp to jump a little, title rival Doornbos making his own 'splash and dash' with just a minute or so on the clock. The Dutchman resumed in 14th, but was then gifted a place at the flag when Power ran dry and coasted to the line, also giving Legge another place after she hung tough with good fuel mileage in the closing stages.

The result was not enough for Bourdais to clinch a fourth title - something that will probably now be decided in Australia in seven weeks' time - but was sufficient for Wilson to vault from fourth to second in the standings, capitalising on his first win of the year and poor afternoons for both Doornbos and Power. One title that was decided was the Phanos European Teams' Cup, which went the way of NHLR after Rahal followed Bourdais across the line in ninth.