SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS PACES FIRST DAY OF QUALIFYING FOR CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF MONTREAL
 
 

MONTREAL (August 25, 2006) - A Champ Car is a highly technical piece of equipment that often requires a team of well-educated engineers to spend hours poring over data just to lower a lap time by a tenth of a second. Or as two-time defending champion of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford Sebastien Bourdais found out today - sometimes a Champ Car just needs to be bounced off a wall.

Bourdais banged his Newman/Haas Racing mount off the Turn Four wall just three laps into today's opening round of qualifying at Montreal's Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, but Bourdais' machine not only survived the impact - it prospered from it. The series points leader shook off the contact and roared to the top of the charts with a best lap of 1:21.193 (120.114 mph) around the 2.709-mile Montreal road course.

The winner of the last two Bridgestone Pole Positions in Montreal, Bourdais had an eventful day in rolling to the first-day qualifying lead - a lead that guarantees him a front-row starting spot for Sunday's race and earned him another championship point. Not only did his car hold up through an unscheduled meeting with the Turn Four fence, it also emerged unscathed after Bourdais bounced through the grass and across the racing surface after missing the first chicane.

Bourdais was able to keep the car running after his slide, therefore avoiding a red-flag penalty that would have cost him his fastest lap, and then go on to post the day's top time. Defending Montreal racewinner Oriol Servia continued to show his mastery of the Canadian road course, finishing second in his best qualifying performance of the season.