Bourdais Wins Montreal, Allmendinger and Wilson Find Trouble
 
 

MONTREAL (August 28, 2006) –AJ Allmendinger and Justin Wilson needed points leader Sebastien Bourdais to have trouble to keep the points chase alive. That did not happen and Bourdais widened the points gap to 62.

Bourdais romped to the win Monday, leading 40 laps around Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on his way to his sixth victory of the season and the 22nd of his career and gained a cushion of nearly two full race’s worth of points under the Champ Car scoring system.

The Newman/Haas Racing driver’s win, coupled with a 17th-place finish from A.J. Allmendinger and a 14th-place performance by Justin Wilson, put Bourdais in a comfortable position with three races remaining. Both title hopefuls had strong runs working before bad luck hit, Allmendinger breaking a halfshaft while leading the race, while Wilson was fighting back from a penalty when he hit the Turn 15 wall while trying to pass Jan Heylen for fifth.

Bourdais held off nemesis Paul Tracy to score the victory, fighting off America’s winningest active open-wheel driver on a last-lap restart. Tracy matched a season-high with a second-place finish while third-year driver Nelson Philippe rounded out the podium with a third-place finish. Philippe led 11 laps on the day and came from 10th on the starting grid to snare the third spot thanks to an alternate pit strategy.

Allmendinger held the lead over the first seven laps of the restarted race, after pacing the six that were run on Sunday, but saw his title hopes erased on Lap 14 when a broken halfshaft sent him down Pit Lane and out of the battle.

Bourdais continued to lead ahead of Tracy and Dan Clarke while Wilson began to fight his way back up through the field. He was eighth by Lap 43 and was battling for fifth just five circuits later when he had his aforementioned impact with the wall, which ended his day.

A late caution period backed the race up against its two-hour time limit, meaning that the Lap 67 restart would be of the green-white-checker variety with Bourdais leading Tracy and Philippe to the flag. Bourdais got a strong restart and was able to hold off Tracy, beating him to the line by 1.398 seconds.

"It was a hell of a day for the championship," said Bourdais. "This McDonald's team did a mistake-free run." And due to other's mistakes, Sebastien looks to have a firm grip on the Championship.