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Standings
Final Point Standings
Driver Championship
1 Sebastien Bourdais 364
2 Justin Wilson 281
3 Rob Doornbos (R) 268
4 Will Power 262
5 Graham Rahal (R) 243
6 Oriol Servia 237
7 Bruno Junqueira 233
8 S. Pagenaud (R) 232
9 Neel Jani (R) 231
10 Alex Tagliani 205
11 Paul Tracy 171
12 T. Gommendy (R) 140
13 Dan Clarke 129
14 Ryan Dalziel (R) 116
15 Katherine Legge 108
16 Jan Heylen 104
17 Alex Figge (R) 95
18 Mario Dominguez 78
19 Nelson Philippe 28
20 David Martinez (R) 18
21 Matt Halliday (R) 18
22 Roberto Moreno 9

Rookie of the Year
1 Robert Doornbos (R) 268
2 Graham Rahal (R) 243
3 Simon Pagenaud (R) 232
4 Neel Jani (R) 231
5 Tristan Gommendy (R) 140
6 Ryan Dalziel (R) 116
7 Alex Figge (R) 95
8 David Martinez (R) 18
9 Matt Halliday (R) 18

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Catching up with Sebastien Bourdais

By Sebastien Bourdais
Wednesday, January 30, 2008

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The following story appears on the Champ Car website:

Sebastien Bourdais
Bonjour Everybody!

It's been a bit of a journey since my last Champ Car race in Mexico City. Claire, Emma and I moved out of our house in Florida during the last week of November and loaded everything into a container. We then took a plane to Europe and didn't see our belongings for a month and a half! In the meantime, we spent some quality time in Lemans in a small apartment close to the family. We also spent the holidays there before finally moving into our new apartment in Switzerland in mid-January. So it's still quite recent! We enjoyed the holidays but now we are going to enjoy the new landscape. We have a lake right in front of the apartment and the mountains in the background which are covered with snow right now. It's breathtaking.

I was barely moved into my new apartment that I was back in the Toro Rosso car, completing another test at the Circuito de Jerez where Champ Car will be racing in June. It's a fun track, which the Champ Car drivers should like. I think it's a great place to drive from what I know about it in Formula 3000 and now in Formula 1. It's a very fast place and a very challenging track. There is a bit of everything actually. You have one chicane, which I'm not sure Champ Car will use because I understand they have the option not to use it, there are two pretty slow corners and the rest are medium and really high speed corners.

Bourdais at Jerez in his Toro Rosso F1 car
Then there's a nice space where it flows from one corner to the other. You also have one pretty long straight but the only unfortunate thing is that it's a very fast corner leading into it, so consequently it becomes a bit of a struggle to pass. I do however think that there is a realistic chance of passing with a good exit of the last corner going into Turn 1 thanks to a pretty good and decent breaking zone. It should be challenging for the drivers and hopefully the response from the Spanish fans will be positive and that they come numerous to the Champ Car race.

I know I am planning on making it to one of the two races in June! I have a lot of friends in the Champ Car World Series and I probably will not have a lot of opportunities to go and see them but hopefully if my schedule allows it, I will definitely try to make it. So far it looks like it is possible but I don't have all the PR days and everything yet. It's a bit more open right now than it will be when the time comes.

All I can say is that they are keeping me very busy! It's very intense. There are not too many holes in the schedule. You go from one event to another and when it's not the case you are testing in between. Right now we have four more testing sessions of three days each to go until the start of the season. After that it is Melbourne in the middle of March and obviously I want to get there early.

Hopefully, I can jump in a simulator before that to learn the first three tracks because I have never raced in Melbourne, Sepang and Bahrain. I also have a lot of press requests from the international media, mainly from the French side who are getting very excited to see a French Formula One driver back in the paddock.

I'm also very excited. I want to perform well and prove that not only I am 'worth the trip' but also that the Champ Car ranks are full of great talent. It's very important for me and a personal challenge to go through. Obviously the expectations of the press and the public might be a bit over the top and that's why I want to explain in every interview I do that I am not in a championship winning car like I was last year in Champ Car. We have a very, very little chance of winning even one race. If we make one podium it would be extraordinary. Our goal is to try and score points as many times as we can which would already be a very successful season. We will see how it unfolds, but obviously there will be quite a few challenges and we will try to keep the expectations at a realistic level.

One of my first challenges is to get to get my neck performance raised up which is very difficult. It's something that the more I will be driving the better it will be. Fortunately, we have enough sessions before the first race that I should be up to speed on that. The difference with driving a Champ Car is that it's a bit less important to be very, very strong and weight is not so much of a concern because of the power steering, there is quite a bit of assistance on the steering so it is a bit easier on that front. But for the neck it is hard. The car is almost 150 to 200 kilos lighter than a Champ Car. So for example, if you pull 3.5Gs in a Champ Car in a long sweeper, you will pull 4.5 in a Formula 1 and that makes a big difference on the neck.

Because of all the testing that we are doing, I missed the AARWBA Banquet in Indianapolis where they presented Carl Haas with the "Pioneer in Racing Award". I must says that I am very happy for Carl to have received such an honor. Carl is a remarkable example of success in motor racing. He has won in pretty much everything he has decided to compete in and he is quite a character. The longevity and consistency of his team is very much the reflection of his own person. He is very determined and committed. Obviously I have spent the best years of my career driving one of his cars so I can only say good things about my time at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing!

Speaking of Champ Car, I thought I would give you my predictions for the 2008 Champ Car season. I think the logical choice to win the Championship this year is Justin (Wilson) because he has been runner up for the last couple of years. I think Will (Power) is quite an obvious choice also. He was very strong all season last year and if not for a few problems he would have probably been our main competition up until the last race. I think these are the two main ones but you can't count out Robert (Doornbos), he was putting on some pretty strong performances. He just needs to qualify a bit better than what he did, and Graham, he did quite well especially at the end of the season. In my opinion a lot of guys can contend. Not to forget Oriol. In the PKV car he can do really, really well. In the last two races he was a winning contender. We also have to see where Bruno ends up. It seems that the DP01 suits him very well and I think he might be the surprise of 2008.

Finally, Claire and Emma are doing just fine. Claire is happy to be close to the family. She can now hand Emma over to the grand parents for a few days and escape a little which is very much enjoyable after a first full year of being in charge the whole time! Moving back to Europe is nice. It was the right opportunity for us at the right time. We will try and enjoy fully and make the best of it without forgetting our friends on the other side of the Atlantic. I'll be watching!

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