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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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Franck Perera puts Conquest Racing on top at Sebring

French driver tops competitive field; all 14 cars within 1.1 seconds
Monday, February 04, 2008

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French rookie Franck Perera

SEBRING, Fla. - With the results of the first two days of testing at Sebring International Raceway, most people expected to see the name Franck atop the timing sheets at the conclusion of the first pre-season open test for the Champ Car World Series. What they may not have expected is that his last name would be Perera.

Driving the #24 Conquest Racing entry, Franck Perera, a product of the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, posted a lap of 49.806 seconds (120.636 mph), topping the time charts over the three days of testing and showing Conquest Racing’s speed and intention for the season ahead. 

“I think we did a good job,” Perera said. “It was a crescendo--each session we were faster and we tested many things for all the phases of a race weekend and we did well in each. So, it’s good that we can already fight with the top guys.”   

Perera, who many say is the “real deal,” outpaced Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing’s sophomore driver, Graham Rahal, by 144-thousandths of a second. The two Atlantic “runner-ups” of the past two seasons were the only drivers to post a time below the 50-second mark. 

Finishing the test in third was Alex Tagliani driving for PKV Racing. Tagliani hopes that his performance at the test with a quick lap of 50.173 seconds (119.754 mph) will speak for itself and that it will allow him to join PKV Racing for the season.

“I’m very satisfied with my test at PKV Racing,” expressed Tagliani. “It’s a dream for all drivers to work with such a professional team. I said it before and I will say it again, this team can and will be competing for the championship. I loved the experience, and working with Oriol (Servia) was fantastic. We’re quick and the team is happy. We didn’t have any problems throughout the test. All we need now is to move forward and hopefully make the line-up and if it does happen I think it would be a turning point in my career.”

PKV Racing’s Servia completed his test fourth fastest overall with a time of 50.178 seconds (119.742 mph).

“I’m very, very happy and very impressed with the team,” Servia said. “We did the last race in Mexico and we obviously had a good car. They have been working hard all winter and all the new things they did, they were better. So I’m really happy. The conditions today were nothing like you are going to find this season so we didn’t really want to focus too much on the set-up. We just wanted to test and try things and that’s what we did. It was also good to have Alex here to compare notes.”

Justin Wilson of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing was fifth with a lap of 50.207 seconds (119.673 mph), only two-thousandths quicker than Forsythe/Pettit’s Franck Montagny who sat atop the leader board the two previous days. Montagny was the only driver not to improve his time in the final session.

Sitting in seventh in the combined report, Dale Coyne Racing’s Bruno Junqueira said: “It’s been good, very nice to get back in the car after the off-season. We are testing a lot of new stuff to improve the car overall for the street courses this year and things are going well.”

Pacific Coast Motorsports were also on pace throughout the test with Alex Figge posting the eighth time overall and David Martinez the 12th fastest. Simon Pagenaud at Conquest Racing was ninth with Enrique Bernoldi of Rocketsports in 10th place.

The Champ Car World Series will continue its pre-season testing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca March 13-14.

Final combined times from Sebring open test

Pos

Driver name No/Team Lap time MPH Total laps
1   Franck Perera #24 Conquest Racing 49.806 seconds 120.636 mph 205 laps
2   Graham Rahal #2 Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 49.950 seconds 120.288 mph 238 laps
3   Alex Tagliani #21 PKV Racing 50.173 seconds 119.754 mph 281 laps
4   Oriol Servia #22 PKV Racing 50.178 seconds 119.742 mph 288 laps
5   Justin Wilson #1 Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 50.207 seconds 119.673 mph 269 laps
6   Franck Montagny #7 Forsythe/Pettit Racing 50.209 seconds 119.668 mph 207 laps
7   Bruno Junqueira #19 Dale Coyne Racing 50.507 seconds 118.962 mph 247 laps
8   Alex Figge #29 Pacific Coast Motorsports 50.521 seconds 118.929 mph 247 laps
9   Simon Pagenaud #34 Conquest Racing 50.702 seconds 118.504 mph 186 laps
10   Enrique Bernoldi #8 Rocketsports Racing 50.714 seconds 118.476 mph 255 laps
11   Paul Tracy #3 Forsythe/Pettit Racing 50.732 seconds 118.434 mph 179 laps
12   David Martinez #28 Pacific Coast Motorsports 50.736 seconds 118.425 mph 255 laps
13   Ernesto Viso #4 Minardi Team USA 50.800 seconds 118.276 mph 164 laps
14   Mario Moraes #11 Dale Coyne Racing 50.930 seconds 117.974 mph 241 laps

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