Can anyone catch Bourdais? About the only thing that isn't a mystery at the start of the Champ Car World Series season is who will emerge at the end as its champion.
In a series where change has become the norm, the lone constant has been Sebastien Bourdais winning races and championship trophies. There is little reason to suspect the Frenchman won't make it four titles in a row in a season that begins Sunday on the streets of Las Vegas.
Bourdais, 28, won half of last year's 14 races and in his four-year career at Newman/Haas Racing has won 23 of his 59 starts (39 percent).
In a way, though, that dominance has served to devalue his achievement in the eyes of many because it brings into question the depth of competition in a series seemingly in constant turmoil.
"It's very clear that Champ Car gets no major recognition," Bourdais said. "It's also pretty clear the series is struggling when the week before the first race we didn't even have a driver lineup ready yet. All these last-minute deals, it's scary when you think about it.
"But I don't race for fame. I race because I like to win races and win championships. That's all the motivation I need."
The entry list for Las Vegas, one of six new venues on the 14-race schedule, has 17 cars, one less than the 2006 finale. But no team returns intact and few begin the season without sponsorship issues. Champ Car president Steve Johnson acknowledges the constant turnover is an ongoing concern. More at IndyStar.
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