Bourdais hoping Long Beach stays good to him The 2006 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach was the beginning of a four race win streak for Sebastien Bourdais last season and the bulk of his seven for the season. He not only repeated his 2005 win here last year, he scored the maximum points after setting the fastest time in both qualifying sessions, setting the fastest race lap and winning the event. He is hoping to return to that sort of weekend on the 1.968-mile course on the streets of Long Beach.
“You need something – I wouldn’t say you need luck – but you need things not to be against you in order to win a championship,” added Bourdais, who drove his motor coach from Las Vegas to Long Beach in order to see more of the United States. “Even more this year, that will be the case while we work on the reliability of these new cars.”
Bourdais has the rare opportunity to win four consecutive championships this year if he can again capture the Vanderbilt Cup. He would be making history as no Champ or Indy Car driver has ever won four straight championships. Four in a row is very rare in professional sports. In fact it has never been done in either NASCAR or the NFL and it hasn’t been accomplished in the last twenty years in the NBA, NHL or MLB. Bourdais and his McDonald’s team are putting in long hours in attempt to accomplish this goal.
“To be able to make history with a fourth consecutive championship for the McDonald’s team is a big motivation but I don’t need that to go at it and work hard,” said Bourdais who has won in two of his four starts here and finished third in another. “The guys put in so many hours in the off-season and again at Las Vegas. I think realistically the team has been doing a fantastic job for three years in a row now and when you get to the top the only thing you want to do is stay there so we don’t need extra motivation.”
Since the series started racing in Long Beach in 1984, the team has earned five wins, 9 poles and 13 podium finishes with Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Bruno Junqueira and Bourdais. That record has earned the team an invitation to be included in the Long Beach Walk of Fame on Thursday at 2 p.m. PT near the race track. Driver Brian Redman and race promoter Chris Pook will be inducted in addition to Newman/Haas Racing. NHLR
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