Season restart looms for Champ Car
Three-time and reigning Champ Car Champion Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald’s Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) clocked the fastest time during two days of testing at Canada’s Circuit Mont-Tremblant, recording a quickest 1:16.41 effort around the 2.65-mile (4.26 km) permanent road course.
Reaffirming the outright speed of the new Panoz DP01 Champ Car, Bourdais’ time unofficially broke the track record of 1:20.0, recorded in 2005 in a 1995 Reynard, on a track that did not feature the turn one chicane that the Champ Cars now have to negotiate.
That’s music to the ears of organizers of this year’s 17th Lexmark Indy 300 to be held on Queensland’s Gold Coast from October 18-21.
The new model Champ Car, under the direction of Bourdais earlier this year, has already recorded a track record time at Laguna Seca during pre-season testing and there’s anticipation that the streets of Surfers Paradise will be abuzz with further record breaking achievements, in one of the World’s most hotly contested open wheel racing series.
Bourdais was followed closely by last season’s Championship runner-up Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who registered a lap of 1:16.54, while a few rookies Tristan Gommendy (#22 Pay by Touch Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone), Robert Doornbos (#14 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Graham Rahal (#2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) rounded out the top five.
Team Australia’s Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) finished the day in sixth while his teammate Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was close behind in seventh on the fast and flowing Quebec circuit that will host Round 6 of this year’s Champ Car World Series on June 29 to July 1.
In welcome news, Australian crowd favorite Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgetone) graced the Circuit Mont-Tremblant in his return to the driving ranks since suffering a serious back injury during practice at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach earlier this year
Next up for the stars of the Champ Car World Series will be the Mazda Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland at Portland International Raceway June 8 – 10.