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NHLR statement on Bourdais
It was announced today that Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing (NHLR) driver Sebastien Bourdais will join the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One team in 2008.  Bourdais was contracted to NHLR through 2008 but the team has released him from his contract so that he can pursue his dream of racing in F1.

  Bourdais joined Newman/Haas Racing in 2003 as the reigning F3000 champion and went on to become the Champ Car World Series Rookie of the Year after earning three wins, five poles and seven top-three podium finishes.  He followed that up with three consecutive championships for the McDonald’s team in 2004, 2005 and 2006.   So far in 2007, he has brought Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing four wins, including their 100th and 101st , three poles, set the fastest race lap in six out of nine events and is currently leading the series point standings.  He has earned 27 wins, 28 poles and 40 podium finishes in his 68 Champ Car starts to da Following are quotes from Bourdais and NHLR team owners:

  SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, driver of the No. 1 McDonald’s race car and three-time Champ Car Champion:  “I have had the best years of my racing career with Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.  We have accomplished many things including three championships, and many victories and poles along the way and I hope to accomplish more yet this season.  Now I feel it is time for me to go after another challenge.  I have had a very good experience with Toro Rosso while testing the car, and I hope to continue that.  I would like to thank Carl, Paul, Mike and the whole team for supporting my decision.  Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has always been like a family to me.  I also want to give a special thanks to the whole McDonald’s crew for everything they have done for me.  We have grown up and elevated ourselves together and I’ll never forget that.”

  PAUL NEWMAN, co-owner of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing: “He’s made his point.  We’re going to miss him fiercely but moving on is the right thing for him right now.”

  CARL HAAS, co-owner owner of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing: "Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has agreed to allow Sebastien Bourdais to pursue his lifelong goal of racing in Formula One.   Sebastien and Newman/Haas joined forces in 2003, where he finished fourth in points and then proceeded to win championship in 2004, 2005 and 2006.  For 2007, the team is committed to helping Sebastien become the first Champ Car driver ever to win four championships in a row.  Working with Sebastien has been great for the team and I wish him similar success in the future.”

  MICHAEL LANIGAN, co-owner of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing: “I wish Sebastien all of the best as he realizes his life long goal of running in Formula One.  Three consecutive championships aside, Sebastien’s daily performance, both on and off of the track, along with his contribution to the entire team stands as a testament to his dedication to the sport.  We will miss him.”
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