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This weekend’s race marks the first time that has christened a new road- or street-course event since February of 2003 when the series became the first to run on the streets of St. Petersburg. The series will run another inaugural event two weeks from now at the first-ever Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose, marking the first time since 2002 (Denver, Montreal) that Champ Car has run two consecutive inaugural events.

RuSPORT Romps – The second-year RuSPORT squad scored the first win of its young existence last weekend and has both Justin Wilson and A.J. Allmendinger in the top four spots in the title hunt. The 6’5" Wilson – Champ Car’s own Tower of London – has five top-seven runs this year, his only substandard performance coming in Portland when he was on his way to victory when his oil pump seized.

Tracy Out Front – Paul Tracy has led laps in each of the first six races of the season and has qualified in the top five for every race this year. The Ontario native is the only Canadian driver to win at two different home-country venues (Vancouver, Toronto) and will look to make it three this weekend in Edmonton.

Bridgestone Sees Red – Exclusive tire supplier and series presenting sponsor Bridgestone will be bringing its red-walled alternate tires to this weekend’s race, giving teams and driver a bit more strategy to consider in formulating their race-day plans. The alternate Potenzas are made of a softer compound, and must be used at least once during the race.

Bourdais Battles On – Sebastien Bourdais has used a consistent approach to take the series points lead this year as he looks to defend his 2004 crown. The points leader has a 15-point lead over Paul Tracy in the standings and has done it partially by being the only driver so far to finish every race, as well as by leading the series in laps and miles completed. Staying on the track and out of trouble has led him to finish sixth or better in every race this year.

Glock Grabs Lead – Timo Glock has retaken the lead in the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year Award standings, using five top-10 finishes to claim a three-point lead over Andrew Ranger after six races. The German has put together four consecutive top-10 runs highlights by last week’s seventh-place effort in Toronto.

Depth of Talent – The unpredictability of the Champ Car World Series has manifested itself on the podium on race weekends. The series has had five different winners in six races, nine different drivers have scored top-three runs and 19 drivers have scored top-10 finishes.

Bridgestone Pole Award – Bridgestone puts up $10,000 each weekend for the Bridgestone Pole Award, given to the top-qualifying driver for Sunday’s race. To this point, four drivers have captured the award, which features $5,000 of that award being earmarked for charity. In addition, Bridgestone is sponsoring a year-end award, with $30,000 going to the driver with the most pole positions. After six races, Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy are tied with two poles each.

F1 Migration – To further illustrate the depth of field this season, the 2005 driver roster has four drivers that have recent experience in Formula 1 including newcomers Timo Glock (Jordan, 2004), Bjorn Wirdheim (Jaguar, 2004) and Cristiano da Matta (Toyota, 2003-04). In addition, the series features four former FIA International F3000 champions (Wilson, Bourdais, Junqueira, Wirdheim), who have proven themselves in one of the top open-wheel feeder series in the world.

HVM Provides Spark – Alex Sperafico had 10 Champ Car starts under his belt when he took the wheel of the HVM Racing #55 machine last week, but had never had a day like he did in Toronto. Sperafico finished on the lead lap for the first time in his career and earned a career-best eighth-place finish.

Phlying Philippe – Nelson Philippe had one of his best Champ Car weekends last week when he earned his first top-10 starting position. He went on to finish 10th despite suffering contact, scoring his first top-10 run of the season.

Bourdais’ Defense – 2004 Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais will look to become the first driver since Gil de Ferran (2000-01) to defend his series title. One of the youngest drivers ever to reach double-digits in Champ Car wins (11), Bourdais has 19 podium finishes in his 38 series starts, a percentage that is unmatched in the annals of Champ Car racing.

Shutting the Window – In an effort to introduce more race craft and strategy into Champ Car racing, the series has eliminated the mandatory pit windows that have been in effect for the last two seasons. Teams now have the ability to employ a number of different strategies in regard to pit stops as they fight for the top step of the podium.

Ever-Expanding Series – The 2005 season will feature three new events on the Champ Car World Series calendar and has already seen an historic new event slated for 2006. Races in Edmonton, San Jose, California and Ansan, South Korea have been added to the 14-race lineup while a race in Beijing, China will be part of the 2006 season. The Beijing event will mark the first time that a U.S.-based racing series will compete in mainland China.

Safety First – Cementing its standing as one of the safest racing series in the world, the Champ Car World Series will look to continue its remarkable run of injury-free racing in 2005. The efforts of the Champ Car Safety Team and the on-site, state-of-the-art medical team led by Dr. Chris Pinderski, combined with the skill of the drivers and teams of the series have led to two years of safety that has seen just one driver miss a race due to an injury suffered in a Champ Car event, that coming in Cleveland in 2003 when Tiago Monteiro was held out of the race due to a mild concussion.

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