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Houston Champ Car Grand Prix Bits and Pieces

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INDIANAPOLIS (April 18, 2007)- Bourdais Bounces Back – In Long Beach Sebastien Bourdais got his bid to win four consecutive Champ Car titles back on track by winning from the pole position. Last year in Houston Bourdais started his race day in the fifth position, the furthest back he had started in nine events, then inherited the lead on lap 67 and never looked back leading the last 30 revolutions around Reliant Park to collect his second win of the season.


Powering On – Will Power continued his strong 2007 campaign by capturing the outside pole position in Long Beach and made a last lap pass to earn a podium finish. Currently the Australian leads the points standings by fifteen points over his closest competitor.


Five for Five - In five visits to Houston there have been five different winners in Champ Car competition. The streak began in 1998 when Dario Franchitti won the first ever Champ Car race to be held on the streets of Houston. Since then Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Gil de Ferran and Sebastien Bourdais have gone on to collect checkered flags in the Lone Star state.


Super Sub Servia – In a car that he had limited track time in Oriol Servia has shown why he was the best choice to fill in for injured Paul Tracy. After qualifying a somewhat disappointing fifteenth the Catalonian took advantage of well timed full course cautions to improve his track position leading 7 circuits around the Long Beach course, then went on to record a second place finish capturing the point for improving the most positions during the race, vaulting himself into the 9th position in the point standings.


120 Strong – This weekend Alex Tagliani will be making his 120th career Champ Car start. Since rejoining the RSPORTS (formerly Rocketsports) team the Canadian has made himself at home scoring two top-five finishes to begin the season, slotting himself into the second position in the points standings.


Racing and More - The Houston Grand Prix is a weekend-long festival both on and off the track. During the weekend there will be a number of events going on to keep the crowds rolling in. Some of the items include: the Face of Champ Car competition, concerts by various acts including Paul Rodgers and the Eli Young Band, and celebrity go-kart race.


Caution in Houston - The Houston Grand Prix has been one event that historically has seen the yellow flag fly early and often. Twice in event history the pace has been slowed by six caution periods (2006 and 1998). The least number of disruptions was four and it has happened twice (1999 and 2001).


Ladder Climbers – The 2007 Champ Car rookie class is filled with talent from the Champ Car Atlantic Championship. Those who have moved up the ranks include: Ryan Dalziel, Alex Figge, Graham Rahal and 2006 Atlantic Champion Simon Pagenaud; who combine for fourteen wins and twelve pole positions in the Champ Car support series.


Quadruple Titles? - Sebastien Bourdais has the rare opportunity to win four consecutive championships this year if he can again capture the Vanderbilt Cup, which would extend the title skein he began in 2004. Bourdais would be making history as no Champ 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 NFL and it hasn’t been done in the last twenty years in the NBA, NHL or MLB.


Repositioning Rivalry - Rivals for the Champ Car Atlantic Champion title, Simon Pagenaud and runner-up Graham Rahal look to continue their battle in the Champ Car World Series, only this time they will be dueling for the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year title. In last year’s Atlantic Championship, the two battled for the title up to the last race, but Pagenaud won the title by 16 points in the end.


Carrying on the legacy –Rookie Graham Rahal will carry on the family name in Champ Car competition as the son of three-time Champ Car Champion Bobby Rahal joins Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing for the 2007 season. Last year in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship the young Rahal set the mark as the youngest-ever winner in Atlantic history when he won from the pole in Monterrey, Mexico at age 17. Overall Rahal scored five wins, was the runner-up in the point standings, led 129 laps and won four pole positions.

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