Belgian Champ Car Grand-Prix - Circuit ZOLDER

Belgian Champ Car Grand-Prix - Circuit ZOLDER

21.08.2007: Belgian Champ Car Grand-Prix - Circuit ZOLDER

WHAT: Belgian Champ Car Grand Prix

WHERE: Circuit Zolder, Heusden-Zolder, Belgium

WHEN: Friday—Sunday, August 24-26

SUPPORT EVENTS: ADAC GT3 Masters, Benelux Racing League V8 and 2007 EuroBOSS Series.

CHAMP CAR SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, AUGUST 24 - 10:40 - 11:55 a.m., Champ Car practice; 2:30 - 3:30 p.m., Champ Car qualifying.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 -10:40 - 11:55 a.m., Champ Car practice; 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., Champ Car qualifying.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 - 10:30 – 11:00 a.m., Champ Car warmup; 2:00 p.m. Start of BELGIAN CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX.

 

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE (Eastern Time): SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 – Belgian Champ Car Grand Prix, ESPN Classic, 8:00 a.m. (Live). MONDAY, AUGUST 27 – Replay, ESPN 2, 2:00 a.m.

TRACK LAYOUT: 2.622-mile permanent road course

RACE LENGTH: One hour and forty-five minutes

TRACK RECORDS: TBD

RACE ROUND: Round eleven of sixteen in the Champ Car World Series

2007 CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES POINTS LEADERS:

1, Sebastien Bourdais, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, 250;

2, Robert Doornbos, Minardi Team USA, 213;

3, Will Power, Team Australia,197;

4, Justin Wilson, RSPORTS, 190;

5, Graham Rahal, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, 170;

6, Oriol Servia, Forsythe Championship Racing, 170;

7, Neel Jani, PKV Racing, 167;

8, Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia, 164;

9, Alex Tagliani, RSPORTS, 161;

10, Bruno Junqueira, Dale Coyne Racing, 138.

 

MEDIA TIP SHEET

 

Sebastien the Conqueror – Road America had been an elusive track for points leader Sebastien Bourdais, but his fourth start was the lucky one as he set sail on the course leading all but two laps during the event, winning the race by nearly ten seconds. To date, Bourdais has won at every track on the Champ Car schedule that he has more than one start on.

The last time that the Frenchman raced a Champ Car in Europe was 2003 during his rookie year and it brought him a lot of luck as he recorded his first two career wins at Brands Hatch in England and Lausitz in Germany.

"Speedy" Dan Dances at Road America – At Road America sophomore driver Dan Clarke came back from a scuffle with his teammate to record his best finish in Champ Car, second place.

The Brit began his day in the eighth position and led two laps of the event, on the way to the second podium finish of his career.

Robert’s Rookie Romp – This season Robert Doornbos has been the rookie to watch all season. He has led the point standings since his first race when he finished second in Las Vegas. So far this season the Dutchman has six podium finishes, including two wins at Mont-Tremblant and San Jose.

Last weekend it appeared as if he was on his way to another podium finish, until contact with his teammate took him out of contention. Doornbos is currently second in the point standings.

Heylen at Home – After recording his best finish this season of sixth in Elkhart Lake, Belgian driver Jan Heylen is ready to race in front of his fellow countrymen this weekend.

Hailing from Brussels, Heylen will be looking for his fourth consecutive top ten finish this weekend at Zolder.

Rahal Rising – At Road America Graham Rahal posted his third podium finish of the season to move him from eighth to fifth in the points standings marking the first time he has been able to break into the top five this season.

 Currently the American is second in the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year battle.

 

Team Belgium? – With a Belgian pilot Jan Heylen and team owner Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing will definitely feel at home this weekend in Zolder. Conquest Racing is owned by former driver Bachelart, who won the Indy Lights Championship in 1991, before moving up to Champ Car.

After retiring from driving in 1996, he founded Conquest Racing in 1997. The team made its Champ Car debut in 2003 and has been fielding entries ever since.

 

Servia Saves Face – Some may have counted Oriol Servia out when he qualified fourteenth in Road America, but during the main event the Catalonian went to work.

By the end of the race Servia was able to pass ten cars to finish fourth and collect an extra championship point for improving the most positions.

Jani has Plenty of Tens – During his rookie season in the Champ Car World Series Neel Jani has been consistent. So far this season the Swiss driver has three podium finishes and has only finished outside of the top ten twice this season.

Currently Jani has a streak of seven top-ten finishes going, which ties him for the longest of any rookie driver.

Dalziel battling back – After having surgery to mend a broken collar bone Ryan Dalziel, came back in Elkhart Lake. After a promising qualifying attempt the Scotsman was involved in a first lap incident, which ended his day.

So far this season the rookie has five top ten finishes, posting a top finish of seventh in Toronto.

Lucky to be unlucky? - The way things are shaping up during the 2007 Champ Car World Series season, it is almost lucky to have bad luck hit on during the opening laps of the race.

Twice this season the eventual winner of the race suffered minor contact in the opening laps, in both cases damaging the front nose wing of the car dropping the driver to the end of the field and forcing them to pit, before fighting their way up through the field to victory (Paul Tracy in Cleveland and Robert Doornbos in San Jose).

 

Frenchman goes for four - 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. Currently, he leads the point standings by 37 markers.

Bourdais would make 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.

 

- Kelly Brown-  photos Champ Car

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21.08.2007 / MaP

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