The Race for the Vanderbilt Cup

The Race for the Vanderbilt Cup

07.08.2007: The Race for the Vanderbilt Cup

Three-way Race Promises to Add Excitement to the Champ Car World Series

As the Champ Car World Series prepares to head to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin’s Road America, the Race for the Vanderbilt Cup continues to add an extremely interesting subplot to a season filled with great stories.

The Vanderbilt Cup – Established in 1904 by William K. Vanderbilt Jr., The Vanderbilt Cup is America’s first major Motorsports trophy. Resurrected in 1996 to serve as the race trophy for the US 500, the re-creation of The Vanderbilt Cup was produced by Tiffany and Co.

The trophy is considered priceless since any re-creation of The Cup must meet approval of the Vanderbilt family. Starting in 2000, The Vanderbilt Cup has been awarded to the Champ Car World Series champion. The original Cup sits in the Smithsonian Institute.

Comfortable up Front – Since coming to North America to drive in the Champ Car World Series, Sebastien Bourdais has led the Series points standings after 42 of the 68 races he has competed in. This includes the incredible 2006 season in which the Frenchman led the points standings wire-to-wire. In all, the three time champ, Bourdais, has spent nearly 62% of his time in Champ Car at the top.

Bridging the Gap – Rookie Robert Doornbos cut his championship deficit in half at San Jose. After struggling in Edmonton, the Dutchman used a heavy right foot and a little luck to earn his second career win at San Jose. The win along with points leader Sebastien Bourdais’ fifth place finish has Doornbos within 10 points of the Series lead.

Powerful Start – Sophomore Will Power is currently sitting third in the Race for the Vanderbilt Cup, 24 points back of Bourdais. After final qualifying two weeks ago in Edmonton, the young Aussie was tied with Bourdais for second in the standings.

Unfortunately, a broken piece in his steering assembly saw Power finish 15th in Edmonton, while Bourdais triumphed. Power reversed his ill fortune at San Jose though, as he started 12th but moved up to fourth at the checkered flag.

Valuable Bonus Points – There are four bonus points available during a Champ Car World Series race weekend. One for fastest in Friday’s qualifying, a second for fastest in Saturday’s qualifying plus one for fastest race lap, as well as one for the most positions gained during the race. With nine races in the books, there have been 36 bonus points awarded and Sebastien Bourdais has taken the most advantage of the bonus system.

The three-time champion has secured 14 bonus points or 39% of the available points. Robert Doornbos, who is second in the standings, has earned a scant three bonus points while Will Power, who is currently third, has earned six bonus points.

Roller coaster Ride -- CDW driver Justin Wilson must feel like he is on a summer tour of amusement parks as the British driver spent most of the summer gaining ground in the Race for the Vanderbilt Cup. At San Jose he reached the peak of the hill after claiming the pole position on Saturday, trailing points leader Sebastien Bourdais by just 29 points.

Race day, he found himself at the bottom of the hill when contact with Dan Clarke sent Wilson to the pits for 21 laps while his CDW crew repaired the car. After only salvaging a 13th place finish, and the bonus point for fastest race lap, Wilson now trails Bourdais by 41 points. 

Talented Rookie Class – Two rookies are currently sitting in the top-five in the Race for the Vanderbilt Cup. Robert Doornbos is second and Neel Jani is fifth. On the outside looking in are Simon Pagenaud (sixth) and Graham Rahal (seventh). Since 1979, two rookies have never finished in the top-five.

Championship Debut – Only twice since 1979 have rookie drivers claimed the series championship. The first was Nigel Mansell in 1993. Mansell was a rookie in title only as the 1992 F1 World Champion moved to the United States to try his hand in Champ Car. Juan Montoya is the only other rookie to claim the Championship when he won it in 1999.

Current Standings – Sebastien Bourdais leads the standings with 216 points and Robert Doornbos is second with 206 points. Sitting in third place is Will Power with 192 points and holding on to the fourth spot is Justin Wilson with 175 points. Rounding out the top five is Neel Jani with 175 points. Click this link to see the full standings.

The Champ Car Points System -- A driver can earn a maximum of 34 points during an event weekend. 31 points are awarded to the race winner along with bonus points for the fastest driver in qualifying on both Friday and Saturday.

During the race a bonus point is given to the driver that records the fastest lap as well as to the driver who makes up the most positions during the race. The gap in points awarded between first and second is four, while the number of points between each position from two through 10 is only two markers. From 10-to-20 only one point separates each finishing position.

The larger gap between first and second rewards the winning driver for his accomplishment and gives more value to a race win. The current points system was put in place for the 2004 season and marked the first change since 1983.

Finish Points Finish Points Finish Points Finish Points

1st 31 - 6th 19 - 11th 10- 16th 5

2nd 27- 7th 17 - 12th 9- 17th 4

3rd 25 - 8th 15- 13th 8 - 18th 3

4th 23- 9th 13 - 14th 7 - 19th 2

5th 21- 10th 11- 15th 6 - 20th 1


Below is a chart of the top-three contenders for the Vanderbilt Cup showing their progress to the coveted trophy throughout the season.


The Last 10 Champions:

2006 Sebastien Bourdais 2001 Gil de Ferran

2005 Sebastien Bourdais 2000 Gil de Ferran

2004 Sebastien Bourdais 1999 Juan Montoya

2003 Paul Tracy 1998 Alex Zanardi

2002 Cristiano da Matta 1997 Alex Zanardi



- Tom McGovern -  photos Champ Car


07.08.2007 / MaP

More News

Belgian Champ Car GP - Achetez et imprimez vos tickets sur le Circuit Zolder !
Incontestable événement de la fin du mois d'août sur la scène sportive internationale, le premier Belgian Grand Prix Champ Car de Zolder n'en finit pas de défrayer la chronique. Alors que seule l'épreuve d'Elkhart Lake doit encore être disputée avant l'arrivée des bolides en terre européenne et belge, more >>
Race drivers, teams and fans gear up for the Tour de Road America
- Annual Bike Ride to Fight Cancer - Aims to Raise $20,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation In just a week, elite drivers from the Champ Car World Series, The Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Series Powered by Mazda, and other racing series more >>
San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway - Driver quotes
Robert Doornbos #14 Team Minardi USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 15th/Finished 1st) – "It's a great way to feel after such a difficult weekend. Also in Edmonton we struggled a lot last week. Coming into this sort of mini Monaco street circuit, I sort of pushed the team very hard to find a good setup. We also struggled in the first free practice, and in qualifying more >>
Robert Doornbos crashes and passes his way to second career win
Dutch Driver Cuts Points Deficit to Sebastien Bourdais in Half – Some had said the most important part of the San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway was Saturday qualifying, as the tight street circuit in the "Capital of Silicon Valley" had produced races with few passing opportunities. This year’s edition proved them wrong though as Robert Doornbos (#14 M more >>
Bomarito takes first 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Victory in San Jose Grand Prix
... at Redback Raceway, Matos clinches Championship with fourth place performance The San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway (ESPN2, 8/3, 5:30 p.m. ET) featured two Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda celebrations, as local driver Jonathan Bomarito (#23 Miracle Sealants/Konica Minolta/Dynacor) picked up his first victor more >>
L'incroyable course de Robert Doornbos, vainqueur pour la 2ème fois, Jan Heylen de nouveau dans le top 10 !
San José Grand Prix / USA Une semaine après l'aéroport d'Edmonton, la caravane du Champ Car s'est retrouvée dans les rues étroites de San José, en Californie, sur un circuit très court (2,3 km) que les pilotes parcourent en une cinquantaine de secondes à peine. Une étape qui a permis au Hollandais Robert Doornbos (Minardi Team USA) de réaliser un véritable exploit. more >>
Justin Wilson drives the CDW car to the pole position in Silicon Valley
Four-tenths of a second separates the Top-13 Drivers in Final Qualifying Nearly every technology company in Silicon Valley is working to make their product better and faster and the same can be said for the teams and drivers in the Champ Car World Series. At the San more >>
San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway - Final qualifying quotes
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st) – "It was a very difficult session this morning. We got lost and we were struggling. We had a pretty good lap time early on in the morning practice, but after that we went downhill pretty quickly. We literally went back to yester more >>
Bomarito breaks Redback Raceway Champ Car Atlantic Track record
... en route to first career Atlantic pole for "Hometown Race" at San Jose Grand Prix  Jonathan Bomarito (#23 Miracle Sealants/Konica Minolta/Dynacor) will start his 30th career Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda race from the pole position for the first time in his career after a track-record performance in final more >>
Champ Car welcomes one Millionth fan in San Jose
Champ Car World Series shows growth in several areas through first half of 2007 The Champ Car World Series honored its one millionth fan of the 2007 season at the San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway today, an early milestone for the Series due to attendance being up 16% this year. Storm Vanderzee, John Walsh and family, who are attending the ra more >>
San Jose Grand Prix celebrates Champ Car Fan Favorite Awards
Fans pick their favorite Champ Car moments with on-line votes Champ Car World Series Fan Favorite Awards were presented Friday night at the San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway, with memories both comical and poignant highlighting the ceremony. Ten different drivers were up for awards in nine different categories, but the big winner of the more >>
San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway - Friday qualifying quotes
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st) – "The first run I spent more time on the escape road than on the track. We have a brake issue, we know that. But we didn't have any time to fix it at lunchtime. We have variable brake values that keeps on tricking me; one locks the rears and one locks the fronts, and I'm still not changing an more >>
Sebastien Bourdais earns third straight front row start at San Jose
French Driver goes from Worst to First During Qualifying to Claim Provisional Pole – Exciting action highlighted provisional qualifying for the San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway as Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald’s Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) moved from 17th on the time sheets to first with one fast lap around the 1.443-mile circuit in the heart more >>
Local racer Jonathan Bomarito scores provisional Champ Car Atlantic pole
... for San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway Hailing from nearby Monterey, Calif., Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda veteran Jonathan Bomarito (#23 Miracle Sealants/Konica Minolta/Dynacor) claimed the provisional pole position for Sunday’s San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway (, Live, 3:30 p.m. more >>
Lyn St. James driver development program scholarship
... to be named in honor of Champ Car Atlantic's Vicki O-Connor   O’Connor instrumental in open-wheel driver development The Champ Car World Series in collaboration with Lyn St. James announced yesterday, at the Women in the Winner’s Circle luncheon, the inception of the Champ Car Vicki O’Connor scholarship. The scholarship, named in hon more >>
Ronnie Bremer Returns to Brooks Associates Racing for San Jose
Ronnie Bremer, former Champ Car driver and Champ Car Atlantic Championship driver for Brooks Associates Racing and Polestar Racing Group, will pilot the #10 Wyndham Mazda-Cosworth/Swift/Cooper of Brooks Associates Racing for San Jose. Bremer last drove for the team in 2004, when he led the championship early in the season. Kevin Lacroix had not planned to run the race du more >>
San Jose Grand - Prix : Atlantic Series - Tip Sheet
COOPER TIRES PRESENTS THE CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA   · Down To The Wire: This weekend’s San Jose Grand Prix is the penultimate round of the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship. The series will take off one weekend before the finale at Road America on August 12. The series will also contest a non-points event as part of t more >>
San Jose Grand-Prix - Atlantic Series - Fast facts
COOPER TIRES PRESENTS THE CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA   WHAT: San Jose Grand Prix WHERE: Redback Raceway – San Jose, Calif. CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times local, PT): FRIDAY, JULY 27 – Practice: 8:45 – 9:30 a.m., First-Round Qualifying: 12:40 – 1:15 p.m. SATURDAY, JULY 2 more >>
Matos looks to wrap-up 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship
... with another strong performance as series heads for penultimate round at San Jose Grand-Prix With six victories and a season full of strong performances already under his belt, Brazilian driver Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) can wrap-up the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda and the $2 million prize toward a Ch more >>
San Jose : Pre-Race Quotes
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (1st, 194 points) – The McDonald’s team has done a really good job both years in San Jose. It’s tough to say which San Jose win is my favorite but last year we really had to fight for it. There was a little more activity i more >>
San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway - Fast facts & Tip Sheet
Tip Sheet The Champion Returns – Last weekend in Edmonton Sebastien Bourdais made a daring move from his front row starting spot entering Turn 1 and never looked back leading more than one third of the laps during the race. As a result Bourdais took the point lead by twenty markers over his closest competitor. In San Jose the Frenchman has been unstoppable more >>
Champ Car World Series ready to rumble in San Jose
A Classic Streetfight is on Tap for the Third Running of the San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway  After three exciting Canadian races that saw the Team Australia duo of Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bri more >>
Champ Car hopeful to be awarded Skip Barber Scholarship
Winner to be chosen by a panel of judges at the Rotax Grand National Sometimes you need a little help to make it to the next level in racing. Moving up from go-karts to open-wheel type cars is not always easy, but for the second year in a row th more >>
Sébastien Bourdais vainqueur et nouveau leader, Jan Heylen dans le top 10 !
Grand Prix Edmonton / Canada Les épreuves estivales se suivent à un rythme effréné sur le front du Champ Car, avec ce dimanche la 3ème et dernière étape de la Canadian Triple Crown, sur le tracé routier d'Edmonton, en fait un aérodrome transformé le temps d'un week-end en piste de cou more >>
Sébastien Bourdais races to Championship Lead in Edmonton
Frenchman Renews Quest for Record Setting Fourth Straight Championship with Win Heading into the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton there was a three-way battle for the top spot in the Series Championship, but after the checkered flag flew, three-t more >>
Pagenaud powers Team Australia to Canadian Triple Crown Win
Power & Pagenaud barely edge Bourdais & Rahal of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, whose 1-3 finish today nearly clipped Team Australia’s wings It might not have been the individual outcome expected for Will Power, who failed to more >>
Rexall Grand Prix Edmonton - Race quotes
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 2nd/Finished 1st) – "It was a fun race. It was tough, as usual. It's a place, like I said, it beats you up, drags you down to your knees, but when you can pull it off, it feels really good. I think everybody was tired more >>
Edmonton Rexall Grand Prix - Race result (provisional)
The Champ Car World Series Rexall Speedway Edmonton, Alberta, CanadaSunday, July 22, 2007 1:00 PM 1 2 1 Sebastien Bourdais McDonald's Racing Team - Newman Haas Lanigan Racing 96 1:45:41.953 107.517 173.032 Running 58.653 121.099 93 1 2 3 9 Justin Wilson CDW - RSPOR more >>
Matos completes Champ Car Atlantic Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton
... doubleheader sweep on dramatic final lap and extends points As the car of race-leader Franck Perera (#11 CJ Motorsport/Continental Cartage Inc. sputtered on the final lap, Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda points leader Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) pounced on the opportunity and went on to claim his sixth victory more >>
Mario Dominguez to Driver PKV Racing entry at Rexall Grand-Prix of Edmonton
Champ Car veteran Mario Dominguez will replace the injured Tristan Gommendy in the #22 Pay By Touch MegaSpirea PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/ Bridgestone car for today’s Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton, July 20-22, on the temporary airport circuit at City Centre Airport, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Dominguez, 31, takes over for Gommendy, who crashed during Friday’s provisiona more >>
Will Power puts Team Australia on Pole Position in Edmonton
Points Chase Tightens as Aussie Driver Sets a Track Record Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) set the track record at Rexall Speedway at City Center Airport, but lost a front wing en route to earning his fourth career p more >>
Matos scores fifth win of the season and extends Championship lead
22.07.2007 first half of doubleheader at Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton  Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) got sweet revenge in Saturday’s first race of a Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda doubleheader at the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton and extended his lead in the championship standings with his fifth victory of the sea more >>
Rexall Grand-Prix Edmonton - Final Qualifying quotes
Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st) – "I think I did a similar thing to what Sebastien did this morning, except he spun and I corrected it, and jumped the curb, took off the front wing, did a bit of damage. But I did a time good enough earlier on in the run. So, you know, it was good. We had the speed there all weekend. I just more >>
Champ Car Canadian Triple Crown set for showdown in Edmonton
Top three teams capture top three spots in final round of qualifying The table is now set for the final Champ Car Canadian Triple Crown Showdown at the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton. With Will Power on pole position, Sebastien Bourdais starting more >>
Rexall Grand Prix Edmonton - Qualifying quotes
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st) – "I still have no clue what happened over there. Pushed for the whole season session, the whole morning, then on one lap it just stepped out. One of these things where you kind of, Well, all right, didn't hit anyt more >>
Sébastien Bourdais takes second straight provisional pole in shortened Edmonton session
Points Race Tightens as Bourdais Gains One Championship Point and Moves into Tie for Second in Standings Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald’s Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) entered the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton third in the Championship standings but following today’s provisi more >>
James Hinchcliffe scores third pole position of the season...
.. for first half of doubleheader at Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton Qualifying for 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda doubleheaders has belonged to Canadian racer James Hinchcliffe (#9 NOCO/ProWorks), and Hinchcliffe did not disappoint in Friday’s qualifying session for Saturday’s first half of the Rexall more >>
Belgian Champ Car Grand Prix - Zolder 24-26 aôut 2007
Un rendez-vous pour toute la famille Pour la première fois, le Champ Car World Series fera escale en Belgique du 24 au 26 août prochains. Le top de la monoplace à l’américaine se retrouvera sur le Circuit de Zolder pour un Festival of Speed qui s’annonce on ne peut plus spectaculaire. Avec le Champ Car, les courses annexes et les nombreuses animations prévues, ce w more >>
Atlantic Series at Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton - Tip sheet
COOPER TIRES PRESENTS THE CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA · Let’s Play Two: For the second and final time in the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship, the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton will feature a doubleheader weekend for Atlantic with Race #1 on Saturday, July 21 and Race #2 on Sunday, July 22. In the season’s first doubl more >>


2001-2022 full copyright