Bourdais Fastest at San Jose

The first day's running at the inaugural San Jose Champ Car race was thrown into disarray by safety and logistical headaches with the new 1.5-mile downtown street circuit

Bourdais Fastest at San Jose

The start of practice was delayed by three and a half hours while last-minute construction work was performed on walls, catch-fencing and a pedestrian bridge.

The Champ Cars were eventually fired up at 13:50 local time (20:50 GMT) for the first of two 45-minute sessions, which saw Sebastien Bourdais set the pace from perennial nemesis Paul Tracy.

The Frenchman ruled the roost once again later in the afternoon, heading teammate Oriol Servia in a Newman/Haas 1-2.

Bourdais took an adventurous route to the fastest time, resorting to the run-off areas on three separate occasions after locking his front wheels under braking on the very bumpy surface. He finally hooked everything together on his penultimate lap, stopping the clocks in 52.615 seconds (99.074 mph).

The new track scrambled the usual pecking order behind the Newman/Haas duo, with top rookie Timo Glock posting the third best time for Rocketsports ahead of Mi-Jack Conquest Racing's Nelson Philippe.

The teenager's performance took his own team by surprise, and he was promptly asked over the radio, "Where did that lap come from, Nelson?"

"On this track, if you hang it out, it's quick; I hit everything just right on that lap and the car feels good," reported Philippe.

Tracy had to make do with fifth on the time sheets in the leading Forsythe entry, while sixth place went to fellow Canadian Alex Tagliani, who has been strong all season for the rechristened Team Australia outfit.

Ronnie Bremer underlined his credentials for a full-time seat at Dale Coyne Racing with the seventh fastest time, just 0.4s adrift of pacesetter Bourdais. Ryan Hunter-Reay (Rocketsports), Justin Wilson (RuSPORT) and series returnee Rodolfo Lavin (HVM) rounded out the top ten.

Friday's practice times provide an interesting snapshot of relative performance at this early stage of the meeting, but they will not count towards the starting grid, which will be determined by the sole qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.

shares
comments
Qualifying Cancelled at San Jose
Previous article

Qualifying Cancelled at San Jose

Next article

San Jose Track Set for Tweaks

San Jose Track Set for Tweaks
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021