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Bourdais Takes Classy Win

Sebastien Bourdais delivered a classy performance to win the inaugural San Jose Champ Car race in commanding fashion.

The reigning series champion started from pole position and barely put a wheel wrong on a gruelling and mechanically punishing track that claimed no fewer than nine victims in the course of the afternoon.

For much of the race Bourdais was in fuel conservation mode and was content to maintain a slender lead over perennial rival Paul Tracy. But he showed how much he had in hand when he motored off into the distance following the final restart and romped home to his third victory of the season.

"The key was to start at the front and stay there," said Bourdais, who widened his lead in the points standings to 28 points over Tracy after eight of 14 rounds.

"I am so very happy for my guys at Newman/Haas, who took the car to pieces and completely rebuilt it overnight. They did an awesome job to prepare the car and it was like a tank!"

Tracy drove a strong but relatively subdued race and admitted that he didn't have an answer for Bourdais' pace in the closing stages.

"It was a tough race," said the Forsythe driver. "We weren't really close enough to Sebastien - he only made one mistake, when he locked up and ran wide at the hairpin, and I wasn't close enough to capitalize on it. In the end he was able to pull away from me and I decided second place was the most I was going to get from today."

Oriol Servia was unable to match the sheer speed of teammate Bourdais but drove flawlessly to score his fourth consecutive podium finish. The Spaniard was convinced something was amiss with his PacifiCare Lola in the last few laps but was able to stave off the advances of Justin Wilson and Mario Dominguez.

Slick pit work from the RuSPORT team helped Wilson claim fourth from ninth on the grid, while Dominguez scored some more much-needed points after an erratic start to the season.

Timo Glock padded his lead in the Rookie of the Year standings by coming home sixth ahead of fellow freshmen Ronnie Bremer, Bjorn Wirdheim and the Team Australia car of Alex Tagliani, the only other drivers to take the chequered flag in the attrition-hit race.

AJ Allmendinger was one of a long list of drivers to lose control at the treacherous Turn Four, clouting the wall and breaking the right-front corner of his RuSPORT Lola. It marked the third time in as many races that the young Californian has retired due to an unforced error and did nothing for his increasingly fragile self-esteem.

At least he had plenty of company - Andrew Ranger, Rodolfo Lavin and Cristiano da Matta all fell foul of the same corner.

The series now has a week off before reconvening for another street race at Denver in a fortnight's time.

Pos  Driver              Team            Time
 1.  Sebastien Bourdais  Newman Haas     1h 45:42.889
 2.  Paul Tracy          Forsythe        +      3.724
 3.  Oriol Servia        Newman Haas     +     10.383
 4.  Justin Wilson       RuSPORT         +     11.323
 5.  Mario Dominguez     Forsythe        +     11.917
 6.  Timo Glock          Rocketsports    +     15.259
 7.  Ronnie Bremer       Dale Coyne      +     16.391
 8.  Bjorn Wirdheim      HVM, Inc.       +     19.443
 9.  Alex Tagliani       Team Australia  +     4 Laps

RETIREMENTS:

     Driver              Team              On Lap
     Cristiano da Matta  PKV                 77
     Jimmy Vasser        PKV                 60
     Marcus Marshall     Team Australia      52
     Rodolfo Lavin       HVM, Inc.           40
     Ryan Hunter-Reay    Rocketsports        36
     Nelson Philippe     Mi-Jack Conquest    20
     Andrew Ranger       Mi-Jack Conquest    13
     A.J. Allmendinger   RuSPORT             12
     Ricardo Sperafico   Dale Coyne           0

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