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Bremer Stakes Claim to DCR Seat

Ronnie Bremer staked a claim to a full-time seat at Dale Coyne Racing with an impressive sixth-place finish on his first outing with the team in Edmonton on Sunday

The Dane started an unrepresentative 16th after rain and red flags on Saturday prevented him from improving on the time he set in his first day in the car. But he steadily climbed through the field in the race, earning the bonus Championship point awarded to the driver who makes the most progress from his grid position.

Attrition and rivals' mistakes aided his cause, but he also demonstrated real pace, setting the race's sixth fastest lap, less than four tenths of a second shy of winner Sebastien Bourdais' best.

"I just couldn't quite get by [Mario] Dominguez at the end," smiled Bremer after finishing hot on the heels of the Forsythe Championship Racing driver. "But I'm happy with the way the race went. We have been quick most of the weekend and today we were able to show it."

Bremer contested the first five races of the season for HVM Racing before sponsorship difficulties forced him to step aside for Alex Sperafico in Toronto. HVM then announced last Friday that they have "extended their 2005 agreement...for [Bremer] to drive for the team in 2006" after "certain circumstances" prevented them from running him this year.

The news that HVM has a longer-term claim on Bremer's services was received somewhat coolly by Dale Coyne, who has not yet confirmed that the 26-year-old will drive for him for the remainder of the season and pointed out that "we're not in the business of training drivers for other teams".

However, Coyne's team is in desperate need of some stability after fielding no fewer than six different drivers in the #19 American Medical Response car this season. Signing Bremer for the rest of the year would appear to be the obvious solution, especially as he delivered the team's best result of 2005 in Edmonton yesterday.

"To be honest I still don't know what the situation is for the rest of the season," admitted Bremer. "I think I will be in this car again, but I haven't been told for sure yet. I hope so, because I think I showed today I can do a good job for the team."

Bremer's sixth place was the best finish of his young Champ Car career and moved him squarely into contention for Rookie of the Year honours. He now trails Andrew Ranger by three points and leader Timo Glock by just 11 in that contest.

The opportunity to claim the rookie title was one of the reasons cited by Coyne for hiring Bremer in preference to Ryan Dalziel following the Toronto race, along with his (slightly) greater Champ Car experience.

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