Junqueira blows title chance

The CART championship has been decided in Paul Tracy's favour, even though the Canadian ace finished a lowly 14th in another chaotic wet/dry Champ Car race at Surfers Paradise.

Junqueira blows title chance

Tracy had fallen three laps behind after tangling with Roberto Moreno shortly after the rain-delayed race was restarted. Meanwhile, Bruno Junqueira controlled the race at the front of the field and the championship momentum seemed to be going in his favour.

But shortly prior to the first round of pit stops, Junqueira's wet weather tyres began going off on the drying track. He lost positions to Michel Jourdain and Adrian Fernandez shortly before the stops under yellow for Alex Tagliani's spin and the Newman/Haas crew was unable to regain the spots in the pits.

Junqueira continued to struggle when the race went green and he straightlined the first chicane on the restart, losing two more positions. Next time around, Bruno lost control under braking and the car speared right and slammed the outer wall before spinning to a stop. The Brazilian hopped out, his championship fight finished.

Junqueira suggested that he may have been the victim of some rough team tactics from the Player's/Forsythe team to avenge Sebastien Bourdais' punt of Paul Tracy on the second lap, but ultimately it looked like a case of driver error.

"It's very frustrating to lead the whole race but I lost positions because the pits were closed," Junqueira said. "That took my chance during the race.

"On the lap before, Carpentier hit me braking for that corner. I almost lost it. On that lap, I'm not sure if he hit me again or if I hit some water when I braked. I just lost the rear end of the car. It still wasn't completely dry and that's what happened."

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