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Junqueira Returns to the Paddock

Less than six weeks after his Indianapolis 500 accident, Bruno Junqueira made a welcome return to the Champ Car World Series paddock in Toronto

The Newman/Haas driver was leading the CCWS points before a violent tangle with AJ Foyt IV in the IRL IndyCar Series' showpiece race left him with spinal injuries, a broken ankle and concussion.

Following surgery and a period of hospital convalescence, Junqueira returned home in mid-June. He was relieved to be fit enough to rejoin the Champ Car scene in Toronto, albeit only as a spectator.

"I'm feeling good," said the Brazilian. "It's really good to be back with the team and seeing the racing live.

"My ankle is healing. I think in a couple of weeks it will be 100 percent.

"My back is getting there. It takes a long time to reach 100 percent, but it's getting better.

"I'm doing a lot of physiotherapy every day and trying to get back into shape."

No date has been set for Junqueira's return to racing. He said he has been trying not to dwell on his misfortune, despite the fact that 2005 could have presented his best chance yet to win the Champ Car title after finishing second in the points for three successive seasons.

"It's very frustrating," he admitted. "I was looking pretty strong (in the Championship), but I have to put that in the past and just look forward and be ready to go."

Junqueira's friend Oriol Servia has deputised for him at Newman/Haas Racing, taking two podium finishes and qualifying fourth for tomorrow's Molson Indy Toronto.

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