Power Failure Thwarts Bourdais

Almost as fast as the weather changes in the Pacific Northwest, the Saturday qualifying results for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland were thrown into doubt due to an electrical power failure 14 minutes into the 35-minute timed session

Power Failure Thwarts Bourdais

It transpired that Timing & Scoring, in spite of having five laptops to every person staffed, didn't have a backup system for the transponder input and hence there was no reliable way of verifying times set during the power cut.

Sebastien Bourdais, for one, believed he had been short-changed amid the ensuing confusion. The pit timing monitors and the Frenchman's dashboard showed he had improved his Friday time by two-tenths of a second during the power outage. But when power was restored six minutes later, Bourdais' fastest lap had disappeared from the screens.

"I read the time on the dash - a 57.79s - and we had run the fastest lap of the session at that point," recounted a disappointed Bourdais (who had also been stripped of his fastest Friday lap time for obstructing a faster car while exiting the pits).

"Then I brought the car back to the pits because of the red flag. The monitor showed us P1. We are checking with Race Control to get a clarification of the situation. Since there was a power outage they are checking their data."

Because Champ Car 'lost' Bourdais' fastest lap - which would have placed him on the front row alongside polesitter Justin Wilson and widened his Championship lead over Wilson to seven points - Newman/Haas brought their own data evidence to the officials.

Some three hours later (including an interruption for the driver's meeting), the posted results were upheld. At that point Newman/Haas had 30 minutes to file an official protest, as had the Rocketsports team for Ryan Hunter-Reay, who had also registered a slightly quicker lap before the scoring meltdown.

It's likely the evidence supplied by Newman/Haas didn't sway the officials for fear of opening up a can of worms that would result in other teams pleading their cases on the basis of their data. Ultimately, no protests were filed and Bourdais will start Sunday's race from fifth rather than second on the grid.

shares
comments
Wilson Takes Maiden Pole
Previous article

Wilson Takes Maiden Pole

Next article

Da Matta Wins in Portland

Da Matta Wins in Portland
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