The Rivals: Seabass v PT
For the first time since the turn of the century, there was a discernible improvement in the overall depth of the Champ Car field compared to the previous year. As in 2004, however, one man, and one team, stood head and shoulders above the rest: Sebastien Bourdais and Newman/Haas Racing.
Their respective records speak volumes. Bourdais won six of the 13 races (four more than anyone else) and took five pole positions in the course of a successful title defence, while his Illinois-based team scored a total of eight victories and finished 1-2 in the points standings for the second straight year. Week in and week out, Newman/Haas remained the yardstick against which all the other teams measured themselves.
As ever, the key ingredients were the quality and exceptionally low turnover of their key personnel and a vast databank of set-up information that made the rest of the paddock green with envy.