Race Preview: Montreal - Champ Car

Team Infidel

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About the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve
Track Length: 2.709 miles/ 4.361 kilometers
Race Distance: 72 laps/195.048 miles
Number of Turns: 12 (7 right, 5 left)
Number of Champ Car Races Hosted:
Fastest Lap: 123.512 mph set by Cristiano da Matta in 2002
2005 Polesitter: Sebastien Bourdais
2005 Podium: Oriol Servia (winner), Timo Glock (2nd), Justin Wilson (3rd)
Championship Standings: Click here

What happened in 2005?
Oriol Servia became only the 10th driver dating back to 1946 to win a Champ Car race while leading only the last lap of the race, but the Spaniard was more than deserving of his first-ever Champ Car victory. Servia took the win over rookie Timo Glock, taking the lead when Glock was forced by Champ Car Stewards to cede the position to the Newman/Haas driver after shortcutting the frontstretch chicane twice during the waning laps. Sebastien Bourdais had been the strongest pilot all day long, leading 59 laps from the pole, but a rare misstep on a late pit stop dropped him out of contention. Glock moved into the lead, inheriting the spot when he fortuitously pitted ahead of a late-race caution, and paced 19 of the last 20 laps on his way to a career-best second place finish. Justin Wilson rounded out the podium by finishing third.
For a complete recap of last year’s event, click here

Sebastien Bourdais, A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Wilson are the only drivers to win Champ Car races this year through nine events. The record for fewest winners in a season is three, that coming in 1964 when A.J. Foyt won 10 of 13 races while Parnelli Jones (two) and Lloyd Ruby (one) shared the other three.

Penalty Notes
Paul Tracy’s penalty of seven championship points stemming from an incident in San Jose made him the second driver this season to have points deducted from his total. Mario Dominguez also lost seven points for his actions in Milwaukee. This is the first time since 2000 (Oriol Servia, Michael Andretti) that two drivers have been penalized with the loss of points in the same season.

French Canadian Flavor
As the Grand Prix of Montréal takes the green flag there will be two native Quebecois drivers for the Canadian crowd to cheer for. Alex Tagliani returns to his hometown of Montréal with a strong record at his home track. In his last three appearances the French Canadian has yet to start or finish outside of the top seven. Tagliani has one pole position at his home track and has spent 52 laps in front of the field. Andrew Ranger of Roxton Pond, Quebec currently sits eighth in the point standings, but is just seven points from moving into the top-five.

What they are Saying
"I think the McDonald’s car was very competitive last year and the year before so I hopefully we can keep the same kind of level and finally win it. It’s obviously a French speaking country and it’s great because I have a lot more fans over there than I do in most of the races in the U.S. or at least Toronto or Edmonton in Canada and it’s pretty neat."
--Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the No. 1 McDonald’s Ford-Cosworth/Lola for Newman/Haas Racing

"I am very happy to go back to Montreal as I am going to be able to speak French everywhere I go! The track is amazing and it is a circuit I have always enjoyed to drive on. I am planning on continuing our string of top 5 finishes this weekend as it will be very important for the points battle. We are close to the podium every race and we really feel like this weekend will be successful for us. The team has a great car here so we should be on pace as soon as we roll out on Friday."
--Nelson Philippe, driver of the No. 4 Ford-Cosworth/Lola for CTE Racing-HVM

"It’s good to be back on a road course again. Montreal is another circuit I haven’t been to yet, but look very forward to learning, because it’s just my style. I have been preparing extremely hard watching tape and practicing the circuit on my racing game that I have, which has been very helpful. This is a course that you have to qualify well, because there is a lot less chance there will be yellows during the race. I’ve really enjoyed the events in Canada and I know they will put on another good show."
--Will Power, driver of the No. 5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola for Team Australia

"Montreal is definitely a special race for me. There is always a little bit more pressure because it is my home race and I will be racing in front of my family and friends and I really want to do well. I think that the added pressure is a good thing though because it motivates me even more to perform well. What makes this race weekend even more special this year is that I will not only be representing my long time sponsors Tide and Procter & Gamble but I will also be representing Wal-Mart and Opération Enfants Soleil, with who I’ve done a lot of charity work the last few years."
--Andrew Ranger, driver of the No. 27 Ford-Cosworth/Lola for Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team

"My rookie year of Champ Car racing has been a bit of a roller coaster ride at times, but I’ve been riding high since leaving Denver, enjoying what I hope is a breakthrough podium finish. And what a high it’s been. Probably even more so as I really didn’t think it was going to be that weekend I’d be drinking from the champagne bottle. My thoughts are now on Montreal. It’s a track I’ve only known from watching the F1 races, but that makes it a bit more special. I want to get to the top of the rookie standings by the end of the weekend. With only 25 points separating me from fourth place in the overall standing, I hope to claw my way up there as well. We’ll be looking to carry the momentum, confidence and positive spirit from Denver into Montreal and looking to have another good result."
--Dan Clarke, driver of the No. 14 Ford-Cosworth/Lola for CTE Racing-HVM

Schedule of Events
Friday, August 25
Practice 1: 10:15 - 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Practice 2: 2:00 - 2:20 p.m. (ET)
Qualifying 1: 2:20 - 3:00 p.m. (ET)

Saturday, August 26
Practice 3: 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Practice 4: 2:00 - 2:20 p.m. (ET)
Qualifying 2: 2:20 - 3:00 p.m. (ET)

Sunday, August 27
Race: 1:30 p.m. (ET)