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Dutch Champ Car Grand Prix

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Dutch Champ Car Grand Prix

Template:American Championshp Car race report infobox

The 2007 Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix was the twelfth round of the 2007 Champ Car World Series Season. It was held on September 2 at TT Circuit Assen in Assen, Netherlands. The race was won by Justin Wilson.

Background

On January 16, 2007 the Champ Car World Series announced a multi-year agreement that briefly saw the return of Champ Cars to Europe for the first time since 2003 with inaugural races in the Netherlands and Belgium. These events added to the Champ Car calendar took place August 26 at the Zolder circuit in Belgium and September 2 at the TT Circuit in Assen, Netherlands. This marked the first time that Champ Car has raced in either of the two European nations.

Title Sponsor

On July 12, 2007, at a press conference held in Lieshout, Netherlands, Bart Rietbergen of the Dutch Champ Car Grand Prix, Jos Vaessen, Chairman of TT Circuit Assen, and Peer Swinkels, chairman of the Bavaria Beer company, announced that Bavaria Brewery, the second largest brewer in the Netherlands, would be the title sponsor of the 2007 Grand Prix event. Officials also announced the signing of three associate sponsors of the event; those being Audi, Gant, and Hertz. Promotional events leading up to the Grand Prix included driver appearances and track performances of a Champ Car at the Bavaria City Racing held in Rotterdam and at the Rizla Racing Days weekend at the TT Circuit.

The official name of the event was the "Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix Powered by Audi, Gant & Hertz."

Qualifying results

Pos Nat Name Team Qual 1 Qual 2 Best
1 France Sébastien Bourdais N/H/L Racing 1:32.244 1:18.765 1:18.765
2 United Kingdom Justin Wilson RuSPORT 1:30.656 1:19.710 1:19.710
3 France Tristan Gommendy PKV Racing 1:31.874 1:19.025 1:19.025
4 Switzerland Neel Jani PKV Racing 1:33.043 1:19.302 1:19.302
5 France Simon Pagenaud Team Australia 1:31.550 1:19.353 1:19.353
6 United States Graham Rahal N/H/L Racing 1:31.858 1:19.373 1:19.373
7 Belgium Jan Heylen Conquest Racing 1:33.769 1:19.412 1:19.412
8 Australia Will Power Team Australia 1:32.473 1:19.415 1:19.415
9 Netherlands Robert Doornbos Minardi Team USA 1:32.343 1:19.612 1:19.612
10 United Kingdom Dan Clarke Minardi Team USA 1:33.722 1:19.718 1:19.718
11 Brazil Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne Racing 1:33.299 1:19.813 1:19.813
12 Canada Alex Tagliani Rocketsports 1:32.607 1:19.934 1:19.934
13 Spain Oriol Servià Forsythe Racing 1:31.900 1:20.033 1:20.033
14 United Kingdom Katherine Legge Dale Coyne Racing 1:36.110 1:20.548 1:20.548
15 United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:34.136 1:20.744 1:20.744
16 United States Alex Figge Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:33.710 1:21.039 1:21.039
17 Canada Paul Tracy Forsythe Racing 1:32.719 1:22.936 1:22.936

Sébastien Bourdais won his third consecutive pole position and came closer to clinching his fourth consecutive Champ Car title. Justin Wilson was fastest in the wet on Friday to secure the front row spot beside him. Dan Clarke was reinstated from his suspension by Champ Car race director Tony Cotman, meaning the usual 17 drivers would start the race on Sunday.

Race

Pos Nat Name Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 United Kingdom Justin Wilson RuSPORT 69 1:46:02.236 2 32
2 Belgium Jan Heylen Conquest Racing 69 +7.227 7 27
3 Brazil Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne Racing 69 +8.419 11 26
4 France Tristan Gommendy PKV Racing 69 +9.037 3 23
5 Switzerland Neel Jani PKV Racing 69 +22.262 4 21
6 France Simon Pagenaud Team Australia 69 +22.698 5 19
7 France Sébastien Bourdais N/H/L Racing 69 +22.955 1 18
8 Spain Oriol Servià Forsythe Racing 69 +23.406 13 15
9 United States Graham Rahal N/H/L Racing 69 +23.949 6 13
10 United Kingdom Ryan Dalziel Pacific Coast Motorsports 69 +29.554 15 11
11 United Kingdom Dan Clarke Minardi Team USA 69 +38.903 10 11
12 United Kingdom Katherine Legge Dale Coyne Racing 69 +44.860 14 9
13 Netherlands Robert Doornbos Minardi Team USA 69 +1:00.638 9 8
14 Australia Will Power Team Australia 69 +1:01.204 8 7
15 Canada Alex Tagliani Rocketsports 68 + 1 Lap 12 6
16 United States Alex Figge Pacific Coast Motorsports 68 + 1 Lap 16 5
17 Canada Paul Tracy Forsythe Racing 14 Mechanical 17 4

Starting on the front row beside pole sitter Sébastien Bourdais, Justin Wilson drove into the lead in the first corner. Bourdais then began to lose multiple positions when a software bug in his car's ECU engaged the pit speed limiter when he pressed the power to pass button. He was able to save losing further positions when a spin by Paul Tracy brought out a full course yellow.

Wilson settled into the lead followed by PKV teammates Neel Jani and Tristan Gommendy, Graham Rahal and then Bourdais. Almost unnoticed, Bruno Junqueira pitted under green on lap 8. When a caution came out for debris on lap 14 and the rest of the field pitted for the first time Junqueira took the lead, which he held until he pitted on lap 26.

By this point in the race it was determined that other cars were suffering the same power to pass glitch as Bourdais and Champ Car sent out an edict that all drivers must refrain from using "the button" for the remainder of the race.

A second debris caution brought the field save Junquiera into the pits on lap 31 and once again Junquiera came out of the caution in the lead. After providing Dale Coyne Racing with its best ever finish with a second place the previous week at Zolder, it began to look as if Bruno would follow up with Coyne's first victory as he extended his lead over Wilson.

Junquiera pitted for the final time on lap 49. With a clean pitstop he should have cycled back to the lead when Wilson came in for his final stop on lap 51. However when the stops were finished he found himself in third behind Wilson and Jan Heylen. It was later determined that on his final stop, his pit lane limiter did not properly activate, causing him to spend eight extra seconds on pit lane. This glitch likely cost him the victory.

As it was, Justin Wilson led the final 20 laps in front of Heylen and Junquiera to take the win. It was Justin's first race win since the 2006 Edmonton Grand Prix. Heylen's second place was his best ever Champ Car result and tied the best ever result for Conquest Racing.

Bourdais' race never really got going after the trouble at the start. He was forced to battle back through the entire field after stalling his car during his second pit stop and dropping back to 16th place. His seventh place finish wasn't good enough to seal his fourth consecutive Champ Car championship, extending the fading hopes of his competitors for at least one more race.

Caution flags

Laps Cause
1-3 Tracy (3) spin/stall
14-16 Debris
30-33 Debris

Notes

Laps Leader
1-15 Justin Wilson
16-28 Bruno Junqueira
29-31 Justin Wilson
32-48 Bruno Junqueira
49-69 Justin Wilson
 
Driver Laps led
Justin Wilson 39
Bruno Junqueira 30
  • New Race Record Justin Wilson : 1:46:02.236
  • Average Speed 110.491 mph

[1][2]

Attendance

Attendance for the 2007 Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix was 74,900 over the race weekend, with 61,200 fans attending the main race day Sunday event.[3]

References

Previous race:
2007 Belgian Champ Car Grand Prix
Champ Car World Series
2007 season
Next race:
2007 Lexmark Indy 300

Previous race:
2007 Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix Next race:
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