CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES Grand Prix of St. Jovite

  for this game

Doornbos wins at Quebec, climbs into tie with angry Bourdais

Jul 1, 2007 - 11:42 PM MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec (Ticker) -- Dutch rookie Robert Doornbos yelled with joy after crossing the finish line to complete his first career victory. Sebastien Bourdais made quite a fuss as well.

Doornbos overcame some slick conditions and held off Bourdais on Sunday to win the rain-soaked Champ Car World Series Grand Prix of St. Jovite.

With the win, Doornbos climbed into a tie atop the series points standings with Bourdais, the three-time reigning series champion who clocked the fastest lap in Sunday's event to earn one bonus point and forge the deadlock at 145 points each.

"What a great feeling to win," said Doornbos, who averaged 92.245 miles per hour and won $75,000. "I am very happy for the team and I feel that they deserve it, and I deserve it. I couldn't be happier. We have been fast all weekend and I knew we could win."

Bourdais was not nearly as happy after the race, accusing Doornbos of blocking him throughout the 62-lap event.

"Robert knows exactly what he did," said Bourdais, who finished second. "We're not supposed to do that in Champ Car. He changed lanes three times when I was trying to pick a line."

Doornbos disregarded Bourdais' comments.

"I'm not that concerned," Doornbos said. "Champ Car officials do not feel I did anything wrong and I'm sure if they did, they would have penalized me like they did in Cleveland.

"I respect the fact that the rules here are different and I stayed true to them. If Sebastien feels that he could have passed me, then he should have done it. Nothing can spoil this victory today."

Bourdais did not shake Doornbos' hand after the pair was honored on the postrace podium and was booed loudly by the crowd.

"It's too bad, what can I say?" Bourdais said. "I just said things the way I feel they are. I'm just being honest with everybody. You know, I think I'm big enough to say when I'm doing something wrong. Just trying to be honest, that's all.

"It's a sport. It's true, there are some rules. We're all supposed to obey the same rules."

Doornbos asserted the legitimacy of his maiden win, arguing that the victory should stand if track officials did not find any penalties. But Bourdais pointed to three specific instances where Doornbos blocked him.

"It happened two times on track and once in the pits," the Frenchman said. "I know exactly what happened. He knows exactly what happened. After that, if race control did not see it either, sometimes it happens. It doesn't stop me from saying what I feel.

"Going into turn 8 and two laps later going into turn 10 when I was on the 'push to pass,' he just ran me in the grass so I had to back off. I'm not going to make a fuss about it. I'm just being honest. All I can say is apparently being honest is not always serving you right, but that's the way I am. I've always been like that. I'm not going to start lying just because (the media) wants me to."

Doornbos captured the first checkered flag this season for Minardi Team USA, which had not placed a driver in Victory Lane since Nelson Philippe won at Surfers Paradise on October 22 - when the team was known as CTE Racing-HVM.

Rain began falling approximately 24 laps into the 62-lap event, making driving conditions somewhat hazardous at the 2.65-mile Circuit Mont-Tremblant.

"With the changing weather conditions it was very difficult," Doornbos said. "The circuit was changing so much and everyone was fighting for positions, but we came out on top in the end and that's all that matters."

Doornbos took the lead for good on lap 52, when French rookie Simon Pagenaud left the track to change his tires. Doornbos credited his weather tires for the victory, claiming they helped him hold off Bourdais down the stretch.

"The Bridgestone slick tires are very good in the wet conditions," he said. "It's very hard to drive like that. The build-up of temperatures in the Bridgestones is good enough that you can actually race in these circumstances."

Australia's Will Power finished third, followed by Pagenaud and Britain's Justin Wilson.

Alex Tagliani ran eighth while fellow Canadian Paul Tracy, who won last week at Cleveland, struggled to 15th place after his engine blew out on lap 28.

The inaugural running of this event featured five lead changes among five drivers and also included six caution periods totalling 15 laps.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!