Bourdais has perfect day for title hopes

Published August 29, 2006

MONTREAL - A victory by Sebastien Bourdais on a track at which he has struggled might have been the biggest step yet toward his third straight Champ Car title.

"It was a hell of a day for the championship," the jubilant St. Petersburg resident said Monday after winning the Montreal Grand Prix as his closest pursuers in points failed to finish.

A downpour Sunday halted the race after six laps with A.J. Allmendinger leading; he was second in points coming in. But Monday, Allmendinger was gone after Lap 14 with a broken axle and finished last of 17 entrants.

Justin Wilson, third in points, drew a pit penalty then crashed out as he tried to make up lost ground, finishing 14th.

Bourdais leads Allmendinger and Wilson by 62 points with three races remaining and has all but locked up a third straight title.

Bourdais inherited the race lead when Allmendinger's car broke and went on to win for the sixth time this season and 22nd time in 56 starts.

Until Monday, the Newman/Haas driver had finishes of 19th, 15th and fourth in Montreal.

"Last year, we lost it as a team and, this year, we won it as a team," said Bourdais, who led 40 of the 67 laps. "It was exactly the opposite. The guys gave me a magnificent pit stop at the end. That's about as good as it gets."

Paul Tracy finished second, 1.398 seconds behind Bourdais. Nelson Philippe was third, matching his best finish.