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Bourdais grabs third win in a row
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Sebastien Bourdais won his third consecutive Champ Car race by capturing Sunday's Grand Prix of Portland. The No.1 Cosworth Panoz driver crossed the finish line 13.537 seconds ahead of Justin Wilson.
The victory was Bourdais' third of the season and 26th of his Champ Car career.
Wilson led the 17-car field around the 1.969-mile road course to the green flag. He easily held onto his lead in the first laps and in fact started to pull away from the field.
Meanwhile, Robert Doornbos continued to drive in second while Will Power, who started in seventh, drove his way to third. Bourdais and Alex Tagliani battled for the fourth spot.
After 10 laps of racing Wilson's margin reached an impressive 7.532 seconds. By lap 26 Wilson was putting some of his competitors a lap down, including Paul Tracy, back after missing a couple of races with an injury.
The No.9 Cosworth Panoz driver continued to dominate as the first pit stops of the day approached. On lap 27 Wilson gave up his lead temporarily to come down pit road for service. During the next few laps the rest of the leaders took their first stops of the afternoon.
When all the stops were completed Wilson continued to show the way with a 16- second lead. A great stop by Bourdais allowed him to gain several spots, he now drove in second. Power, Doornbos and Tristan Gommendy rounded out the top- five after the first round of stops.
Bourdais, a three-time series champion, started to close the gap between himself and Wilson. After 45 laps the margin for Wilson was down to seven seconds and still falling.
On lap 53 the next round of pit stops for the leaders began when Bourdais came down pit road from the second spot. Wilson took his second stop of the race on the next lap.
Wilson came out of the pits ahead of Bourdais. But Bourdais remained very fast and was able to pass Wilson on the track. Bourdais inherited the top-spot when Power took his second pit stop.
When the cycle was complete Bourdais found himself leading Wilson, Power, Doornbos and Gommendy.
The No.1 Cosworth Panoz quickly built a five-second lead. He continued to increase his margin over Wilson. The gap between Bourdais and Power, who was running in third, reached 25 seconds.
On lap 79 Bourdais went down pit lane for his last stop. Wilson led a few laps before he came down pit road two laps later. The rest of the leaders made their stops as the last round of pit stops cycled through.
After the stops Bourdais still held a 16-second lead over Wilson. Rookie Doornbos gained one position and now drove in third. Power dropped to fourth while Quebec native Tagliani found himself in the fifth spot.
With only five minutes remaining in the race and 97 laps complete Bourdais' margin was an impressive 15.656 seconds. It became clear that it was going to take a miracle for someone to pass the dominant Bourdais.
The rest of the race had no miracles and Bourdais crossed the finish line after 103 laps of racing. Wilson, Doornbos, Power and Tagliani completed the top-five.
The victory by Bourdais increases his lead in the point standings to 11 points over Power.
The next race in the Champ Car Series is set for Sunday, June 24th at the Burke Lakefront Airport.
06/10 18:16:33 ET
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