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Bourdais goes wire to wire at Road America
Elkhart Lake, WI (Sports Network) - Sebastien Bourdais led 51 of 53 laps and won Sunday's Generac Grand Prix on the historic Road America road course. The No.1 Newman/Haas/Lanigan driver crossed the finish line 9.751 seconds ahead of Dan Clarke.
The victory was Bourdais' series-leading fifth of the season and 28th of his Champ Car career.
"It was a great result for the team," said Bourdais. "Graham (Rahal) was on the podium too, it couldn't be any happier for the team owners."
Bourdais brought the field to the green flag to begin the race. But the excitement was behind him where Bruno Junqueira jumped the start, grabbed the third position behind Bourdais and Robert Doornbos, only to be penalized for his illegal start.
On lap 14 the three leaders, Bourdais, Doornbos and Graham Rahal all pitted yielding the lead to Clarke. Clarke made his stop two laps later and fell in line in fourth behind the three early leaders.
With one hour still to race, Bourdais held 2.238 seconds on Doornbos, who also was second to the Frenchman in the series championship.
The top four remained in line as the field passed the 22-lap mark. Then Rahal flew around Doornbos for second and his Clarke also quickly came up on his teammate.
Was something wrong with the No.14?
Clarke made the pass of Doornbos, but in the process knocked off his teammate's front wing. Doornbos was 14th when his pit crew repaired the damage and got him back out in the race.
With 30 minutes to go, Doornbos was still mired in 13th place and with Bourdais holding a five-second lead looked to take a big hit in his title hopes.
Bourdais was still cruising with his Newman/Haas/Lanigan teammate Rahal protecting him in second place. On lap 41 with 20 minutes left, Bourdais made his final stop of the day holding an eight-second lead. After everyone had cycled through, Bourdais' lead was 7.816 seconds, but Clarke had gotten around Rahal for second.
Clarke cut the lead at one point to 5.648 seconds with just under seven minutes to go, but to no avail. Bourdais got his first win at the historic Elkhart Lake track and the 28th of his career.
Rahal, Oriol Servia and Alex Tagliani completed the top-five.
The next race in the series is set for Sunday, August 26th in Belgium.
08/12 17:04:46 ET
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