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AUGUST 9, 2004

Bourdais pulls ahead

Sebastien Bourdais has been the dominant force in Champ Car racing this year with four wins in seven races but in the eighth round of the series at Road America at the weekend the Frenchman was beaten by in a chaotic race by Alex Tagliani, who scored the first victory in the series for Paul Gentilozzi's Rocketsports Racing. Mexico's Rodolfo Lavin, who has not figured in the major results this year, was second in a race which was largely dictated by whether a driver was lucky or not. This was because of the five yellow flag interludes and the fact that the rules state that drivers have to stop three times, without any of them being under yellow flag conditions. This meant that drivers who ran out of gas and had to stop under yellows had to come back to the pits later. This created a situation in which Lavin ended up in the lead but Tagliani caught and passed him with ease five laps from the finish.

There was excitement further back as the serious players fought for position with Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira being delayed by the Pace Car at one point while allowed Tracy to pass both of them. Junqueira then spun while trying to pass Bourdais and then ended up being punted off the road by Tracy. This resulted in a black flag for the Canadian.

Bourdais was able to fight his way back to third place and because Junqueira and Tracy both had trouble he has increased his lead in the championship to 47 points. But with seven races still to go the championship is still far from over. Bourdais says he wants to try to get into Formula 1 next year.