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OCTOBER 20, 2004

Bourdais looks to Champ Car title

Sebastien Bourdais hopes this weekend to leave Australia as the winner of the Vanderbilt Cup, the prize for the winner of the Champ Car World Series. The 25-year-old Frenchman still has ambitions to be a Formula 1 driver and hopes that the American title will open doors for him to test in F1 and perhaps he can then return home to Europe. Bourdais has a 27-point lead in the championship over his rival and team mate Bruno Junqueira. The maximum points available to Junqueira is 35 but he will need Bourdais behind him if he is to have any hope of victory at the final race of the year in Mexico City at the start of November. The race this weekend in Surfers Paradise in Australia, an event which has a habit of throwing up unusual winners. Bourdais is odds-on favourite to win the title having won six races already this year. Junqueira has won only once but has been second on six occasions. There are no guarantees, of course, that the two Newman Haas drivers will have it all to themselves with Patrick Carpentier (Forythe Racing) currently on very good form while his team mate Paul Tracy will want to score a good result after a very poor season. America's AJ Allmendinger is expected to wrap up the Rookie of the Year prize in Australia, having a 34 point advantage over Justin Wilson. Allmendinger will become the first American to be rookie of the year since Jeff Andretti in 1991.