SURFERS PARADISE, Australia -- Brazil's Bruno Junqueira won
the Lexmark Indy 300 on Sunday, stalling teammate Sebastien
Bourdais' run for the Champ Car title.
Bourdais, second behind Junqueira in the race that finished
under caution after Canadian Patrick Carpentier was injured when he
crashed into a tire barrier, will take a 22-point lead over
Junqueira into the season-ending race Nov. 7 in Mexico City.
Carpentier was "awake and alert'' while being taken to a
hospital by ambulance, Champ Car officials said.
Junqueira, who entered the race 28 points behind Bourdais,
earned 33 points en route to his second victory of the season and
seventh of his Champ Car career. He's the 14th different winner of
the Australian race.
"The weekend started really difficult for me. We had gearbox
troubles and I nearly didn't qualify,'' Junqueira said. "It feels
good to have the points race still going.''
Bourdais needed to pick up seven points more than his
Newman/Haas teammate to secure the title, but the Frenchman ended
up losing six points to Junqueira.
"I really wanted to finish ahead of Bruno, but he was just too
strong,'' Bourdais said. "I had a tough time trying to keep up
with him at the end.''
Mexico's Mario Dominguez, the 2002 winner, was third, followed
by Canadian Paul Tracy, the pole-sitter who led for most of the
first half of the 57-lap race on the 2.795-mile temporary street
circuit. Tracy, the 1995 winner, lost the lead when his brakes
locked on the 40th lap.
Ryan Hunter-Reay of the United States, the 2003 winner, was
fifth, and American rookie A.J. Allmendinger finished sixth.
Bourdais was timid on the last warmup lap, receiving a warning
from race stewards for causing a false start for not lining up
properly with Tracy in the front row as they approached the start
When the race started a lap later, Tracy, using his
"push-to-pass'' button for extra horsepower, streaked away and
through the first chicane, the scene of so many accidents in the
opening seconds of races during the history of the Surfers Paradise
event. The "push-to-pass'' extra turbocharge was increased to 75
seconds from 60 for the race.
Most of the drivers negotiated the first turn successfully,
although Australia's David Besnard, making his Champ Car debut,
spun out and went to the back of the field. But Besnard recovered
to finish seventh.
A record crowd of 107,321 attended the race, pushing the
four-day total to a record 309,583.