Bourdais admits wet track affected his performance
TORONTO -- Sebastien Bourdais acknowledged the off-and-on rain during the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto on Sunday afternoon threw him off.
Although forecasts earlier in the week called for sun and temperatures close to 90 degrees, thunderstorms began pelting Toronto about three hours before the Champ Car race and there were some rainy intervals before conditions dried up.
"In the wet, I was not willing to risk it all," said Bourdais, who slipped from first to third in the driver standings. "The car was good in the dry. All the action probably put on a good show for the fans."
Will Power, who won the race, said he recognized the inaction in Bourdais and took advantage of it.
"I was on it," Power said. "I knew Sebastien is quite tentative in the wet, so on the first corner I attacked him and got past.
"Very early on, you see a lot of people crashing, and once all of that settled down, it was all about fuel saving. We did that really well. We had a good strategy, and it worked."
Early in the race, Bourdais and Justin Wilson briefly had contact, causing Wilson's car to spin completely. Both stayed in the race and Wilson finished third.
"It was quite eventful," Wilson said. "After I made contact with Sebastien, it was just trying to get back through, and it was a good race."
They're winning, eh?
The strong showing of Power and Simon Pagenaud let Team Australia retain its lead in the Champ Car Canadian Triple Crown Standings. The competition pits teams against one another over the three Canadian events in the Champ Car schedule, with the third and final race July 22 in Edmonton, Alberta. The standings are based on the combined average finish for each team. After two races, Power and Pagenaud have an average finish of third.
"I'm stoked to be leading the Triple Crown, and hopefully we can finish it off in Edmonton," Power said. "A 1-2 finish on the podium would be perfect."
The only Canadian among the eight drivers who lasted the entire race, Alex Tagliani of Montreal, was eighth. Local favorite Paul Tracy was knocked out of the race before completing a single lap. Rookie Graham Rahal, 18, was not happy after the qualifying sessions, and that feeling extended to Sunday. "The track was difficult and very slippery," Rahal said.
Terry Koshan is a sports reporter at the Toronto Sun.