2007 CCWS Rd. 1--Las Vegas Grand Prix

All about the Champ Car World Series (CCWS)

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Who will win the Las Vegas Grand Prix?

Poll ended at Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:01 am

Sebastien Bourdais
2
33%
Paul Tracy
0
No votes
Justin Wilson
0
No votes
none of the above
2
33%
who knows; it's an inaugural event
1
17%
who knows; it's an inaugural event
1
17%
 
Total votes: 6

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2007 CCWS Rd. 1--Las Vegas Grand Prix

Post by mlittle » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:01 am

After an off-season that at times, seemed not just bewildering, strange and downright bizarre at times, the Champ Car World Series season is yet again upon us, beginning in the bright lights of downtown Las Vegas, Nevada and the Fremont Street district for the season-opening Las Vegas Grand Prix. The 2.4+ mile downtown street circuit will be a tough opening test for the drivers and teams; it will also be a test for the new Panoz DP01 chassis and Cosworth XFE-3 engine, as both will see their respective debuts this coming weekend. Here is the event schedule for the upcoming weekend..................

Practice Session #1} 11:50 am, 6 April 2007
Practice Session #2} 5 pm, 6 April 2007
Qualifying Session #1} 5:20 pm, 6 April 2007
Practice Session #3} 12:45 pm, 7 April 2007
Practice Session #4} 5 pm, 7 April 2007
Qualifying Session #2} 5:25 pm, 7 April 2007
Final Practice Session} 12 pm, 8 April 2007
Las Vegas Grand Prix} 4 pm, 8 April 2007(timed event of 1 hr, 45 min.)
note......all times are U.S. EDT; +3 hrs. from local time/-4 hrs. GMT

As always, I'll provide commentaries, observations, news and other items of interest during the weekend...as the saying goes, let the festivities begin! :lol: :lol: 8) :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: 8)
Last edited by mlittle on Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by mlittle » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:07 am

Recent news and notes of interest.........

~~Worst-kept secret is open.....what was the worst kept secret in the off-season ended last Thursday as NHL Racing announced that 2006 Atlantic Championship competitor Graham Rahal, son of 1986 Indy 500 and 3-time CART champion Bobby Rahal, will indeed be driving for the team alongside current 3-time champion Sebastien Bourdais.

~~Rocketsports and RuSport create joint engineering/technical effort, to be known as R-Sports; this arrangement will allow the two teams, fielding one-car efforts for Alex Tagliani and Justin Wilson, to share information and setups at various venues during the season

~~Adding to story #2.......R-Sports announced over the weekend that several sponsors have come onboard in support of Tagliani's 2007 season; sponsors include Wal-Mart Canada and various product/brand sponsors associated w/Proctor & Gamble
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Post by mlittle » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:24 pm

2 more race seats have been filled as the event weekend approaches.....

~~although it is currently only for the first three races of the 2007 season, Forsythe Championship Racing has brought back former FCR pilot Mario Dominguez to partner alongside fellow racer Paul Tracy

~~at least one Conquest Racing seat is full; sources report that the team has signed New Zealander Matt Halliday for the 2007 season
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2007 Honorees for LBGP Mtrspts. Walk of Fame

Post by mlittle » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:38 am

Long Beach city officials, along with GPALB(Grand Prix Association of Long Beach) officials, have announced the 2007 inductees to the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame, to be honored during the 33rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach............

The 2007 honorees are................
~~former Formula 1 and sportscar racer Brian Redman
~~NHL Racing co-owners Paul Newman and Carl Haas
~~Chris Pook, who has previously served as CART president(2002-2003) and was the lead on the beginnings of what became the LBGP


The actual ceremony is set for Thursday, April 12th in Long Beach, Ca. prior to the event weekend.
note....this posting will be moved to the 33rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach thread following the Las Vegas weekend.....
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Post by RE30B#16 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:24 pm

If any of you racing nuts will be on hand at the CCWS season opener @ Las Vegas, I will be performing with CBS Rockstar: INXS finalist Deanna Johnston and the LA Allstars @ the Fremont Street Experience downtown within the track area at 3rd and Fremont.

Come up and say hello! :wave: :D

Chris


PS: I will also be performing with The MVPs on the roof of the Trizec building during the CCWS Grand Prix of Long Beach the following weekend if you can finagle your way into the party! :band: :drive: :party8: :welcome:
Christoforo

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Fernando Alonso is currently the best... Period!!!


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Post by mlittle » Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:39 am

Mod's note........don't forget to say Hello!! to RE30B#16, who IIRC will be performing at the Fremont Street Experience during the event weekend...... :coool: :clap: :clap: :burnout: :yourock: :drive: :band: :party8: :party8:


Top-5 from the first practice session.................
1} Sebastien Bourdais, #1 McDonald's FC/P...................1:24.384 sec
2} Paul Tracy, #3 Indeck/Forsythe FC/P.........................1:24.460 sec
3} Justin Wilson, #9 CDW FC/P......................................1:24.768 sec
4} Alex Tagliani, #8 Lexington Energy Svcs. FC/P............1:24.998 sec
5} (R)Neel Jani, #21 RedBull FC/P..................................1:25.463 sec
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PT nabs provisional pole in QS-1.......

Post by mlittle » Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:25 am

For the first time in nearly two years, someone other than Sebastien Bourdais is leading the standings; with his provisional pole for Sunday's Las Vegas Grand Prix, "the Thrill from West Hill", Paul Tracy, nabbed the provisional pole, a guaranteed front-row starting spot(i.e. the worst PT can do is start 2nd on Sunday.... :shock: :lol: :lol: :shock: :shock: ) and the 1 championship point that came w/it. There was one other surprise; Bourdais only set the third fastest time in QS-1; Team Oz's second driver, Simon Pagenaud, was second-quickest.......here are the top-5 from the qual. session.............

1} Paul Tracy, #3 Indeck/Forsythe FC/P......................1:19.784 sec
2} (R)Simon Pagenaud, #15 Aussie Vineyards FC/P......1:19.998 sec
3} Sebastien Bourdais, #1 McDonald's FC/P.................1:20.197 sec
4} Justin Wilson, #9 CDW FC/P...................................1:20.310 sec
5} Alex Tagliani, #8 Lexington Energy Svcs. FC/P.........1:20.437 sec
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Post by mlittle » Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:04 am

Practice Session #3 top-5...............

1} Will Power, #5 Aussie Vineyards FC/P..........................1:19.415 sec
2} Sebastien Bourdais, #1 McDonald's FC/P......................1:19.629 sec
3} Paul Tracy, #3 Indeck/Monster Energy Drink FC/P.........1:20.202 sec
4} Bruno Junquiera, #19 Sonny's Real Pit BBQ FC/P...........1:20.391 sec
5} Justin Wilson, #9 CDW FC/P.........................................1:20.828 sec
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Friday Notebook..........

Post by mlittle » Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:44 am

Let's see........RE30B#16's entertaining thousands(and I mean THOUSANDS!!!! 8) :shock: :shock: :shock: ...) over at the Fremont Street Experience, T-K, Julian and jacfan are flying around the Nellis Range and Area 51(watch out for the UFO's..... :lol: :lol: :lol: :shock: ) and I'm wandering abouts the paddock here in downtown Sin City, USA(why we couldn't be up the road on the oval at LVMS I'll never know..... :shock: :shock: :x :x :shock: ) but here is the Friday notebook.....

1} Just a few more kinks in the DP01.....Going into Friday, most of the ChampCar teams looked just a tad bleary-eyed; it wasn't from rockin' the night away at the Fremont Street Experience......it was from working out all the little kinks and kaboodles out of their shiny new Panoz DP01's, especially the fuel vent systems on the cars, which according to reports all the teams were told to replace by Panoz MotorSport officials.

2} Spare parts.....what spare parts? It is very daunting of a series to run three successive event weekends at street circuits, yet by all accounts most of the teams are running on minimums when it comes to spare parts; thankfully, there weren't many problems on Friday. Only two drivers, Alex Figge and Bruno Junquiera, suffered crash damage and NHL's Graham Rahal suffered gearbox problems during QS-1.

3} Rave reviews.......one thing every driver in the paddock, whether in ChampCar or the Atlantics, agreed on was the excellent job Chris Kneifel and his ChampCar track staffs did on turning most of downtown Vegas into a 2.44-mile street circuit with one interesting feature.....going through the final chicane prior to the start/finish straight, every ChampCar racecar seemed to get about 10-12" of air.....kinda' reminds you of the light rail tracks at San Jose back in 2005, hmmm? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :shock:
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Power on point for Sunday's race...........

Post by mlittle » Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:22 am

Ever since making his ChampCar debut late in 2005, Oz native Will Power has been steadily getting better and better.....case in point, taking the pole following Saturday's qualifying session. Holding off late charges by veterans Paul Tracy and Alex Tagliani and a surprising charge by former F1 veteran Robert Doornbos, Power will lead the field to green Sunday.....here is the grid for Sunday's race.....................................

1} Will Power, #5 Aussie Vineyards...................................1:17.629 sec/113.154 mph
2} Paul Tracy, #3 Indeck/Monster Energy Drink..................1:19.625 sec/110.317 mph**

3} (R)Robert Doornbos, #14 OzJet/Jumbo..........................1:18.515 sec/111.817 mph
4} Alex Tagliani, #8 Lexington Energy Svcs........................1:18.850 sec/111.401 mph

5} (R)Simon Pagenaud, #15 Aussie Vineyards.....................1:18.961 sec/111.245 mph
6} Bruno Junquiera, #19 Sonny's Real Pit BBQ.....................1:19.102 sec/111.046 mph

7} Mario Dominguez, #7 Telmex/Indeck...............................1:19.156 sec/110.971 mph
8} Justin Wilson, #9 CDW....................................................1:19.261 sec/110.813 mph

9} (R)Neel Jani, #21 RedBull/Gulfstream...............................1:19.360 sec/110.685 mph
10} (R)Graham Rahal, #2 Medi/Zone.....................................1:19.710 sec/110.199 mph

11} (R)Tristan Gommendy, #22 Pay by Touch/Megaspirea......1:19.784 sec/110.097 mph
12} Dan Clarke, #4 Ticketmaster/Synapse Power...................1:19.804 sec/110.056 mph

13} Katherine Legge, #11 AMR/i-Rise.....................................1:20.104 sec/109.657 mph
14} (R)Matt Halliday, #42 42 Below........................................1:20.122 sec/109.633 mph

15} (R)Ryan Dalziel, #28 Imperial Capital Bank......................1:20.128 sec/109.625 mph
16} Sebastien Bourdais, #1 McDonald's..................................1:20.197 sec/109.530 mph

17} (R)Alex Figge, #29 Imperial Capital Bank..........................1:20.313 sec/109.372 mph

**--Tracy was fastest driver from the QS-1 on Friday(series rules allow the fastest driver in QS-1 a front-row starting spot regardless of their time in QS-2)
note.....all cars Ford-Cosworth/Panoz
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Power dominates in Sin City....

Post by mlittle » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:14 am

In one of the more interesting season opening races in ChampCar's history, Aussie Will Power thundered to victory in the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, giving Team Australia its' first series win and giving team co-owner Derrick Walker his first win in the series since Gil de Ferran won at Portland back in 1999.

After an aborted start, the field took the first green of the year......and just as quickly, the first crash of the year occurred involving NHL Racing rookie Graham Rahal(#2 Medi/Zone FC/P) who damaged the right front suspension trying to avoid "Speedy" Dan Clarke's bull-headed charge at the green; Rahal would finish 17th. By lap 14, there had already been four cautions(the fourth courtesy of Clarke, who slid into the tirewalls at turn 3)........the race remained green afterwards.

Once everyone calmed down and got into the rhythm of a full-up street fight, things settled down.......except for the ever-present problem of pitstops; for some reason, some of the teams were having problems with the fueling mechanisms during pitstops; what was happening was that whenever teams would refuel, the fuel vents on the Panoz DP01's weren't venting properly, causing methanol fuel to back up into the fueling rig, causing some drivers to have abhorrently long stops(which came back to bite some drivers later on..... :x :shock: :shock: ). Setting up the fuel problems was a full-course caution on lap 24, caused by series champion Sebastien Bourdais(#1 McDonald's FC/P) whose horrid weekend got even worse when he smacked the wall at turn 4, eventually parking the car on the approach to the chicane prior to turn 11; Bourdais would finish 13th.

At the time of the caution, Power and SeaBass's main nemesis, Paul Tracy(#3 Indeck/Monster Energy Drink FC/P) were fighting tooth-n'-nail for the lead; both would come in for fuel and tires......and both had fueling issues; PT's were enough to cause one extra stop, which essentially cycled the lead(and eventually the win...) back to Power. Although Power had to make one additional stop for fuel himself, Tracy's pit woes were more than enough to give Power the edge.

There were other surprises up and down the results list for today's race.....
~~Another career best......in 2006, then-rookie driver Katherine Legge finished 6th on the oval in Milwaukee, setting the highest finish in series history for a female driver; today, she finished 6th, setting the best career finish on a road/street course for a female driver
~~More frontrunners at the back.......joining Bourdais at the rear of the field at race's end was RuSport's Justin Wilson, who had mechanical problems and finished 14th
~~Impressive debuts.......two drivers who IMO surprised me by their performances were PKV's Tristan Gommendy(5th) and Minardi Team USA's Robert Doornbos(2nd); Doornbos's was especially surprising since it was, IIRC, his first rolling start and his first start on a street circuit(BTW, his 2nd-place finish was the highest debut finish on a street circuit in the modern era of NA motorsports since Nigel Mansell won at Surfers Paradise in 1993)

Top-10 results from Las Vegas...........................
1st} #5 Will Power.......................................68 laps
2nd} #14 Robert Doornbos(R).......................-16.787 sec
3rd} #3 Paul Tracy.......................................-27.357 sec
4th} #8 Alex Tagliani....................................-48.980 sec
5th} #22 Tristan Gommendy(R).....................-1:10.395 sec
6th} #11 Katherine Legge.............................-1:21.260 sec
7th} #19 Bruno Junquiera.............................-1 lap
8th} #29 Alex Figge(R).................................-5 laps
9th} #7 Mario Dominguez.............................-11 laps
10th} #21 Neel Jani(R).................................-11 laps
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Post by RE30B#16 » Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:09 am

It was a mildly interesting race with the battle coming down between Paul Tracy and Will Power. Bridgestone (I guess the sole tire supplier) announced they had brought the wrong tires. They were about 15 to 20 mph faster than expected on the street circuit, but the performance fell off very rapidly (sounds like those qualifying tires they used to make for F1). This would explain why Tracy's and Power's race pace varied so much. SeaBass, on the other hand, was leaps and bound faster than both slicing up through the field (and his tires) until yet another puncture sent him into the wall and out of the race. I have no doubt that with the attrition in this race, SeaBass would have challenged for the win towards the end of the day.

Nonetheless, a fine first victory for Will Power who managed his personal race superbly to beat fiesty Paul Tracy.

:clap: :up:
Christoforo

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Fernando Alonso is currently the best... Period!!!


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