A wet and wild weekend at Mont Tremblant ended with "Rookie" Robert Doornbos taking his first Champcar win, and a win for the new team headed by Ex Formula One team owner Paul Stoddart. With the weather not co-operating throughout the weekend, Doornbos managed to keep his car on the track and pointed in the right direction more than most of the other drivers.
The win however was not without it’s detractors. Sebastien Bourdais was very vocal after the race, both on TV (and live) and at the post race interviews. He felt that Doornbos was blocking him unfairly on different occasions during the race, despite Champcar taking no action over any moves Doornbos made.
From my perspective watching the race, it did not appear that Doornbos made any clear attempts to block Bourdais, it’s true he did move around the track a tt imes, but then with the wet weather, everyone was moving all over the place to find the best grip. Under those conditions it is not fair to stick anyone with the blocking tag, and really Bourdais was out of line, as the booing crowd agreed after the race.
Maybe it’s time for Champcar to look at their procedures again. They have this no blocking rule, but several racers have been penalized for blocking moves that really are not serious blocking. Maybe they should follow Formula One and allow one movement, as it is a shame to see racers handed penalties for not blocking, or on the other hand open the races up to this kind of whining from racers. Whatever, something needs to be done by Champcar, and it needs to be done quickly as we are in the middle of the most competitive season ever, and interest will build.
On another point from this race, watching the start it seemed clear to me that Bourdais jumped the start, and not just by a little bit, he appeared to be moving well before anyone else. Now, granted I was not sitting there in a direct line with his car to determine this, but it did look like a jump, and many other people have commented as to how he did not get penalized. Hopefully Champcar will explain this soon.
Interestingly the Sebastien Bourdais we see this year does not seem to be the same guy we have seen dominate his teammates and everyone else in the series over the last few years. We have also seen a number of mistakes that he has not been prone to make before, maybe, just maybe with the change to the new car this year we are seeing a much more level playing field, and maybe, just maybe we should give his team a lot more credit than we have in the past for his complete domination of the series over the last few years. It might just be me, but with his possible defection to Formula One next year, and then being beaten by Doornbos, a Formula One refugee (at the moment anyway) just maybe a degree of paranoia might be setting in….
With another unusual race we are now left with a wide open Championship, with Bourdais and Doornbos tied at the top of the championship. Should be an interesting last half of the season, something Champcar has been missing the last few years.