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French driver disappointed with 2 wins



Published: Sat, July 30, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



After taking the season opener, Bourdais went five races without a win.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Winning half the races in a season can make a driver a little greedy.

Sebastien Bourdais did just that in 2004, winning seven of 14 races on the way to beating out teammate Bruno Junqueira for the Champ Car World Series title.

Now, at the halfway point in the 2005 season, Bourdais is having what most people would consider a very good season. Bourdais, who will start from the pole in today's inaugural San Jose Grand Prix, has three poles and two victories in seven races and is leading 2003 series champion Paul Tracy by 22 points.

But two measly wins isn't what the 26-year-old Frenchman had in mind when the season began.

"Yeah, last year was much more trouble-free," Bourdais said Saturday after leading the weekend's only session of qualifying on the bumpy, tight 1.448-mile downtown street circuit.

"This year, we already had our share of incidents. We had a car equally as good as last year and couldn't get the best out of it. But, I think it's always the same. When you have a winning season, the next year is always harder because you have these memories where you say, 'Oh, we won there, so we should win again.' It's just making your life a bit harder because you are kind of sometimes overdemanding of yourself."

Good start

It looked like 2005 would be a repeat of his championship year when Bourdais won the season opener on the streets of Long Beach. But he then went five races without another trip to Victory Lane before finally breaking through again, earning his 12th win in 2 1/2 seasons of Champ Car racing.

To get that win two weeks ago at Edmonton, Alberta, though, took some serious luck.

RuSport drivers A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Wilson dominated the race until Wilson spun himself out and Allmendinger bounced off a wall, giving the lead and the win to Bourdais.

"Now we have something to build on," Bourdais said.

Even with his struggles to win this year, the only drivers able to really stay with Bourdais have been 2003 champion Tracy and Bourdais' teammates -- first, last year's runner-up Junqueira, who won the second race of the season, and then, after Junqueira was injured in a crash during the Indianapolis 500 in May, replacement Oriol Servia.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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