Oooh la la!
By DANIEL PACE
FRENCHMAN Sebastien Bourdais clinched back-to-back Champ Car titles by simply starting yesterday's Gold Coast Indy 300 then went on to win the race as well.
Bourdais took the chequered flag in a record time of one hour, 39 minutes and 26.671 seconds, 9.130sec ahead of American AJ Allmendinger and 31.852sec clear of retiring American veteran Jimmy Vasser after 57 laps of the Surfers Paradise street circuit.
Team Australia's Canadian driver Alex Tagliani, who took out teammate, Queenslander Will Power, on lap 26, placed fourth for the fledgling outfit in its debut season.
Bourdais only had to start the race to receive the one point required to secure the series on a sunny day when 105,297 people attended, bringing the four-day crowd to a record 316,459.
With one race remaining this season, he holds an unassailable lead of 344 points on the overall standings, 79 ahead of Newman Haas Racing teammate Oriol Servia (265) and England's Justin Wilson (231).
Asked about the possibility of winning three straight series titles, Bourdais said: "I guess once you've tasted it, the one thing you want to do is try again."
The Gold Coast victory was his sixth this season and a special one for the 26-year-old.
"It's a race where anything can happen.
"The chicanes are like big traps waiting for you to get caught."
It was the 15th consecutive year a different winner had lifted the trophy at the Gold Coast Indy since it began in 1991.
Previous Gold Coast champions Paul Tracy (1995), Cristian da Matta (2001) and Mario Dominguez (2002) were all forced to retire from the race.
Servia started in pole position but he was lucky to stay in the race following a nasty prang near the start.
Da Matta ran up the back of the Spaniard, whose car received only minor damage, while the campaigns of Dominguez and da Matta were brought to a shuddering halt.