2007 Belgium Thoughts
TRACK: The European fans should have enjoyed it. It was just like an F1 track -- virtually no passing except in the pits.
RACE: It may have been televised on ESPN Classic, but it was anything but a classic.
EVENT: It appeared to be a success as Europeans seemed to have remembered what Champ Car is.
THE BIG PICTURE: Racing in Europe is important in that it brings comparatively large sanctioning fees as well as international exposure that can help garner some sponsors. However, if the lure becomes so great that Champ Car becomes just another European road racing series, than where's the gain in that?
START: Another clean one, which is a good thing since the local fans are spoiled by standing starts.
BOURDAIS: Dominate. Again.
RAHAL: Last race, Graham should have had second but offset pit stops put him behind Clarke. This race, Graham should have had second, but offset pit stops put him behind Junqueira.
NEWMAN/HAAS/LANIGAN RACING: Another one-three finish.
JUNQUEIRA: It's better to be lucky than good. It's best to be lucky and good. A pit strategy second place? Sure. But, it's not like Bruno is a stranger to the podium. And it clearly demonstrates to European fans that Champ Car is truly a drivers' series, unlike what the F1 elitist think of their series.
DALE COYNE RACING: The feel good story of the race. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of guys on pit lane.
POWER: Losing ground to Bourdais.
WILSON: Those were some wild last few laps for Justin.
SERVIA: Once again, Oriol saves the weekend for Forsythe Championship Racing.
DOORNBOS: Robert is hoping for better luck in Assen. Though, not the sort of luck Zolder's hometown favorite, Jan Heylen, had in his country.
JANI: Another nondescript race for Neel. Again.
TAGLIANI: Did the Forsythe brain trust move over to Rocketsports for this race? What were they thinking with that kind of strategy?
TRACY: If it's not Paul, it's the car. A miserable season just keeps getting worse.
LEGGE: Speaking of a miserable season...
PAGENAUD: Fastest in Sunday morning warm-up, second fastest race lap, and all Simon got out of it was a 12th place finish.
HEYLEN: Good think Belgians aren't crazy about their racing like English soccer fans. Otherwise, Dan Clarke may not have made it out of Zolder alive.
CONQUEST RACING: We sure hope that Jan Heylen took the whole team out to dinner at his father's restaurant. They sure deserved it after the yeoman effort putting the car back together all day and night on Friday.
FIGGE: Had his obligatory spin.
DALZIEL: Seemed to take a step back, but it's amazing Ryan can race at all with all those pins in his collarbone.
DOMINGUEZ: Mario is becoming an expert at Musical Chairs.
CLARKE: Dick Dan does the impossible -- he tops himself in boneheadedness, with a move that even an SCCA Regional driver isn't stupid enough to make.
RSPORTS: RSPORTS. RuSPORT. Rocketsports. Pick an "R", any "R". That was certainly one of the quickest shotgun marriages seen in racing.
VETTEL: Hmm, looks like Scott Speed was pretty darn good after all...
TROUBLE LAUNCHING: Dan Clarke. Though he was able to launch a few other cars...
NEVER A FACTOR: Tristan Gommendy.
SHOULD REMAINED PARKED: Dan Clarke. Oh, he was.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: D'uh!
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 2nd -- the highest finish for Dale Coyne Racing, topping the third place by Roberto Moreno at the 1996 U.S. 500 and Oriol Servia at Laguna Seca in 2004.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Zolder will always been known as the track where Gilles Villeneuve lost his life. The track itself dates back to 1963, but racing in Zolder occurred as far back as the 1950s when the local motor club competed around the town square.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: We have two that go together, describing Dick Dan's fubar. Jan Heylen: "What the f---?! What the f---?!" Justin Wilson: "That's the strangest accident I've ever had."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Oriol Servia on the expectation of Bruno Junqueira lasting the final laps with his fuel load, "I think that after the last green flag we were all just waiting for Bruno to run out of fuel or pit, and then we would settle things. Well, we are still waiting, aren't we?"
SCHEDULE: Time to head three hours up the road to Assen and see how a track known for motorcycle grand prix racing handles Champ Cars.
Copyright © 2007 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.