2007 was the second year that the Champ Car World Series and Atlantic champions were run around the stadiums in Houston, Texas. What we didn’t know at the time was that it would also be the last, as the IRL would absorb Champ Car before the start of the 2008 season. This would be the one and only year that Champ Car teams would run the Cosworth turbo V8-powered Panoz DP01 chassis – one of the most beautiful open-wheel racers of the first decade of the 21st century.
Unlike 2006, the 2007 event was run on a normal Friday-Sunday (April 20-22) schedule, although the track was open to all comers on Thursday while the teams set up. Also unlike 2006, the entire paddock would be outside – the Reliant arena would only be used for race control and press facilities. The Atlantic race on Sunday was won by Sierra Sierra Enterprises Raphael Matos. The Champ Car race was a 1-2 Newman/Haas Lanigan finish with defending champion Sebastien Bourdais leading home his rookie teammate, Graham Rahal.
I took no pictures of the races on Sunday. In six years of attending CART/Champ Car events in Houston, I had never seen the actual races in person without a camera in front of my face, so I chose to spend Sunday just watching from the grandstands with my wife.