Michael Jourdain Jr.
Jourdain spent the following two seasons honing his skills in Formula 2, and finished 15th in the final standings in his first full season before improving to 12th in 1993. He also won two of six races in the Mobil Delvac Cup series for semi-trucks and finished third in the inaugural Tecate Cup series, which was won by his father, Michel Sr.
It was Michel’s performance during the 1995 season that caught the eyes of team owners north of the border as he turned in a career-best season in the Formula 2 Championship with a third-place finish in the points race, paced by five runner-up finishes in his fourth full season in the series. He replaced Carlos Guerrero in mid-1996 and ran a partial season in the series for Team Scandia, competing in five races. Michel became the youngest driver to ever start a Champ Car event when he drove at Long Beach at 19 years, 6 months and 12 days old, and turned in a 23rd-place finish in his rookie debut.
Jourdain’s first career points-paying finish, 12th at Portland, highlighted his second season in Champ Cars, while he just missed scoring at Toronto and Michigan with 13th-place finishes. His 1997 season concluded with a career-best fifth-place qualifying performance at California Speedway giving him a 29th-place finish in the championship. He continued to show promise over the next four seasons driving for Payton Coyne Racing and Bettenhausen Motorsports establishing career milestones with his first career podium finish, third at Michigan, and his 100th career start (at Australia. He 2001 season saw him record a career-best finish in the championship, as well as a career-best point total. A change of scenery for the 2002 season proved to be a key for Jourdain who turned in the finest season of his Champ Car career. Driving for Team Rahal, Jourdain started the year with four consecutive top-five finishes and led the points for the first time in his career, pacing the field after four races. The eight-year veteran had his breakout campaign in 2003, scoring back-to-back runner-up finishes to start the year and chased those performances with a pole-winning run in Long Beach. Starting second in Milwaukee later in the season, Michel led a single-race series-record 234 laps around the Milwaukee Mile to score his first series victory and take the lead in the Champ Car World Series for the first time in his career. He doubled his career win total in Montreal, coming from fourth on the grid to take the victor. He led the series in laps completed for the second consecutive year and earned six podiums finishes along with five more fourth-place runs. At the end of the season, he scored a career-high 195 championship points and ended up with the third spot in the championship.
In his final season with Champ Car, Michel started all 14 races and scored six top-10 finishes, including podium appearances in Milwaukee (third) and Vancouver (second). He finished the season with a streak of 149 consecutive Champ Car starts, which ranks fifth on the all-time list and finished his season 12th in the championship standings.