Mexico City:Sebastien Bourdais and teammate Graham Rahal were handed a "significant penalty" immediately before Sunday's Mexico Grand Prix, the final race of the Champ Car season.
The two drivers for the Newman-Haas-Lanigan team spun their tires during the standing start practice for the grid ahead of the race, laying down rubber that could have helped them get traction at the flag drop, series spokesman David Higdon said.
Race director Tony Cotman stripped each of 22 seconds of the push-to-pass power that drivers are given for the race. Drivers in Mexico had been given 75 seconds of added 100-horsepower bursts during the race, to use as they wish.
Push-to-pass power was increased during Mexico. Drivers were given 60 seconds of 50 horsepower boosts at earlier races. The cars' Cosworth engines produce roughly 750 horsepower without the boosts.
Higdon said the penalty is significant because the long, broad straight heading into turn 1 at Mexico's 4.464-kilometer (2.774-mile) road course offers an opportunity for a quick leap into the lead.
Bourdais has already clinched his fourth consecutive season title, but 18-year-old Rahal is battling to maintain or advance his fifth spot in the season standings.