Valiante earns first career pole

Current CART Toyota Atlantic Championship points leader, Michael Valiante of Lynx Racing snuck by Friday's charger, Alex Gurney, to claim the pole for Sunday's 45-lap race from the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres. Valiante, a native Canadian from...

Current CART Toyota Atlantic Championship points leader, Michael Valiante of Lynx Racing snuck by Friday's charger, Alex Gurney, to claim the pole for Sunday's 45-lap race from the Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres.

Valiante, a native Canadian from British Columbia is the first Canadian driver to start from pole at Trois-Rivieres since Alex Tagliani in 1998. "I'm very happy to be able to score my first pole at a Canadian race, and particularly at Trois-Rivieres, which has played such a huge role in the history of Atlantic," said Valiante who won an additional bonus point with the pole. "The Lynx team gave me a very good car, and I could have easily maintained that pace, or even increased it if I had gotten a completely clear lap.

Gurney, hiding his disappointment, said, "I thought after this morning's practice and even using old tires that the car was really hooked up. We may have over-compensated a little on the set-up for the new tires. That turned out to be a mistake, but that's the way things go sometimes. Regardless, Michael did a great job. It looks like Lynx Racing will be strong tomorrow and so will Dorricott. We'll start second and fourth, so I expect a good race."

Grant Ryley, also with Lynx Racing, grabbed his season's best starting position in 3rd. "This is my best qualifying of the season so far, and I'm really "jazzed" about getting to start up front because it's really hard to pass here during the race. My car has a little more room for improvement in getting over the bumps without it upsetting the handling."

Jon Fogarty, Gurney's teammate at Dorricott Racing, will start fourth. The race will be all the more interesting as both Valiante and Gurney will have teammate's lining up on their rears at the beginning of the race.

Joey Hand of DSTP Motorsports is making his first start since suffering serious injuries in a Spring testing accident in Milwaukee. "We were really fast right out of the box. We had a lot for them today, but it just didn't go our way. About ten minutes in, the oil filter cracked and that was it. Our car is fast, and starting fifth is okay, but it's going to be a dog-fight tomorrow. For my first race back, I told myself I would be happy with a top five, and we're on our way."

The 30-minute qualifying session witnessed only one glitch as Carl Russo of Performance Development & Racing spun and stalled in Turn One.

Tomorrow's 45-lap race from the "Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres" will begin At 1:00 p.m.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Alex Gurney , Alex Tagliani , Jon Fogarty , Grant Ryley , Joey Hand , Carl Russo