Maia takes Montreal provisional pole.
MONTREAL, QUEBEC(August 22, 2003)-2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series champion Leo Maia had to dig deep to take the provisional pole position in first qualifying as he bested Memo Rojas in a duel with a lap time of 1.42.204 seconds on the 2.709-mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. David Martinez and Dan Di Leo demonstrated how tightly matched the Barber Dodge Pro Series cars are as they scored the exact same time with a 1:42.631 second lap. Martinez earned the third position over Di Leo as his second fastest lap was faster than Di Leo's second fastest lap.
Nelson Philippe scored fifth on the provisional grid, with Ward Imrie impressing with his sixth place effort. Mid Ohio podium finisher Antoine Bessette took seventh as German Quirorga took eighth. Formula Dodge National Championship presented by RACER Magazine racer Salvador Duran qualified ninth, with Rookie of the Year contender Colin Fleming taking tenth. The top ten qualifiers were separated by less than one second.
The provisional pole is Maia's fourth of the season, and the Champion is not slowing down as he aims to take the Dodge Trans Canada Challenge.
"It was a really good session for me, since I was able to get down into the :42's and stay there, so my car is really consistent," said Maia. "I was going to come into the pits to make some changes, but every time I was going to come in, I was on a fast lap, so I just stayed out there, and made the difference up with my driving."
Memo Rojas exchanged the pole with Maia several times during the session, but came up just .1 of a second short in the final order.
"I had the opposite strategy from Leo, as I came in early in the session to make changes, and it didn't quite work quite work out for me in the end, since I don't think the changes we made were the right ones," said Rojas. "The car lost consistency, but it was a good close qualifying session, though, and I am happy to be close to the pole and looking forward to the battle tomorrow."
David Martinez has again come up to speed quickly on a track that is new to him as he is hoping to end the season the way he started it, with a win.
"I feel very comfortable in the car, and I got up to rhythm really fast here in my first visit to Montreal," said Martinez. "I like this track, its very similar to the surface at Monterrey, and it rewards smooth driving, so I am looking forward to the second qualifying and to the race."