Toronto final qualifying report

(TORONTO, Ont.) July 14, 2001-American Matt Plumb held onto his overnight position to capture his second career pole in round 7 of the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series supporting the CART FedEx Molson Indy Toronto. Driving the No.4 Premier Nutrition...

(TORONTO, Ont.) July 14, 2001-American Matt Plumb held onto his overnight position to capture his second career pole in round 7 of the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series supporting the CART FedEx Molson Indy Toronto. Driving the No.4 Premier Nutrition Dodge Reynard, Plumb bettered his Friday effort by going three tenths of a second faster around the 1.775-mile Exhibition Place temporary street circuit in downtown Toronto, Canada. His fastest tour was recorded at 1:11.907 sec for an average speed of 97.863 mph. Sepp Koster of the Netherlands will share the front row going second quickest while American Ryan Hunter-Reay, third quickest, will start behind Plumb.

The session ended prematurely in the 16th minute, just one minute past the halfway point, when Plumb's motor shut down leaving a trail of oil along the track that could not be cleaned in time to restart the session. Plumb indeed captured the pole on his previous lap taking it from Koster who held it only momentarily. Heartbreak also struck local favorite Daniel Di Leo who only moments before suffered a fate similar to Plumb's. For Plumb, it was not the manner in which he hoped to win the pole.

"I hate to benefit from others misfortune. I know that Sepp and Ryan could have gone faster as I could have. I'm happy for myself, but feel for the others who were left out," said a duly gracious Plumb, 25.

According to the time on his Pi Data dashboard, Koster was on a lap that would have been good for 1:11.7 sec. Unfortunately the red flag flew when he had but two corners to complete thus nullifying his time for that lap. Instead, Koster would have to accept the 1:12.104 lap that he had set in the 13th minute.

"It's very disappointing because I knew I had a lap good enough for pole. Matt did a great job of pulling off line to contain the oil, but in the end we didn't restart," said the Koster driver of the No.3 Stora Drain Dodge Reynard. "I did my quickest lap officially in traffic.

The car felt great so I know that I could go a lot quicker. Turn-1 has actually more grip on the outside (where Koster will start) so the compromise is going to be on the exit where there is less space if we go in side-by-side."

Like Plumb and Koster, Hunter-Reay knew he had more to give on the day. Under the circumstances third place is a good result mixed with thoughts of what might have been. His best lap was a 1:12.315 sec. in the No.31 Barber-CART Scholarship Team Dodge Reynard.

"I tried to put in a quick lap right from the beginning but caught out by slower traffic. When the red flag came out I was working on a lap that no doubt would have been three to four tenths faster," said the 20-year old Hunter-Reay. "Fortunately we have nearly a mile-long straight with a hard braking zone at the end that may present a passing opportunity."

The fastest ten drivers finished the session within one second. Marc Breuers improved one place over his provisional spot to line up on the outside of row two. Alex Sperafico made an even bigger jump, going seven-tenths of a second faster to move to fifth on the grid ahead of Roger Yasukawa in sixth and Nicolas Rondet in seventh. Peter Boss will start eighth while Rhonda Trammell earns herself a career best ninth place start. Akihira Okamoto rounds out the Top-10.

Round seven will get the green flag immediately following the CART FedEx Series Molson Indy Toronto at 3:15 p.m. EDT.

-Barber

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Series Barber Pro
Drivers Peter Boss , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Sepp Koster , Rhonda Trammell , Alex Sperafico , Matt Plumb , Akihira Okamoto