CHAMPCAR/CART: Bourdais blasts to Cleveland pole

CHAMPCAR/CART: Bourdais blasts to Cleveland pole

Sebastien Bourdais took pole position tonight for tomorrow night's Cleveland Grand Prix at the Burke Lakefront Airport, with a pair of quick laps as the first night session came to a close. Bourdais turned a fast time of 58.365 seconds with nine...

Sebastien Bourdais took pole position tonight for tomorrow night's Cleveland Grand Prix at the Burke Lakefront Airport, with a pair of quick laps as the first night session came to a close. Bourdais turned a fast time of 58.365 seconds with nine minutes remaining in the session to move up to the pole, but he wasn't confident that the time would hold, so he backed it up with an even faster lap of 58.014 seconds (130.686 mph.) This was Bourdais' fourth pole of this, his rookie season with Newman/Haas Racing.

Pole winner S?bastien Bourdais.
Photo by Michael Kim.
Provisional polesitter, Paul Tracy, sat out most of the session in the pits, failing to return to the track after he caused a red flag early in the session. His spin, exiting turn 4, didn't damage his car, but he elected to stand on his guaranteed front row from yesterday's session. "The rubber from the Trans-Am race made the track slippery early, but the track was getting better and better. Then a lot of guys were going off and throwing stuff on the track so it looked like we were good." he said.

Patrick Carpentier, Tracy's Forsythe Racing teammate, had the second-fastest time tonight to give him the third spot on the grid for tomorrow's race. He struggled for speed through most of tonight's session and spun harmlessly late in the run, but a flying lap of 58.449 seconds (129.713 mph) he ran as the checkered flag was waving gave him his second-row spot.

Oriol Servia was also quick in the late laps of tonight's second round qualifying, and held the second-fastest time for a few minutes before Carpentier's top lap (which was only 0.003 seconds faster!) moved him down a place in the order.

Continuing the close order, Bruno Junqueira got the fifth position on the grid with a time just 0.004 seconds slower than Servia. Just 2 tenths slower than Junqueira, Michel Jourdain Jr., Alex Tagliani, and Mario Dominguez were covered by only 0.024 seconds in positions 6 through 8.

The drivers were pleased with the adjustments made to the Musco lights used to light up the night at the Cleveland airport. Due to the timing of the facility's availability for setup because of it being an active airport, the lights were tested for the first time while the cars were on the track last night. The feedback from the drivers about the problem spots with the lighting was incorporated in the adjustments, and the drivers reported no complaints with the corrected alignment.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Sébastien Bourdais , Michel Jourdain , Michael Kim