SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS TAKES SECOND STRAIGHT PROVISIONAL POLE IN SHORTENED EDMONTON SESSION Points Race Tightens as Bourdais Gains One Championship Point and Moves into Tie for Second in Standings EDMONTON (July 20, 2007) -- Sebastien Bourdais (...
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS TAKES SECOND STRAIGHT PROVISIONAL POLE IN SHORTENED EDMONTON SESSION
Points Race Tightens as Bourdais Gains One Championship Point and Moves into Tie for Second in Standings
EDMONTON (July 20, 2007) -- Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) entered the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton third in the Championship standings but following today's provisional qualifying, the three-time Champion has moved closer to a record breaking fourth consecutive title tightening the gap to just two points behind Robert Doornbos (#14 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone.)
In a session shortened by five minutes due to a late red flag, Bourdais lapped the 1.973-mile Rexall Speedway at City Centre Airport in 58.709 seconds (120.983 mph.) The red flag flew to attend to Tristan Gommendy (#22 Pay by Touch-Megaspiera Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who earlier in the session made contact with the wall on the exit of Turn 6 and was complaining of lower back pain. Gommendy was then transported to a local hospital for precautionary x-rays.
A pair of rookies took the next two spots on the provisional grid with Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) turning a lap of 58.974 seconds (120.440 mph) which was good enough for second quick on the day. Bourdais' Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing teammate Graham Rahal (#2 Medi|Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was third quick after a top time of 59.112 seconds (120.158 mph.)
Dale Coyne Racing driver Bruno Junqueira (#19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) continued to ride the wave of momentum he built at Toronto turning in another top-5 performance. Junqueira's time of 59.127 seconds (120.128 mph) was good enough for fourth. Next in line was Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who set his best lap early in the session. Power also paced the morning practice but being limited to just one run in qualifying hurt the Aussie driver who was looking to move within one point of the Series lead with the provisional pole point.
Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was sixth fastest with PKV Racing's Neel Jani (#21 Red Bull-Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) seventh. Canadian Alex Tagliani (#8 Tide@Wal-Mart Victory Lap Charity Program Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was eighth quick.
Rounding out the top ten today was Oriol Servia (#7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Series points leader Robert Doornbos. Canadian Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) had electrical problems early in the session and was only able to run four laps. Both Gommendy and Dan Clarke (#4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) recorded no times during the session. Gommendy crashed on his first full lap and Clarke's Minardi Team USA crew was unable to repair the damage from a morning practice session crash before qualifying started.
Final qualifying for the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton will begin at 2:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. The third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown is scheduled for Sunday, July 22 at 1:00 p.m. local time (3:00 p.m. ET) and can be seen live on ESPN in the United States and Global in Canada. Fans can also follow all of the action via the official website of the Champ Car World Series, www.champcar.ws.
QUOTES FROM THE TOP THREE FRIDAY QUALIFIERS
Sebastien Bourdais: "It was a good session for the McDonald's team. It didn't look good at all for most of it. But the last two laps we did on the run, we were fast and consistent and the balance was reasonably good. So, no, I was pretty happy."
Simon Pagenaud: "You know, it's just been a very good day for us because this morning it was not that good, we had a couple issues. The whole Aussie Vineyards team has been working really, really well, making my car working for this afternoon. When we came in practice this afternoon, the car was great. I just said, that's a great car just do a couple of change, but we're not far away. Put new tires on, it was great. Great, great feeling."
Graham Rahal: "Today was an awfully good day for the Medi|Zone team. I think it's unfortunate that we couldn't run a second set of tires because I certainly think we could do better on our time, but certainly that's how it works. We're just happy to be third."