Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves made it an all-Team Penske front row for Sunday's race by qualifying within 0.064 seconds of each other today. De Ferran claimed pole honors for the first time this season with a best lap of 109.492 mph.
Gil de Ferran and Helio Castroneves made it an all-Team Penske front row for Sunday's race by qualifying within 0.064 seconds of each other today. De Ferran claimed pole honors for the first time this season with a best lap of 109.492 mph. Castroneves was second (109.370 mph), just ahead of Team Rahal's Kenny Brack (109.146) and Mo Nunn Racing's Tony Kanaan (109.076).
For de Ferran, it marks the 12th pole position of his Champ car career, half of them coming on Firestone tires in the last 1½ seasons. It took de Ferran five full seasons to accumulate six poles with the former tire competitor before he joined Team Penske and Firestone last year.
Firestone is in its second season as sole tire supplier to the FedEx Championship Series. As such, Firestone is assured of collecting its 91st CART victory (in 118 tries) when the checkered flag waves Sunday.
"The streets of Toronto always present a real challenge for a tire supplier in trying to find a suitable compound to work on all the different surfaces around the circuit," said Joe Barbieri, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Project Supervisor. "However, the Firestone engineers have chosen a compound that provides excellent grip along with reducing the accumulation of marbles. This particular compound proved itself here last year, so we were confident in bringing the same specification back again. We're optimistic the Firehawk tires will contribute once more to an exciting and competitive race tomorrow."
Driver Quotes Gil de Ferran, Team Penske Honda/Reynard/Firestone: "It's been a really clean weekend for us and obviously the whole team is doing very well. We unloaded with a very good car from the start, so it was just a matter of getting everything right. The track is still slippery in places but it is definitely getting quicker. This circuit can be really hard on the rear tires because of the traction demands but our car is handling well."
Tony Kanaan, Mo Nunn Racing Honda/Reynard/Firestone: "The team did great. We're coming from three tough races so my guys needed this. It's a big boost for everybody. The Firestone tires are running very good. We have a peak for the first three laps, but after that they stabilize and are very reliable. That's why we're with Firestone, because they're very good."
Qualifying session temperature ranges:
Track: 106-116 degrees F, 41-46 degrees C Ambient: 81-83 degrees F, 27-28 degrees C