CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston: Friday qualifying report

SEBASTIEN BOURDIAS STANDS OUT IN THE LONE STAR STATE AS HE LEADS THE FIRST DAY OF CHAMP CAR QUALIFYING IN HOUSTON HOUSTON (April 20, 2007) -- Like anyone at a sporting event, Sebastien Bourdais ( ...

SEBASTIEN BOURDIAS STANDS OUT IN THE LONE STAR STATE AS HE LEADS THE FIRST DAY OF CHAMP CAR QUALIFYING IN HOUSTON

HOUSTON (April 20, 2007) -- Like anyone at a sporting event, Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) always likes to be in the front row and today in Houston, the Flying Frenchman guaranteed himself a front row starting position for the Grand Prix of Houston with a lap of 58.376 (103.789 mph) around JAGFlo Speedway at Reliant Park.

Bourdais set the fastest time of the day in his penultimate lap running on the standard Bridgestone Potenzas and was joined in the top three by his Newman/Haas/Lanigan teammate Graham Rahal (#2 Medi|Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) as the Champ Car World Series rookie put in his best qualifying performance this young season with a lap of 59.998 (102.695 mph). Sandwiched between the N/H/L teammates is current series points leader Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who despite losing his fastest lap for qualifying interference, still held on for the second fastest time with a lap at 59.908 (102.852 mph). Power was also the only driver to bolt on the alternate Bridgestone Red Potenzas but the effort proved for naught after the penalty negated the Aussie's fastest time.

A trio of Champ Car veterans took the next three spots in qualifying with RSPORTS stablemates Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Alex Tagliani (#8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) fourth and fifth quickest with laps of 59.216 (102.317 mph) and 59.269 (102.225 mph) respectively. Oriol Servia (#3 INDECK Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone), filling in for Paul Tracy, used what he learned in his short time in the new DP01 to secure the sixth spot in today's qualifying session.

Rookies Neel Jani (#21 Red Bull Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) quietly put their machines in the top-10 as the Swiss-born Jani was seventh fastest with a time of 59.354 (102.079 mph). Pagenaud continued his run near the top of the grid with an eighth place qualifying effort of 59.446 (101.921 mph).

Rounding out the top-10 were Dale Coyne Racing driver, Bruno Junqueira (#19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Ryan Dalziel (#28 PCM Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone). Dalziel's lap of 59.746 (101.409 mph) was his best qualifying effort of 2007. It was a day of mixed emotions for the first year Pacific Coast Motorsports team as they announced that Alex Figge (#29 Imperial Capital Bank Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) will not be competing this weekend in Houston as a result of injuries suffered in the final laps of the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The final grid for the Grand Prix of Houston at JAGFlo Speedway at Reliant Park will be set with Saturday's final qualifying, which will take place at 1:30 p.m. Central Time.

-credit: ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Justin Wilson , Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Graham Rahal , Alex Figge , Neel Jani , Will Power , Simon Pagenaud , Dale Coyne
Teams Dale Coyne Racing