CHAMPCAR/CART: Junqueira on pole for slippery Denver race

CHAMPCAR/CART: Junqueira on pole for slippery Denver race

Ganassi Racing's Bruno Junqueira won the pole for tomorrow's CART Grand Prix of Denver with a fast time of 1:01.703 seconds (96.093 mph.) Junqueira set the pole time relatively early in the second qualifying session of the weekend, as the usual ...

Ganassi Racing's Bruno Junqueira won the pole for tomorrow's CART Grand Prix of Denver with a fast time of 1:01.703 seconds (96.093 mph.) Junqueira set the pole time relatively early in the second qualifying session of the weekend, as the usual late-session rush didn't materialize this time. The point for the pole moved Junqueira into sole possession of third place in CART points, breaking the tie with Patrick Carpentier that has maintained for several weeks.

Bruno Junqueira.
Photo by Michael Kim.

Yesterday's fastest driver, Adrian Fernandez, was second fastest today, but his best time was taken away after he spun his car to cause a late red flag that spoiled the last dash for many drivers. Fernandez will still start on the outside of row 1, thanks to his top lap yesterday.

With his best ever CART qualifying result, Shinji Nakano will start third in the streets of Denver tomorrow. Nakano, in Fernandez Racing's second car, missed the pole by only one-tenth of a second. Like Junqueira, Nakano set his fast time on his first set of tires, early in the session. The slippery conditions and bumpy pavement have turned around the sessions from what the CART drivers have found at nearly every other track. The drivers seem convinced that the track conditions do not improve during a session here.

Scott Dixon qualified fourth and Kenny Brack sixth to give Ganassi Racing half of the top six grid positions, with Christian Fittipaldi slotting in between the two. Fittipaldi's Newman-Haas teammate, CART points leader Cristiano da Matta, did not show his usual dominance today and will start on the inside of row four. Two-time race winner, Carpentier will start outside that row, also struggling for a good setup. The remaining top ten starters will be Tony Kanaan and Michel Jourdain, Jr.

After getting his third pole of the year, Junqueira called Denver the "toughest track of the year" and predicted a lot of passing in the race because it is "easy to make a mistake here." The CART drivers will pass under the green flag in Denver at 1:00 pm. (Mountain time), and the race will be televised live on SPEED Channel beginning at 2:30 pm EDT.

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