CHAMPCAR/CART: Junqueira one point closer after provisional pole

It's come down to the final event in the 2004 Champ Car World Series as Newman/Haas Racing Team drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira vie for the Vanderbilt Cup and a piece of Champ Car history in Mexico City.

Michael Valiante.
Photo by Ford Motor Company.
Added to this year's event in Mexico is the rising open-wheeled star and former Toyota Atlantic driver Michael Valiante. Winner of six Atlantic races in 2002/2003, Valiante was denied his Champ Car debut a year ago with Cummins Walker Racing entry at California Speedway when the race was cancelled due to wildfires in the area.

In an interview with Champ Car earlier this month, Valiante said, "Over the past year I've been so close so many times to racing a Champ Car that to have it all finally come together is a real thrill. It's taken a lot of hard work and help from a lot of people to get to this point, and I'd like to thank Derrick Walker and my sponsors for this opportunity.

Round Two qualifying is all set for Saturday afternoon when the final sprint to secure starting positions begins. Solid starting spots for both Newman/Haas drivers will be crucial to a spectacular event as the Champ Car title hasn't been decided in the series final race in the past four seasons.