CHAMPCAR/CART: Junqueira snares provisional pole at Portland

CHAMPCAR/CART: Junqueira snares provisional pole at Portland

Newman/Haas driver Bruno Junqueira snared the provisional pole at Portland International Raceway today when he had a clear lap toward the final minutes. Junqueira surprised himself when he hit the fast time of 59.266 seconds with a speed of...

Newman/Haas driver Bruno Junqueira snared the provisional pole at Portland International Raceway today when he had a clear lap toward the final minutes. Junqueira surprised himself when he hit the fast time of 59.266 seconds with a speed of 119.603 miles per hour.

Bruno Junqueira.
Photo by Kurt Dahlstrom.
"On the lap that I posted my fastest time, I had no traffic and just pushed really hard," expressed Junqueira. "This is a good result and I look forward to final qualifying tomorrow and putting the PacifiCare car on the pole position for race day."

Under sunny skies and hot temperatures the second practice session for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland saw Mario Dominguez take an early lead as seven drivers took to the track. Five minutes later however all the drivers were back in the pits. After some work had been done on their cars some of the drivers came back out but none were able to move past Dominguez. Tracy did manage however to post a second place time of 1:00.648 in the last minute of the session. Five cars didn't even take to the track during the practice session, Junqueira, Sebastien Bourdais, Patrick Carpentier, Jimmy Vasser and Roberto Gonzalez, and Oriol Servia only managed one lap. After the qualifying session Bourdais commented that the reason they didn't come out was that they were trying to save tires for the race

When the cars came out for the qualifying session Roberto Gonzalez took the lead at first but then AJ Allmedinger moved out in front four minutes into the session. Paul Tracy came out 10 minutes after the session started taking P4 after his fourth lap and then two laps later brought his time below one minute and jumped to P1. The Newman/Haas drivers, Junqueira and Bourdais, came out 20 minutes into the 25 minute session. They both turned their best laps on the third lap out, Bourdais turned a 59.718 time briefly taking P1 followed by Junqueira doing a 59.266 lap and taking P1 away from his teammate. After three more laps they both went back into the pits and stayed there for the rest of the session.

Tracy came out a second time hoping to better his, now third, position but the changes the team had made to the car had made it worse not better and so he stayed in third. AJ Allmedinger improved his time turning a sub one minute lap but he could not beat Tracy's time of 59.731 and so stayed in fourth. On his next to last lap Tagliani moved into 5th and joined the top four with a sub one minute lap. Mario Dominguez , the leader in the practice session this afternoon, improved on his lap time but only enough to put him in 8th place at the end of the qualifying session

After the session Tracy commented that his fast lap had come as a bit of a surprise because the car was not handling at its best. Junqueira was also surprised by his fast lap having thought that 59.3 was the best that he would manage, but he got a clear lap just as the tires reached their best, to pull off the best lap of the session.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Mario Dominguez , Roberto Gonzalez