CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying report

Junqueira Maintains Pole Position for Season Finale Target/Chip Ganassi Racing driver Bruno Junqueira made certain to retain the pole position he earned in provisional qualifying a day earlier by also nailing down the fastest lap in today's...

Junqueira Maintains Pole Position for Season Finale

Target/Chip Ganassi Racing driver Bruno Junqueira made certain to retain the pole position he earned in provisional qualifying a day earlier by also nailing down the fastest lap in today's final qualifying session. Due to several red-flag stoppages today, however, it was Friday's speed of 116.703 mph that clinched the fourth pole for Junqueira this season.

Driving a Toyota-powered Lola on Bridgestone Potenza tires, Junqueira was clocked in 1 minute, 25.941 seconds on his best lap during Friday's cool, overcast session. He came within two-tenths of a second of equaling it today in warmer, sunny conditions, and pronounced his car good to go in any situation this weekend.

"The car has been good and the Bridgestone tires are working fine here, no problem," Junqueira said. "I can go almost as fast on old tires as on new. I did my best lap today on the second run on a set of tires, so it's good."

Bridgestone is completing its first season of CART Champ Car competition this weekend, even though the tire maker has a storied racing history spanning four decades. All 19 cars in Sunday's starting grid will be equipped with Potenza racing radials. On Nov. 3, Bridgestone announced increased involvement in 2003 that will see it become Presenting Sponsor of the CART Champ Car Series.

Quote from Joe Barbieri, Project Supervisor, Bridgestone Motorsport: "Today's session was difficult for drivers to establish a rhythm because of all the red flags, yet more than half the drivers were able to improve their times from Friday. That just shows everyone was pushing his car to the limit and that all the drivers have the confidence in their Potenza race tires to do so. Bruno said his car is performing consistently well on new and used tires. A number of others have echoed that sentiment, again proving the Bridgestone Motorsport engineers have developed a durable and reliable tire specification for this weekend. We're looking forward to a very exciting final race of the 2002 season tomorrow that would conclude a most successful debut season for Bridgestone in CART."

Qualifying session temperatures ranged from 106 to 111 degrees track and from 70 to 72 degrees ambient (F); Qualifying session temperatures ranged from 41 to 44 degrees track and from 21 to 22 degrees ambient (C).

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing