Junqueira nabs point in Miami qualifying Leads Lola drivers in top-eight sweep Brazilian Bruno Junqueira is serious about taking the Vanderbilt Cup as the top 2003 Champ Car driver and showed it in today's initial single car qualifying for the...
Junqueira nabs point in Miami qualifying
Leads Lola drivers in top-eight sweep
Brazilian Bruno Junqueira is serious about taking the Vanderbilt Cup as the top 2003 Champ Car driver and showed it in today's initial single car qualifying for the Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com. Hustling the #1 PacifiCare Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone Champ Car on the Miami Bayfront Park 1.150-mile track, Junqueira posted a lap of 45.024 seconds (91.951mph) for a new track record. His lap was .662 seconds faster than rookie Mika Salo and he found "the course better than last year. It's faster but I think tomorrow times will be only one second faster because this track is so short. I'm happy to get another point on Paul Tracy by getting pole."
Former F1 pilot Salo in the #27 PK Racing Lola was on his third and final lap when Darren Manning, warming up for his time trials suffered a flat. Series officials permitted Salo a second chance and he took advantage with a tour of 45.686 seconds (90.619mph), good for second. Salo called it "a great session in the wet this morning. It was difficult qualifying in the dry after that. I'm still not used to qualifying like this on cold tires."
Sebastien Bourdais was third in the #2 McDonald's/Lilly Lola at 45.770 seconds (90.452mph) and had led the morning practice session held in mostly wet conditions. "We didn't get much practice in the dry. Tomorrow qualifying will be very important and we need to do well." The skies were partly cloudy for qualifying this afternoon, with temperatures around 78-80 degrees and 81% humidity.
Third in championship points, Michel Jourdain Jr. took fourth with a lap of 46.033 seconds (89.935mph) in his #9 Office Depot/Gigante Lola and found it "very hard to go out and qualify when we haven't run laps on dry setups, but it's the same for everyone." Owner/driver Adrian Fernandez earned fifth in the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Lola at 46.306 seconds (89.405mph). Spaniard Oriol Servia took a lap of 46.319 seconds (89.380mph) for sixth place in the #20 Visteon Lola. Alex Tagliani, who had problems in morning practice, was seventh in the #33 Johnson Controls Lola at 46.328 seconds (89.363mph). Mario Dominguez earned eighth place in the #55 Herdez Competition Lola (46.379sec/89.265mph).
It was a "terrible day" for point leader Paul Tracy, who crashed the #3 Team Player's Lola in morning practice and was only able to muster 14th on the provisional grid as the first driver to take timed laps. He leads Junqueira 204-187 with four races left to run. Tomorrow's final single-car qualifying sets the field for the 135-lap Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com race on Sunday.