Bourdais back on top in Monterrey. Takes pole position with new track record. Sebastien Bourdais wasn't terribly pleased with his 6th place provisional qualifying effort in preparation for Sunday's Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix at the ...
Bourdais back on top in Monterrey.
Takes pole position with new track record.
Sebastien Bourdais wasn't terribly pleased with his 6th place provisional qualifying effort in preparation for Sunday's Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix at the 2.04-mile Fundidora Park street circuit in this central Mexican city. After all, his Newman/Haas team owned the first two wins here, courtesy of 2002 Champ Car World Series champion Cristiano da Matta. Empowered, rookie Bourdais set out to take top slot, bringing the #2 Lola/Ford under the stripes with a new track record of 74.938 seconds (101.076mph). "Yesterday it was really difficult to handle the car," the Frenchman noted. "The team did a fantastic job; the car was really good today," he enthused.
Paul Tracy starts next to Bourdais after claiming provisional pole on Friday. The aggressive Canadian spun during morning practice and made heavy contact in turn 5 with the left side of his #3 Team Player's Lola/Ford and never did turn a lap in final time trials while many in the 19-car field improved. "It was logical to sit out qualifying," Tracy said. His team was unable to repair his primary car and, rather than lose his quick Friday time, Tracy will use his spare in tomorrow's race.
Among those improving was Alex Tagliani, who starts third in the #33 Johnson Controls Lola/Ford. Tagliani turned a hot pace of 75.437 seconds (100.407mph) on his final lap, still half a second behind Bourdais. Spaniard Oriol Servia, second on Friday and fastest in Saturday morning practice took fourth grid slot, powering his #20 Visteon Lola/Ford to a lap of 75.476 seconds (100.355mph).
Michel Jourdain Jr. will start on the inside of row three, his lap of 75.869 seconds (99.835mph) guaranteeing him 5th place, the last within one second of Bourdais record lap. It's all-Mexico third row as Adrian Fernandez took his spare #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Lola/Ford to a quick tour of 75.938 seconds (99.745mph). "We improved the car from yesterday, but we still need to make it better for the race," he said.
Lola provided the chassis for the top eight cars in today's final qualifying, with Bruno Junqueira landing in 7th place in the #1 PacifiCare Lola/Ford and Mario Dominguez earning 8th starting slot in his Herdez Lola/Ford, pleasing the partisan crowd.
An enthusiastic crowd was on hand for this session, on a clear, warm day in central Mexico. Sunday's third annual Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix takes the green flags at 2:30pm EST and will be shown live on Speed TV.