CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Team Rahal Friday report

Jourdain takes provisional pole at Portland. PORTLAND, OR . . . Champ Car World Series points leader Michel Jourdain Jr. piloted his Team Rahal ...

Jourdain takes provisional pole at Portland.

PORTLAND, OR . . . Champ Car World Series points leader Michel Jourdain Jr. piloted his Team Rahal #9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires, to the provisional pole for Sunday's G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway. Jourdain used just eight of his allotted 15 qualifying laps and posted his quick lap of 119.339 mph on his seventh lap.

"This is a great way for the weekend to start for the Gigante team," said Jourdain. "My car is very good and we have learned a few things which have allowed us to make it even better than when we tested here after Long Beach. In fact we learned some things last week with this Bridgestone tire at Laguna Seca and utilizing what we learned the car has been great since we unloaded it this morning. I am very, very happy and it gives me a lot of confidence for tomorrow knowing that I have a front row spot secured for Sunday. "

The front row start will be Jourdain's third of the season and the 26-year-old native of Mexico city will fight for his second career Champ Car pole tomorrow afternoon. Jourdain captured his first Champ Car career pole position at Long Beach in April and had an apparent pole position stripped from him last week at Laguna Seca when the Gigante car was ruled underweight in post qualifying technical inspection.

"Knowing we start up front gives us a great shot to score some points and hopefully finish on the podium on Sunday," said Jourdain. "There is a slight chance of rain for tomorrow and even if it rains we will take the Gigante car out in the rain because we want every point we can get."

Jourdain scored a championship point for winning the provisional pole pushing his series leading season total to 90, Subsequently he increased his lead of second place Bruno Junqueira of Newman-Haas Racing to seven points and to nine points over third-place Paul Tracy of Players/Forsythe Racing.

Qualifying will resume on Saturday afternoon for Sunday's 20th annual G.I. Joe's 200 which will be carried live on CBS at 3:30 p.m. EDT.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Michel Jourdain