SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS DOMINATES FRIDAY QUALIFYING AT ROAD AMERICA
French Driver Guarantees Himself Fourth Straight Front Row Start in Elkhart Lake
ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. (August 10, 2007) -- Three-time Champion Sebastian Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) showed everyone at the Champ Car Generac Grand Prix at Road America the reason he still is the man to beat for this year's title. Bourdais led today's provisional qualifying by nearly one-second, blistering the 4.048-mile layout in 102.385 seconds (142.333 mph).
With today's provisional pole, the Frenchman assured himself a front row starting spot, marking the fourth time in as many races at the renowned track that he has started in the top-two. Unfortunately for him, the front row starts have not meant wins, as this is the only track on the Champ Car schedule that Bourdais has raced on more than once, but failed to win.
Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was second fastest, turning his best lap of 103.416 seconds (141.324 mph) on his tenth orbit of the session. Power, currently third in the championship standings, eclipsed rookie Neel Jani (#21 Red Bull Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) by three-tenths pushing the Swiss driver to fourth. Jani has come on as of late, scoring three podiums in the last five races but he is still searching for his first Champ Car win. Road America has lent itself to first time winners as seven different drivers have claimed their first victory here.
Last year's pole sitter at Road America, Dan Clarke (#4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was fourth fastest in the session with Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) slotted in fifth. Earning the sixth fastest time was rookie Ryan Dalziel (#28 Pacific Coast Motorsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone). Today's qualifying effort marked the best of Dalziel's Champ Car career.
Rookie Robert Doornbos (#14 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone), who is second in the championship standings, was seventh quickest today after winning the last event in San Jose. He narrowly edged his Roshfran's Rookie of the Year competitor Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who was eighth fastest on the day.
Alex Tagliani (#8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was ninth in today's qualifying with Oriol Servia (#7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) rounding out the top ten.
Final qualifying for the Generac Grand Prix at Road America will begin at 2:10 p.m. Central Time (3:10 p.m. ET) on Saturday with the Race scheduled for Sunday, August 12 at 2 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) which can be seen live on ABC. Fans can also follow all of the action via the official website of the Champ Car World Series, www.champcar.ws.
Sebastien Bourdais: "I'm very happy for the McDonald's team; they did a great job to give me a great car. It wasn't easy out there (in qualifying) and I'm actually very surprised we went that fast."
Will Power: "I think everyone was a little bit confused with their cars because the different compounds of rubber from all the category of cars that's here. The last session, I sort of worked out where we'd gone wrong. I think we'll be stronger tomorrow.
Neel Jani: "This morning's practice session was really bad. I was 2.4 seconds the quickest time. I was a little bit worried, but this afternoon we improved the car quite a bit. And I'm happy in third."