CHAMPCAR/CART: St. Pete: Team Rahal Friday qualifying report

Jourdain is sixth in provisional qualifying at St Pete. ST. PETERSBURG, FL . . .Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain Jr. carried the momentum of his strong preseason testing program into the first day of qualifying for Sunday's Champ Car World Series ...

Jourdain is sixth in provisional qualifying at St Pete.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL . . .Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain Jr. carried the momentum of his strong preseason testing program into the first day of qualifying for Sunday's Champ Car World Series season opener the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Jourdain took sixth on the provisional grid which would match his career best start on a street course (Monterrey, Mexico 2002).

Jourdain was fourth quick on his opening qualifying run despite encountering significant traffic on the last few laps of his first eight lap stint. Despite the heavy traffic Jourdain posted his quickest lap of the day (104.006 mph) on his seventh lap.

Jourdain's second run was impeded by two red flag stoppages (Roberto Moreno and Ryan Hunter-Reay) which consumed the majority of the final ten minutes of the qualifying session. He was unable to use his full allotment of 15 laps and fell to sixth on the provisional grid.

"We have a good car but we really didn't get a chance to show it," said Jourdain. "On the first run I got held up in traffic and at the end the red flags kept everyone from getting a lap. That is always the risk you run when you wait to the end of the session for your second run. The grip level was improving as the session went so we felt it was worth the wait. I know we have a car that is better than sixth, but today we just didn't get a clear lap. I think we can make a few changes and improve the car. We are obviously not as fast as Newman-Haas, but we aren't that far off either. I am happy with the car but it can always be better."

Newman-Haas rookie Sebastian Bourdais was quickest on the first day of qualifying turning a fast lap of 105.415 mph. He was followed closely by his teammate Bruno Junqueira who turned a fast lap of 105.003 mph.

Qualifying will resume on Saturday afternoon (SPEED 1:30 PM EST) for Sunday's Champ Car World Series opener.

-tr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Michel Jourdain