Will Power locks in first place on the grid tomorrow with a scorching hot lap of 1.23.558m (119.515 mph/192.340 kph) breaking Sebastien Bourdais' record set yesterday -- the 2006 qualifying record that the two racers broke belonged to Justin Wilson -- Power was more than one second faster despite the injury that plaques him from an incident at the Gold Coast in Australia. Power mused after being asked whether there was a possibility he was trying to engage in psychological games with his race opponents, "It might seem like that... The warmer it gets, the easier it is on the hand. It's sore in the morning when it's cold."
Robert Doornbos who qualified third today quipped, "Maybe the girls can take care of it, no?" Power, looking forward to the conclusion of the event tomorrow reflected on the comment and responded... "Yeah, after the race it's real sore." Frivolity aside, Power was well aware that it takes only one lap to make it happen. "I found a gap and did one lap...It was tough in traffic" and when the red flag flew the field was tossed "into a bit of a limbo and everybody was going out at the last minute... but we got a lap in and the car's good."
Sebastian Bourdais suffered through a bad day at the race track today after a qualifying run that placed him tenth fastest. The champion stands on his provisional pole yesterday that gives him his front row position of second. He shrugged it off with ..."quite simply, what a good day yesterday and a bad day today. Just wasn't really the way we wanted to have our last qualifying run...you've got to keep your chin up and go racing."
Doornbos struggled to find a good set up for his car but managed to settle into third place after today's qualifying session. "...it's not easy to find a good setup..., especially with the bumps in the back." Doornbos was happy to qualify in the front of the field for his team and was looking forward to the race tomorrow.
Oriol Servia who does not feel a kinship with this circuit from past experiences was pleased with his qualifying position of fourth on the grid..."I am very happy with the qualifying performance of the PKV Racing team today...We need to finish this weekend and the season on a high note..."
What started as a promising day at the slick circuit yesterday turned to disappointment today as Wilson qualified fifth on the grid after today round. "The car wasn't as smooth as yesterday...we weren't able to keep up with it and it cost us the pole." Adding to the tension this weekend is the battle for second place in the Champ Car World Series Drivers' Championship. With a lead of only eight points by Wilson over Doornbos, the margin of error is very slim. If they both finish the race as they start Wilson will clinch the second spot in the final standings.
The polesitter's teammate Simon Pagenaud felt a bit more comfortable on the circuit today as he qualified sixth. "We finally sorted out the track ... it's a very tough track to understand...I think that we should be in good shape for tomorrow."
The remainder of the top ten struggled to secure their positions, Graham Rahal appeared to be pleased with seventh spot on the grid and Canadian Paul Tracy believes it can be anyone's race tomorrow..."We'll se what happens after the first couple of laps...I don't think it's going to be hard to pass at all (in the race.)...I think we'll see an unbelievable race."
'Speedy' Dan Clarke in the ninth position and David Martinez in the tenth spot both aspire to make their way up through the field tomorrow. Both teams worked on set up today with the hopes of catching out their challengers for the podium tomorrow.
As you watch and feel the tension of the final race of the season for the Champ Car World Series as it unfolds in Mexico City tomorrow, keep a watchful eye for the "It's All in the Finish" Color and Design Award winning car. The Conquest Racing Team be-dazzled the Planet Color judges from Sherwin Williams with the brilliant paint scheme on the #34 Nelson Phillipe entry with its pearl blue, white and metallic silver paint scheme which danced in the Mexican sunshine.
Our season comes to an end tomorrow, history has been written with a four-time consecutive winner of the Vanderbilt Cup, what does the day hold for us? Will Bourdais leave the series with another win or will we see the talents of the next up-and-comer battling for the win and setting his/her sights on the trophy for next year?
What will we talk about tomorrow? Will there be a new segment to add to the history of Bourdais, or will we start a new chapter in the Champ Car notebook?