Justin and the #9 CDW/RSPORTS team had a strong first day in Toronto, running 2nd fastest in Friday morning's practice session and posting the 3rd fastest time in provisional qualifying (59.099 seconds, 106.905 mph). Justin ran both qualifying stints on the harder black Bridgestone tyres, opting to keep the faster red-sidewalled tyres in reserve for final qualifying on Saturday when the track should be quicker.
Sebastien Bourdais (Newman/Haas/Lanigan) took provisional pole and a guaranteed front row grid slot with a 58.783s lap on blacks (107.480 mph), while Oriol Servia (Forsythe) was 2nd fastest (58.801s) and the leading runner on reds. Justin's RSPORTS team-mate Alex Tagliani was an unrepresentative 12th, unable to find a clear lap after his first stint was interrupted by a red flag midway through the session.
"Everything's been working well today", said Justin. "I'm really pleased with the progress we made through this morning and into the qualifying session. The #9 CDW car was feeling good and I felt like we had a chance of going for pole. We were getting quicker every lap, but we got stuck in traffic and I just wasn't able to put a good run together. We'd be on it for one lap, then back off for two laps to find space, then on it again for another lap. It's very hard to put a good time in when it's like that. " Explaining his spin late in the session Justin added, "On my second to last lap I was up a 10th and a half, but I spun off in the last corner. I was just trying a bit too hard. Ultimately I don't think we were quite quick enough to challenge the front row, but it would have been close. The balance is good and there's more to come from the car, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."