CHAMPCAR/CART: Tracy secures Vancouver pole

CHAMPCAR/CART: Tracy secures Vancouver pole

Under clear skies and hot temperatures, Canadian veteran driver Paul Tracy continued his domination of speed on tracks in his native country, securing pole position for the second straight yeat at the Molson Indy Vancouver. His final qualifying...

Under clear skies and hot temperatures, Canadian veteran driver Paul Tracy continued his domination of speed on tracks in his native country, securing pole position for the second straight yeat at the Molson Indy Vancouver. His final qualifying time after the two sessions of 1:00.870 was just 0.104 seconds ahead of Champ Car World Series points leader Sebastian Bourdais.

Paul Tracy.
Photo by Kurt Dahlstrom.
Tracy thus takes another bonus point for retaining the fastest time of the weekend, in spite of that time resulting from his efforts a day earlier.

"It was a strange session", Tracy said. "I could'nt get a clear lap in. When I came around on my first flying lap, there were cars infront of me still warming up and I had to slow down. It was a really wierd with all the Reds (flags) and with Bruno (Junqueira) crashing". Tracy's one-lap speed of 105.333 mph was just one tenth of a mile per hour faster than the pole he set at last year's event.

Indeed, Brazilian Bruno Junqueira had an abrupt end to his second qualifying session when he clipped a tire which marks one of the chicanes. As he turned in for the apex going into the last set of corners, his right-front wheel hit the tire and snaped it upwards, bending suspension parts in the process. With the wheel now off the track, he slid softly into a wall as he attempted to turn onto the front straight. "Something felt different in the car before the crash", Junqueira said. "I tried to get a feel for it and maybe it was then that the suspension broke."

Rodolfo Lavin.
Photo by Kurt Dahlstrom.
The story of the day, however, came from Tracy's teammate, Rodolfo Lavin. Lavin almost equaled last year's pole here, beating his previous best on Friday by nearly two full seconds. His time Saturday was the most improved of any driver, clocking in at 1:00.980 for an average speed of 105.143 mph. It was his best qualifyng effort ever in a Champ Car, and it earned him a much-deserved front row spot.

Lavin commented about his weekend thusfar. "We've been working really, really hard since the begining of the season. But we struggled quite a bit yesterday and didn't get in any laps in the first practice, then we did'nt have a good qualify session. So we worked very hard overnight, and I was eighth in practice today before qualifying. I think we went in the right direction and got the setup right. We're showing now what we can do with a good car and a good team."

Memo Gidley.
Photo by Kurt Dahlstrom.
Combined qualifyng for both days finds Tracy on top, followed by Bourdais (+0.104 seconds), Lavin (+0.110), Mario Dominguez (+0.298) and a surprise result of fifth for American Memo Gidley (+0.495) in his second Champ Car event this season. Although Lavin finished with only the third best time overall, he will start on the outside of row one after setting the fastest time in today's qualifying round.

Tracy looks to move up the points ladder this weekend; he is currently sitting fourth in the championship, 55 points behind series leader Bourdais.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Memo Gidley , Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Mario Dominguez , Rodolfo Lavin