Toronto: Qualifying notes

TRANS-AM ROOKIE KLAUS GRAF WINS THIRD POLE OF THE SEASON AT TORONTO TORONTO, Ontario (June 8, 2005) -- German Trans-Am rookie Klaus Graf won his third Trans-Am pole Friday, and took sole possession of second in the championship, at the ...

TRANS-AM ROOKIE KLAUS GRAF WINS THIRD POLE OF THE SEASON AT TORONTO

TORONTO, Ontario (June 8, 2005) -- German Trans-Am rookie Klaus Graf won his third Trans-Am pole Friday, and took sole possession of second in the championship, at the Molson Indy Toronto. Graf, driving the No. 7 Jaguar R Performance XKR, turned in a 1:12.147-minute time (87.571 miles per hour) around the 1.755-mile temporary circuit.

Greg Pickett (No. 6 Cytomax Jaguar XKR) was second quick, ahead of Tomy Drissi (No. 5 Supercross -- The Movie Jaguar XKR) and points leader Randy Ruhlman (No. 49 Performed Line Products Canada Chevrolet Corvette). Paul Gentilozzi (No. 1 Jaguar R Performance XKR) completed the top five.

Graf will start fifth Saturday due to Trans-Am's Fast Five® Qualifying format, which inverts the top five in each Trans-Am race, while Gentilozzi will roll off first.

Graf earns three bonus points for the pole, while Pickett earns one marker for his runner-up effort. Graf also earns the Jaguar Pole Award, worth $2,500.

"Every point is important," said Graf, who won at Portland earlier this year. "I'm happy to get these three points. We're obviously trying to catch Randy (Ruhlman) and every little bit helps.

"We didn't want to abuse our tires, so we set our fast lap early," added Graf. "The really good thing about Trans-Am and Champ Car is they set the timing line before the pit entrance, so it allows you to set a fast lap and go directly into the pits. You don't have to do another lap. It's really important not to put any more laps on the tires than necessary."

Pickett, who last competed here in 1993 and 1994, was excited about earning the outside pole. Pickett will roll off fourth tomorrow.

"I've raced just about everywhere," said the 1978 Trans-Am Champion. "On about my third lap I looked over, saw Paul (Gentilozzi) in the pits and I thought ‘Hmm.' I drank my Cytomax today and it paid off. It should be a great race tomorrow."

Drissi said racing in Canada gave him an extra boost, as did his new sponsor. Drissi will start third tomorrow.

"We threw a new set-up on the car in second practice and it worked," said Drissi. "I think we had a good qualifying car, but we left a little on the table out there. I think we'll be great for race. I just love racing in Canada. The fans are very pumped up and extremely knowledgable. Plus, Toronto is a really cool city."

Final practice is scheduled for tomorrow at 8 a.m. The Trans-Am in T.O., Round 4 of the 2005 Trans-Am Championship and part of the Molson Indy Toronto weekend, is scheduled for tomorrow at 3 p.m., following Champ Car qualifying. Saturday's race will air on a tape-delayed basis, Sunday, June 26 at 1 p.m. EDT on SPEED Channel.

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About this article
Series Trans-Am
Drivers Klaus Graf , Greg Pickett