David Rutledge takes first pole at Montreal

Montreal, June 16 -- Lynx Racing driver David Rutledge, 21, of Vancouver BC will start from the pole tomorrow for the 27-lap 5th round of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Air Canada Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

Montreal, June 16 -- Lynx Racing driver David Rutledge, 21, of Vancouver BC will start from the pole tomorrow for the 27-lap 5th round of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Air Canada Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. He drove his #19 Lynx Racing Swift 008.a to a lap of 1:38.050 (an average of 100.785 mph) to score his first career pole in the Atlantic series, and his first pole for the Lynx team. "This first pole of my Atlantic career for my new team, Lynx Racing, means a lot to me, and I'd like to thank the team, and the owners Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty for the opportunity to drive such a great car," said Rutledge. "And thanks to all my fans and supporters in Vancouver and throughout Canada for all their faith and patience. In the opening laps of qualifying, the car actually wasn't quite as good as it was in the morning practice, so we had to back off on some of the changes we'd made. Then it was very good and kept getting better throughout the session. I was able to really get into 'the zone' during qualifying, which I can usually only get in testing sessions where there's less stress. Team manager and driving coach Steve Cameron was on the radio helping me and things felt like they were slowing down, but I was going faster which is the ideal state of mind that a driver wants to achieve. There are perhaps just a few improvements to be make, and then I'll do my very best to reward the team's work and their confidence in me with our first victory together." Rutledge's Lynx teammate, Mike Conte, 31, of Seattle, suffered suspension damage in an off-course excursion mid-way through the 45-minute qualifying session and will start from the 12th position with a lap of 1:39.279 (99.538 mph). "The car was good in the early part of the session and I was fifth for a while, and we were making some good progress with the changes," says Conte. "Then I made a little mistake, got the car sideways, went off course and just barely touched the wall. I thought the car was OK, but when we checked it in the pits the rear upright was cracked, so we only got half a session. Still, the car feels good, and we never got to run our new 'sticker' tires, so I'll have a bit of an advantage tomorrow in starting on brand new tires. I really like this track, and I'm looking forward to the race. Lynx Racing graduate Buddy Rice (who finished second in this event driving for Lynx in 1999) will start from the outside of the front row in his #27 Swift 008.a fielded by his new team DSTP Motorsports. Rice has won two of the first four events and is the points leader in the series championship.

Qualifying Order / Lap time in seconds / Average speed in mph

1. David Rutledge,  98.050, 100.785.                                       
2. Buddy Rice, 98.101, 100.733.                                         
3. Andrew Bordin, 98.238, 100.592.                                         
4. Martin Basso (R), 98.255, 100.575.                                      
5. Daniel Wheldon (R), 98.362, 100.466.                                    
6. Rocky Moran Jr., 98.571, 100.253.                                       
7. Alex Gurney, 98.705, 100.117.                                           
8. Bob Perona, 98.885, 99.934.                                          
9. Hoover Orsi (R), 99.072, 99.746.                                        
10. Kuno II Wittmer, 99.213, 99.604.                                       
11. William Langhorne, 99.213, 99.604.                                     
12. Mike Conte, 99.279, 99.538.                                         
13. Bruno St-Jacques (R), 99.972, 98.848.                                  

14. Masaoki Nagashima, 99.986, 98.834. 15. Pete Mercier (R), 100.175, 98.647. 16. T.J. Bell (R), 100.197, 98.626. 17. Stephen C. Roy (R), 100.705, 98.128. 18. Cemal Yelkin (R), 100.936, 97.904. 19. Akihiro Asai (R), 101.264, 97.587. 20. Cam Binder, 101.379, 97.476. 21. Christophe Beauvais, 101.520, 97.340. 22. Steve Lorenzen (R), 102.159, 96.732. 23. Sergei Szortyka, 102.701, 96.221. 24. David Cutler, 103.107, 95.842. 25. Eric Jensen, 103.183, 95.772. 26. Tom Wieringa, 103.847, 95.159. 27. Joey Scarallo (R), 103.927, 95.086. 28. Bob Siska, 107.305, 92.093.

The Montreal round of the 12-race CART Toyota Atlantic Championship will be televised on RDS Saturday, June 17 at 11:30 am (EDT). CTV Sportsnet will air the race on June 26 at 7:00 pm in the East and Ontario Regions, and on June 27 at 7:00 pm in the Pacific Region and 8:00 pm in the West Region. It will also air Saturday, June 24 at 2:30 pm (EDT) on ESPN2 and ESPN International.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Alex Gurney , Martin Basso , Hoover Orsi , David Rutledge , Christophe Beauvais , T.J. Bell , Rocky Moran Jr. , Bruno St-Jacques , David Cutler , Buddy Rice , Bob Siska , Eric Jensen , Andrew Bordin , Masaoki Nagashima , Akihiro Asai , Sergei Szortyka , Tom Wieringa , Steve Cameron