Trois Rivieres, Quebec, CAN. (July 28, 2000) - After setting the second fastest time in this morning's practice session, DSTP Atlantic and driver Buddy Rice followed-up by again setting the identical time (1:01.441) in provisional qualifying...
Trois Rivieres, Quebec, CAN. (July 28, 2000) - After setting the second fastest time in this morning's practice session, DSTP Atlantic and driver Buddy Rice followed-up by again setting the identical time (1:01.441) in provisional qualifying for Sunday's CART Toyota Atlantic race, part of the Grand Prix Player's de Trois Rivieres weekend. The time places him second on the provisional grid pending the results of tomorrow's final round of qualifying.
Rice, who held pole position for much of the 30-minute session, remained in the pits for the closing ten minutes to replace a damaged rear wing following contact with the turn one tire barrier.
"We just made our final adjustment and were ready to lay down a fast time," said Rice, who set his fastest time on his 17th lap of the session. "I got a little off line in turn one, skimmed the tires and broke the rear wing. We held the pole up until the last few minutes, but we'll have another chance tomorrow. We should be in good shape. We're real happy with the car and know there's still some more speed to found. Tomorrow will be better."
In his final laps, Andrew Bordin narrowly beat Rice with a time of 1:01.336 to take the provisional pole. Following Rice is Dan Wheldon (1:01.466), Martin Basso and David Rutledge. The top three qualifiers were all under the previous track record of 1:01.616, set last year by Anthony Lazzaro.
"We'll take a provisional front row starting spot," said Dede Rogers, team owner. "Naturally, we would like to be one position higher. With a little luck, we'll be there tomorrow - when it counts the most. I know the team is extremely motivated to win this race and Buddy feels like he has some unfinished business here. We're feeling good about this weekend."
Tomorrow's Atlantic activities begin with a 30-minute practice session at 9:25 a.m., followed by the second round of qualifying at 1:00 p.m. The 45-lap race is scheduled for 1:45 pm on Sunday, July 30, and will be televised via espn2 on Saturday, August 12, at 1:00 p.m. (EDT), with an encore presentation on Tuesday, August 15, at 5:00 a.m. (EDT).