Toronto Saturday qualifying

(Toronto, ON) -- July 15, 2000 - Homecoming weekend for Andrew Bordin (PPI Motorsports -- WorldCom/Thyssen/Team Player's/Swift 008.a) is shaping up to be a good one. After clocking the fastest lap in Saturday's CART Toyota Atlantic morning ...

(Toronto, ON) -- July 15, 2000 - Homecoming weekend for Andrew Bordin (PPI Motorsports -- WorldCom/Thyssen/Team Player's/Swift 008.a) is shaping up to be a good one. After clocking the fastest lap in Saturday's CART Toyota Atlantic morning practice session, the young Torontonian went on to break the track qualifying record, setting a 1:06.871 (94.480 miles per hour) on the 1.755 mile temporary street course at the Molson Indy Toronto. The time allows Bordin to start from the pole position in Sunday's CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Round 7 race, being held at Exhibition Place.

"I am really happy for the team," said Bordin, who is surrounded by family, friends and sponsors this weekend. "My guys have been working really hard. We did some intense testing last week, trying things that were pretty drastic, but they worked. This is great for my home race."

Bordin, who earned his first career Atlantic pole at Chicago Motor Speedway last season, was not the only one to break the existing track record set here in Toronto in 1997 by Alex Barron; four other drivers set times under the record 1:07.463.

Bordin's teammate, Daniel Wheldon (PPI Motorsports/Jayhard /BG Products/Swift 008.a) will start outside pole after marking a 1:07.231 (93.975 miles per hour) on his 11th lap around the track. This is the fifth time this season that Wheldon will start on the front row. The Englishman has earned three poles (Miami #2, Long Beach and Milwaukee) and one second place start in his first ever Atlantic race (Miami #1) earlier this year.

William Langhorne (Active Motorsports/ 008.a) also broke the record; posting a 1:07.377, to earn his second, third place start of the season. Langhorne started third in the season opener at Homestead.

"It was actually as qualifying sessions go in the streets," said Langhorne. It was pretty good. The yellow flags were not actually a bad thing because we wouldn't catch the guys in the back of the field and we had just enough gap between us. Meanwhile Bordin and Wheldon were "scapping it" a little bit, they kind of spread out. Fortunately Hoover (Orsi) was dropping back to make a gap behind me, so I didn't have anybody behind me. After struggling for so many races with the car, we feel like we finally gotten back on top of it, and we feel we could be competitive."

Current series points leader Buddy Rice (DSTP Motorsports/Swift 008.a) will start outside row two after posting a 1:07.422 (93.680 miles per hour).

"I brushed the wall on the back side and popped the left front tire, which put us back just a little bit," said Rice. "After that, it was hard to get a clear lap. The car was best late in the session, but we only had enough time left for two green laps. We definitely have a good car for the race. We'll make a few changes tonight, see where we're at in the morning warm-up, and go from there."

Alex Gurney (All American Racers/Swift 008.a) was the fifth driver to break the old track record, recording a 1:07.459 (93.657 miles per hour) and will start fifth in Sunday's race. Gurney earned his first career Atlantic pole position two weeks ago in Cleveland.

"The session went okay," said Gurney. "We started to figure out the car towards the end. We made a few adjustments during the session and we got it pretty decent towards the end. I was behind Rice and we basically stayed the same on those last 2 laps. I thought we were pretty good, but we ended up 5th. I figured Rice would be higher up. It should be a good race!"

Things turned out to be a little more difficult for Canadian David Rutledge (Lynx Racing / Swift 008.a) who only managed to turn four qualifying laps during Saturday's session. Rutledge retired early after lodging in the tire barrier at Turn 6. He will start from the number ten spot.

"We went from understeer in this morning's session to oversteer in qualifying, but it was still quite a big gain and if we had run the full session, I'm confident that we would have been in the top three," said Rutledge. "I had new tires on the car and turned my fastest time on lap four, but on lap five, which is when I put it into the tires, I was chasing the rear end around turn six and ran it up into the gray part of the track and lost it. Qualifying tenth is certainly not what we were after, but it's not a disaster either. Memo Gidley had a brilliant drive for Lynx from the back of the pack the last time the Atlantics raced here in 1998, and I'm confident that we'll be able to move toward the front during the race."

Sunday's CART Toyota Atlantic activities begin with a 15-minute warm up at 8:45 am. The 35-lap race is scheduled to begin at noon.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Alex Gurney , Memo Gidley , Alex Barron , Buddy Rice , Andrew Bordin