Track record falls in Houston GP qualifying

By Chris Speigner - Motorsport.com Houston, TX - After a satisfying early afternoon practice session, the Toyota Atlantics had their shot at the temporary street course in downtown Houston. As the session got underway, Andrew Bordin set the pace...

By Chris Speigner - Motorsport.com

Houston, TX - After a satisfying early afternoon practice session, the Toyota Atlantics had their shot at the temporary street course in downtown Houston. As the session got underway, Andrew Bordin set the pace early with Rutledge and Wheldon close in tow. Bordin's lap of 67.323 seconds was a track record.

As the session progressed the speeds got faster, with the qualifying order being shuffled several times. Buddy Rice finally set the pole pace at 67.038 sec with a speed of 82.001 mph, which stands as a new track record. "After this morning's session, we made a lot of changes and went back to our basic street course set up. It definitely put us in the right direction. With a little bit of fine-tuning we should be able to find more speed. But, it's great to be on the provisional pole with a new track record."

In the second and third positions were David Rutledge and Martin Basso. With less than one tenth between them, these two will be a tremendous threat to Rice and his new record at final qualifying tomorrow. "We've made progress every time we go out, and that's the key to a good weekend" noted Rutledge. Martin Basso commented, "It was a good run. We made a couple of changes between practice and qualifying. I'm really happy and very surprised, because there was a big difference...between us and the front guys in practice, and right now we're pretty close...we just need to keep working for tomorrow."

The forth slot went to Alex Gurney, son of racing legend Dan Gurney. Alex had a hard time getting through traffic that slowed his qualifying time somewhat. "It was pretty frustrating out there. I had very few clean laps. I kept running into people, but the car was running really well."

The final spot in the top five went to Andrew Bordin, who while leading early on in the session finally dropped to his finishing point due to gearbox problems. "We were running very well. I definitely had a car for the pole."

Final qualifying will be held Saturday at 3:15pm CST.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Alex Gurney , Martin Basso , David Rutledge , Buddy Rice , Andrew Bordin