TROIS RIVIERES, QC., (July 29, 2000) - CART Toyota Atlantic Championship points leader Buddy Rice will start from the pole position for Sunday's Round 8 race at the Grand Prix Player's de Trois Rivieres. Rice, who set the fastest time during...
TROIS RIVIERES, QC., (July 29, 2000) - CART Toyota Atlantic Championship points leader Buddy Rice will start from the pole position for Sunday's Round 8 race at the Grand Prix Player's de Trois Rivieres. Rice, who set the fastest time during the morning's practice session on the 1.521 mile temporary street course, also set the fastest qualifying time of 1:00.804 (98.063 mph), during Saturday's second qualifying period, bettering the track record of 1:01.336 (89.272 mph) established here by Andrew Bordin on Friday.
Bordin (PPI Motorsports / WorldCom / Team Player's /Swift 008.a) will start outside pole after recording a 1:01.017 (89.739 mph), while his teammate, rookie points leader Daniel Wheldon (PPI Motorsports/Jayhard Products/Swift 008.a), will start third. Wheldon posted a 1:01.084 (89.640 mph).
Saturday's pole is Rice's second of the season, the first coming at the season opener in Miami last March. He earns an additional point and now leads Bordin by eight points.
"It's great to finally get another pole this year," said Rice. "We were able to run through everything that we wanted to in practice this morning, so we had a good idea of the set-up to use for qualifying. We also expected the track to slow down about three-tenths this afternoon. I knew that if we could keep it clean and run the full session, then we would have a good shot at getting pole. It's good to be starting the race from the front row here. The track is really hard to pass on and if there are any accidents, it will be crucial to be strong on restarts. But, we should be good. We have a great car for the race and we're all very motivated to win tomorrow."
Bordin, who recorded his first season win at Toronto two weeks ago, was satisfied with his performance.
"It was really slippery out there, so I dialed my car in for the slippery conditions," said Bordin. "It was going well, and then it got even better. I'm not sure if there was more rubber on the track, or if my car was just working better on very hot tires. Then, we went back to our original set up, and I only got one lap, but I think I could have challenged Buddy for the pole if I'd had one more lap."
Wheldon, who has not qualified below fifth this season, sat out the final seven minutes of the qualifying session after sliding into the turn 3 tire barrier, damaging his right front suspension and front wing.
"It was a little eventful with the mishap towards the end. I was trying a little too hard, but I am a race car driver," said Wheldon. "I admit it was my mistake. I was just pushing too hard. There's nothing else I can say, but I think I have a good car for the race. I'm happier and happier as the weekend progresses. What's been a little deceiving this year, is the fact that Buddy and Andrew have had a lot of time on these tracks in the Atlantic cars. I'm always playing catch-up. But, I am starting to get close and the car is good this weekend. I'm really looking forward to the race."
Tomorrow's Atlantic activities begin with a 15-minute warmup at 9:20 a.m. The 45-lap race is scheduled for 1:45 pm. The race will be televised live in Canada on French language RDS, and will be broadcast on 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).