Mid-Ohio: Saturday qualifying notes

Maia locks in Mid Ohio pole LEXINGTON,OH (August 9, 2003)- Leo Maia took his seventh pole position of the 2003 season with a fast lap time of 1:24.862 seconds on the 2.258-mile road circuit at Mid Ohio. The Barber Dodge Pro Series once ...

Maia locks in Mid Ohio pole

LEXINGTON,OH (August 9, 2003)- Leo Maia took his seventh pole position of the 2003 season with a fast lap time of 1:24.862 seconds on the 2.258-mile road circuit at Mid Ohio. The Barber Dodge Pro Series once again demonstrated itself to be one of the most intensely competitive series as the slowest qualifier's time was within a scant 1.2 seconds of the polesitters time.

David Martinez will start alongside Maia on the front row, with rivals Dan Di Leo and Memo Rojas lining up in third and fourth. German Quiroga posted a strong fifth in final qualifying in his Gigante machine, while Antoine Bessette took sixth. Barber Champ Car Scholarship racer Scott Poirier will start alongside Rookie of the Year combatant Burt Frisselle in the fourth row. Colin Fleming, who is tied for the lead in the Rookie of the Year points with Frisselle, will start in ninth, with Luis Pelayo slotting into tenth on the grid.

The pole position is Maia's eighth in his career, matching the number set by Robbie Buhl in his Barber Dodge career as Maia has the opportunity to make it a perfect weekend and taking twenty-three points with the two points he has already earned in qualifying should he take the fastest lap of the race and the win as well.

"I knew there was a :24 second lap in me, and I was pushing as hard as I could to get down to that time, so I'm really happy to keep the pole," said Maia. "I was relieved when I came back into the pits that no one had improved on the time. I think the race start should be good, since we three have a lot of experience racing each other."

David Martinez was the polesitter in the late stages of the session, with a lap time just .010 of a second ahead of Maia's before Maia retook the top spot from Martinez.

"Well, I hate that this is the fourth time that Leo's taken the pole from me!" said Martinez. "I was building speed during the session, and had the pole for a bit, but in the end Leo just did a really good job and beat me to the pole. I'm looking forward to going racing this afternoon, with the championship decided, all of us are gunning for wins, so it should be interesting for the fans!"

Dan Di Leo continues to stay in the hunt despite having to adapt to his back up car, which he has decided to use for the remainder of the weekend.

"It was a pretty good session for me, even though we got held up a bit on what would have been my fastest lap right at the end," said Di Leo. "I am happy, though, that my car is so consistent and that gives me a lot of confidence looking to the race."

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Series Barber Pro
Drivers Robbie Buhl , German Quiroga , Memo Rojas , Burt Frisselle , Scott Poirier , Colin Fleming , David Martinez , Luis Pelayo