USA: Laguna Seca round 14 qualifying notes

Jaskol takes final pole of the season Monterey, Calif. - Sept. 11, 2004 -- Matt Jaskol (Team Autotecnica) will start at the front of the field for the final race of the 2004 Formula BMW USA Championship. He turned a lap of 1:28.232 around the ...

Jaskol takes final pole of the season

Monterey, Calif. - Sept. 11, 2004 -- Matt Jaskol (Team Autotecnica) will start at the front of the field for the final race of the 2004 Formula BMW USA Championship. He turned a lap of 1:28.232 around the 2.238-mile Laguna Seca circuit to capture the Round 14 pole, his third of the season. Turning his three fastest laps at the end of the session, his last lap was his quickest, but the time was disallowed because an electrical problem with his car in the beginning of the session had brought out a red flag. His second fastest lap was still good enough to give him a one-half second advantage on the field. James Hinchcliffe, second overall in the Championship and Rookie points leader, improved from his third place effort in Round 13 qualifying and will start second (1:28.721). Jonathan Summerton will start third (1:28.727) and Championship points leader Andreas Wirth will start from the fourth spot.

The quickest Rookies in the field were Hinchcliffe (P2), Summerton (P3) and Graham Rahal (P8).

The beginning of the session was difficult for Jaskol, an electrical problem bringing out a red flag for a tow to the pits. "When I lost power and brought out the red flag I thought my chances for the pole might be gone. The kill-switch had a problem, but the crew fixed it. I was angry, but charged after it and just went faster and faster. The crew radioed me to let me know I had the pole, but I wanted one more quick time to back it up."

Hinchcliffe had his hands full with a loose car, but drove through the problem. "Today my car had an oversteer so we went a little too far in correcting yesterday's understeer. I felt the car was off, but I did not want to come into the pits. I wanted to at least get one reasonable time as I felt I could drive around the problem. I went four wheels off a few times, but it was good enough for front row starting spot."

Summerton said, "I think I could have gone faster, but the red flags affected my quickest laps. Of course, it is a long reach in both Championships for me, but I am looking forward to each race."

The Round 14 race will start at 3:15 p.m. tomorrow.

-bmw-

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Andreas Wirth , James Hinchcliffe , Jonathan Summerton , Matt Jaskol