Without a doubt, Sebastien Bourdais earned the pole position for the Champ Car World Series Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey. The Frenchman bested the competition for nearly every session ran on the 2.104-mile Fundidora Park circuit this ...
Without a doubt, Sebastien Bourdais earned the pole position for the Champ Car World Series Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey. The Frenchman bested the competition for nearly every session ran on the 2.104-mile Fundidora Park circuit this weekend.
Bourdais won the bonus point on Friday after taking the fast time in the group one qualifying session and then he was on top of the charts for the final top ten session. However, based on the new Champ Car qualifying rules, there was no provisional grid. The young Newman/Haas Lola driver earned just the one point in the drivers' championship and, at that time, a slot in today's top ten final shootout.
The latest changes announced just this morning modified today's qualifying: "All starting positions for the race will be based on the times earned in today's qualifying session."
What was to be an all-skate 30 minutes of qualifying where the top ten would move into a shootout -- where Bourdais would be guaranteed a slot in what was to have been the final segment -- to determine the pole position, today's modifications tossed Bourdais's spot out the window.
Today's qualifying started with a 15 minute practice session, 10 minute break, 35 minute qualifying -- much like the days of yore under the CART banner and the season opener for the CCWS at Long Beach.
The change for today was announced this morning by Champ Car: "We came into Monterrey with a special qualifying procedure tailored to provide on-track excitement for the fans," said Executive Vice-President of Operations John Lopes. "After review, and consultation with the teams, we felt our Friday qualifying did not achieve the intended result. Therefore, for today's final qualifying, we will revert back to the original qualifying procedure which the fans all understand, with a minor modification of the time allotments for practice and qualifying."
In the end, Bourdais came out a winner by adding two bonus points toward this year's drivers' championship and he will lead the field to the green flag.
"It was good for the series to change the qualifying format," commented Bourdais. "If they can change the qualifying format during the event, I would like to see the race format change for this race. We all agree that it is the best quality and the best show we have had with the pit windows (like we had last year)."