Tracy Makes It a Bridgestone Pole Award Trifecta in 2005 Paul Tracy withstood the challenge of series leader Sebastien Bourdais and the rest of the field to set the fastest time in final qualifying today and earn the Bridgestone Pole Award. It...
Tracy Makes It a Bridgestone Pole Award Trifecta in 2005
Paul Tracy withstood the challenge of series leader Sebastien Bourdais and the rest of the field to set the fastest time in final qualifying today and earn the Bridgestone Pole Award. It is the third time the Forsythe Championship Racing driver has claimed the honor this season and the 25th pole position of his 14-year Champ Car career.
After setting the only lap time of less than a minute in provisional qualifying Friday, Tracy was among six drivers in the 59-second range today. The 2003 series champ bettered his provisional time by more than three-tenths of a second to 59.432 (100.370 mph), nipping Bourdais for honors by 0.109 of a second. Tracy, driving the Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires, broke the track qualifying mark both days despite the Champ Cars being mandated to receive nearly 25 percent less turbocharger boost pressure at Denver than in 2004.
"The conditions were a little cooler even than yesterday and the track rubbered in a little more," Tracy explained. "And the Bridgestone tires were great. We have a little bit of an understeer problem that we'll work out in practice tomorrow, and I'm sure it will be great. We even have a set of Bridgestones pretty much saved for the race, so it's looking good."
Bourdais, who'll start on the outside of row one in the McDonald's Ford/Lola/Bridgestone, said his car gets better the longer he runs on a set of Potenzas. "They've dropped the boost since last year and we're still going faster, so Bridgestone must have done a good job," Bourdais said. "Even when we really try to abuse the tires, they don't go away at all."
Quote from Al Speyer, Executive Director, Bridgestone Motorsport: "The Denver circuit is a tough, slick, tight course -- and the drivers are always searching for consistent grip throughout. But the fact that the track record was broken two consecutive days, even though the cars are down on power, says something about the performance of the Bridgestone tires in delivering those kinds of speeds. We also are confident the Potenzas will be excellent for the long runs in tomorrow's race and do their part to produce another exciting grand prix."
Winning the Bridgestone Pole Award earns Tracy $5,000 and a unique trophy that includes a model Champ Car hand-painted by a camper at Camp Boggy Creek, one of the Hole in the Wall Camps. Bridgestone also donates $2,500 for each Pole Award to the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps and another $2,500 a local charity -- this weekend the Grand Prix of Denver Foundation.
Qualifying session temperatures ranged from 87 to 89 degrees track and from 65 to 67 degrees ambient (F).
Qualifying session temperatures ranged from 31 to 32 degrees track and from 18 to 19 degrees ambient (C).