Pacificare driver Junqueira earned second pole of season at Centrix Financial GP of Denver as well as back-to-back here in team's 350th race; Mcdonald's / Lilly Driver Bourdais to start third OVERALL: With only two drivers yet to qualify - ...
Pacificare driver Junqueira earned second pole of season at Centrix Financial GP of Denver as well as back-to-back here in team's 350th race; Mcdonald's / Lilly Driver Bourdais to start third
With only two drivers yet to qualify - Adrian Fernandez and Junqueira -- rain came in final qualifying while Fernandez was on track. Intermittent light sprinkles had plagued the first portion of the session but as more drivers took to the track in single-car qualifying, the lap times began to drop near Junqueira's Friday time. As no one had beat Junqueira's Friday lap time before the rain came, he earned back-to-back poles in Denver. It was his second pole of the season and seventh in Champ Cars. Series points leader Paul Tracy spun and will start in ninth place. Oriol Servia set the fastest lap time of the day and earned the bonus point. There is a threat of rain on race day.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"Everybody had a chance to qualify except me and Adrian (Fernandez) and no one yet had knocked me off. Adrian was the only one left with a chance to do it. For sure it would have been nice to make an attempt but I still think the PacifiCare team earned the pole. Today I thought it was not only important to get the pole but to also get the point toward the Championship and I would have liked to have the opportunity to get it but the rain started right when I turned my engine on. It's possible to pass here but I hope no one does. It's a difficult track and this is the best place to start."
It will be his second race here...Won from pole here last year and led all 100 laps...He is currently ranked second in the point standings with 165 to Tracy's 192...Was his seventh career CART pole and fifth on a road/street course in his 54th Champ Car start.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"We made a change on the car and it effected the brake bias. We had to do it though because we struggled this morning. I locked up the inside wheel in Turn six and went straight. I lost two-tenths of a second between Turns six and seven. My second timed lap was okay but I made a mistake on my third. We ended up in a much better position than we did yesterday and I'm glad to be starting third. I was seventh yesterday, sitting in P3 today. I think Newman/Haas Racing has done a great job putting me here. Track position will be key tomorrow so I'm please with this result. The single car qualifying is definitely the way to do it here. I'd like to see the 10-minute warmup added back into the session to get some heat in the tires, but there is always room for a few improvements. The race will be tough. You will not be able to make a mistake. Our weekend started bad and we got a pretty lucky shot today. Now we can expect something from the race which was not the case before."
Will be his first race here...He earned four poles (3-road course; 1-oval) and three wins in 14 events so far. (He started in second place in England and fifth in Long Beach.) Has won a total of six bonus points this season (Friday & Saturday in St. Pete; Saturday in Monterrey, Saturday and Sunday in Germany; Friday in Cleveland)...He is currently ranked 5th in the point standings with 126 points.
In total the team has earned TWO POLES (Mi. Andretti 1991, Junqueira 2003) and TWO podiums finishes here (3rd da Matta 2002, Mi. Andretti 1991). (The 1991 track configuration was different than the 2002 one.)...LAST YEAR IN DENVER: NHR's da Matta finished third while Fittipaldi finished fifth.... It is the 13TH pole in the past 30 CART events for the team...NHR will be aiming for their 14th win in the past 36 races...It was their 76th pole in CART, 59 of which have come on a road or street course.
ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:
The 30-minute morning warmup will begin at 9:00 and the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver will begin at 1 p.m. MT. Live audio of the Centrix Financial GP of Denver will begin on Sunday, August 31 at 3:00 p.m. ET on the official web site of the CART Champ Car World Series. The race will be televised on a tape-delayed basis beginning with a 30-minute press race show at 9 p.m. ET on SPEED.