PKV RACING'S NEEL JANI PICKS QUALIFIES FIFTH FOR TOMORROW'S REXALL GRAND PRIX OF EDMONTON TRISTAN GOMMENDY TO SIT OUT RACE EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA -- Round ...
PKV RACING'S NEEL JANI PICKS QUALIFIES FIFTH FOR TOMORROW'S REXALL GRAND PRIX OF EDMONTON
TRISTAN GOMMENDY TO SIT OUT RACE
EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA -- Round #8 -- 2007 Champ Car World Series season
PKV Racing's Neel Jani qualified fifth for tomorrow's Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton in Edmonton, Ontario, Canada. Teammate Tristan Gommendy will sit out the race due to an injury.
Jani, in the #21 Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone machine, posted a fast lap of 58.762 seconds (120.874 mph) on the 1.973-mile, 14-turn City Centre Airport temporary circuit moving up two spots from Friday's provisional grid. He will start on the outside of Row #3. Gommendy, #22 Pay By Touch MegaSpirea PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone car, who crashed during yesterday's qualifying, was taken out of the car just prior to final qualifying today for additional tests, which revealed an injury that will prevent him from competing in tomorrow's race.
After making contact with the wall during Friday's qualifying, Tristan Gommendy complained of back pain and was sent to the hospital for precautionary x-rays and was released. Because of ongoing pain, he received a MRI this afternoon which shows edema of two thoracic vertebra which implies subtle bone injury. He will be unable to compete this weekend and will be reevaluated by Dr. Trammel this week in Indianapolis," said Chris Pinderski, Champ Car Director of Medical Affairs
Jani started the day seventh on the provisional grid following yesterday's truncated provisional qualifying session, due to Gommendy's crash, with a time of 59.465 seconds (119.445 mph). In morning practice Jani was again seventh fastest recording a fast lap of 59.576 second (119.223 mph). In the 15-minute afternoon pre-qualifying practice/warm-up, Jani dropped to ninth fastest with a time of 59.734 seconds (118.907 mph), however in final qualifying he pulled out all the stops and advanced up the grid.
Jani has now qualified in the top-10 six times in eight attempts, with a season best starting position of fourth in Houston. He has finished in the top-10 five times in the first seven races of this season with two podiums, a season high second in Toronto and third in Cleveland. The 23-year-old native of Jens, Switzerland, is seventh in the championship standings and third in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year race, with 116 points, and just 11 points out of fifth place.
"The Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing team improved the car was yesterday to today, so I am happy," Jani said. "There definitely needs to be a little more improvement if we want to compete for pole positions, however starting fifth on the grid is my second best qualifying position this year. We are definitely getting better in qualifying.
Commenting on his quick lap today, Jani said, "On my quickest lap, I hit the wall in Turn #12 and still managed a 58.7, which puts me P5, so I'm happy with that, but we still need to continue to work hard and improve."
Gommendy, who hit the wall in Turn #8 on his first qualifying lap yesterday, practiced this morning placing 15th on the speed charts with a time of 60.352 seconds (117.690 mph). In the 15-minute warm-up he was 10th fastest with a time of 59.858 seconds (119.186 mph). However, in consultation with the Champ Car Medical Staff it was determined that Gommendy should undergo further testing and he held out of final qualifying. The results of the second round of tests revealed the edema of two thoracic vertebra.
PKV Racing is making its fifth and sixth starts while contesting its third race in Edmonton. The team has qualified in the top-10 three times in four previous attempts with a best starting position of fifth by Cristiano da Matta at the inaugural event in 2005 and Oriol Servia last year. They have one top-10 finish a fourth place showing last year by Servia.
For the season PKV Racing drivers have now qualified in the top-10 ten times in 15 attempts with one pole, by Gommendy at Mont-Tremblant. They have finished in the top-10 seven times with two podiums both by Jani (second in Toronto and third in Cleveland).
This weekend's race is the third consecutive race in Canada and the finale of the Canadian Triple Crown. It also marks the halfway point of the 2007 Champ Car World Series season and is the fourth of a grueling five races in a six week segment that has begun to define and separate the contenders from the rest of the field in the championship race.
The Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton, Round #8 of the 2007 Champ Car World Series season, will be held July 20-22, on the temporary circuit at City Centre Airport in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The race will be televised live on ESPN at 4:00 p.m. (ET).