CHAMPCAR/CART: Lausitz: Lola qualifying report

Newman/Haas duo share front row Bourdais fastest at EuroSpeedway Lausitz It did not take Sebastien Bourdais very long to learn the intricacies of the 2.023-mile EuroSpeedway Lausitz oval, as the London Champ Car Trophy winner led the time...

Newman/Haas duo share front row
Bourdais fastest at EuroSpeedway Lausitz

It did not take Sebastien Bourdais very long to learn the intricacies of the 2.023-mile EuroSpeedway Lausitz oval, as the London Champ Car Trophy winner led the time sheets for both initial practice and single-car qualifying for the German 500 in his #2 Lilly Lola/Ford. Securing his third pole position of the 2003 Champ Car season with a tour of 37 seconds (196.832mph), Bourdais beat teammate Bruno Junqueira by .211 seconds, as the Brazilian drove his #1 PacifiCare Lola/Ford to a lap of 37.211 seconds (195.716mph). The duo were final qualifiers in a field of 19 on a moderate, cloudy day near Dresden, Germany.

"We've had a strong car since the beginning of this event, but it was a surprise to be so quick here because we're using the same downforce configuration as Brands," Bourdais acknowledged. CART mandated like aerodynamics for the Champ Cars at both European stops this month. "The race should be interesting because, in traffic, the car is very difficult to drive. Tomorrow we'll see if we did a good enough job for the race."

Junqueira admitted his deficit of 2/10ths of a second was "a lifetime on an oval." "I've been flat out but still too slow for pole. But this year, the second place starter has won all the races. This will be a long (154 laps) race tomorrow and maybe my experience and good race car can help us win our first" race of the year.

Michel Jourdain Jr. took third place on the grid with the #9 Gigante Lola/Ford with a lap of 37.274 seconds (195.386mph). He agreed that "it will be a long race tomorrow and qualifying really doesn't matter. Team Rahal always prepares a great car for the super speedways and I got a good feel for the car early enough to be flat out around here."

Rookies Mario Haberfeld and Darren Manning earned fourth and fifth on the grid, while Mario Dominguez, the sophomore driver of the #55 Herdez Lola/Ford, took sixth with a lap of 37.690 seconds (193.229mph). "We had a good run in qualifying and got everything out of the car. I've been a bit surprised how fast people are going overall," he remarked. Oriol Servia turned in another good qualifying effort to secure seventh for the #20 Visteon Lola/Ford. The final Lola driver in the top ten is Alex Tagliani, piloting the #33 Johnson Controls Lola/Ford.

Weather forecasters indicate morning showers and partly cloudy conditions at race time Sunday afternoon. CBS Sports will telecast the 154-lap German 500 at 1pm EDT.

-lola cars-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Darren Manning , Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Oriol Servia , Mario Dominguez , Sébastien Bourdais , Michel Jourdain