CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Vasser Collects Eighth Career Pole Position, First with Bridgestone Veteran Jimmy Vasser sped to his first FedEx Championship Series pole position in nearly three years, then promptly credited the incredible grip of his Bridgestone Potenza race...

Vasser Collects Eighth Career Pole Position, First with Bridgestone

Veteran Jimmy Vasser sped to his first FedEx Championship Series pole position in nearly three years, then promptly credited the incredible grip of his Bridgestone Potenza race tires for assisting in the achievement.

Vasser's lap of 1 minute, 7.742 seconds (104.585 mph), in the Team Rahal Shell Ford/Lola on Bridgestone tires, edged Cristiano da Matta for the pole by a scant 0.003 seconds. Da Matta, in the Chevron Toyota/Lola, secured the second starting position by virtue of his provisional pole effort Friday.

"The Bridgestone tires don't go off at all (in performance level)," Vasser said after collecting the pole. "We don't really even need traction control with as much grip as these tires have. They're great."

Bridgestone debuted in the FedEx Championship Series this season as the Official Tire of CART. Each entry in the 20-car grid competes on Potenza racing radials.

Al Speyer, Bridgestone Motorsport Executive Director:

"We're happy to see Team Rahal and Jimmy Vasser on the pole today, following a superior effort. By the reports we're getting from Jimmy and the other drivers, the tire performance has been excellent this weekend and we expect it to continue for another exciting Long Beach grand prix. We may not, however, see the full performance capabilities that the Potenzas possess in Sunday's race because of the established pit window regulations. We're quite confident the Bridgestone tires could sustain their renowned durability and consistency characteristics past the 29-lap cutoff, but we'll have to be satisfied with that maximum distance limit for this weekend."

Qualifying session temperatures ranged from 102 to 105 degrees track and 83 to 85 degrees ambient (F).

-bm-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Cristiano da Matta