CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: Team Rahal Saturday report

Jourdain wins pole for Long Beach Grand Prix LONG BEACH, CA . . ..Gigante driver Michel Jourdain Jr. captured his first career Champ Car World Series pole position with a fast lap of 103.918 mph for Sunday's Grand Prix of Long Beach. Jourdain,...

Jourdain wins pole for Long Beach Grand Prix

LONG BEACH, CA . . ..Gigante driver Michel Jourdain Jr. captured his first career Champ Car World Series pole position with a fast lap of 103.918 mph for Sunday's Grand Prix of Long Beach. Jourdain, second in the Champ Car points championship, captured the pole position by posting his fastest lap on his final lap of the qualifying session.

The pole position was the first for Team Rahal since Jimmy Vasser captured the pole position for Team Rahal at Long Beach in 2002. This is the third straight season Team Rahal has won a pole position and the fifth time in the last six years the team has captured a pole position.

"This is the best feeling," said Jourdain. "I have been close in the past but this time nobody took it away from me. Since I joined Team Rahal last year I have had everything I need to be successful. The team has been so supportive and it has been the perfect environment for me.

"The Gigante car has been very good all weekend and we made a couple of changes to become even more competitive. Yesterday in qualifying we felt we had a very competitive car but we just couldn't get the fast lap we needed. Today I had a pretty good run without much traffic on the first set of tires but the second run was more of a challenge. Fortunately I was able to get a clear lap on my last lap and that was the lap that won the pole. Tomorrow is a very long race and it is always an eventful race here at Long Beach, but I will be ready."

"Michel continues to show every week how he has matured as a driver," said Bobby Rahal, three-time series champion and Team Rahal owner. "This is a great day for Michel and for our partners at Gigante and I am so proud of the job that Michel has done. A year ago when Michel joined Team Rahal I felt that with the right support and with our team working with him that he could become a title contender. Race after race he has shown consistency and now he is showing the ability to qualify and race up front. It is a long season ahead, but right now Michel and the rest of the Gigante team are doing the things that put you in a position to fight for a championship.

Round 3 of the 2003 Grand Prix of Long Beach will resume tomorrow afternoon on the streets of Long Beach, CA. SPEED will carry the race live starting at 4:00 PM EST.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Michel Jourdain