CHAMPCAR/CART: Miami: Lola Saturday report

Fernandez flies in Miami Qualifying Eight top drivers ride with Lola Mexican veteran Adrian Fernandez earned his fourth career Champ Car pole position and the first of this 2003 season in final qualifying for tomorrow's 135-lap Grand Prix...

Fernandez flies in Miami Qualifying
Eight top drivers ride with Lola

Mexican veteran Adrian Fernandez earned his fourth career Champ Car pole position and the first of this 2003 season in final qualifying for tomorrow's 135-lap Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com. Driving his #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone racer to a record lap of 44.253 seconds (93.553mph) on the reconfigured 1.150-mile Bayfront Park street circuit, Fernandez admitted, "We took a new approach with our tem the last few weeks and it really started to pay off for us. We found a good balance on the car and this puts me in position for a good race tomorrow."

Despite crashing on his final of three timed laps Bruno Junqueira starts second in the #1 PacifiCare Lola, thanks to his provisional pole lap of 44.521 seconds (92.990mph) set in Friday qualifying. Second in points to Paul Tracy, Junqueira said, after acing morning practice, "I knew we had a car good enough to be on pole. I was really confident and maybe I pushed too hard on the last lap. We really needed that point."

"I'm disappointed to be just .036 seconds off pole," Oriol Servia said after taking the #20 Visteon Lola to a breathtaking lap of 44.289 seconds (93.477mph), good for third. "Still, we're happy with the result and hope to follow it up with a good race tomorrow." Rookie leader Sebastien Bourdais thought, "Something was not right with the car," yet drove the #2 McDonald's/Lilly Lola to fourth at 44.609 seconds (92.806mph). "We just weren't quick enough, but maybe I didn't take enough risks. It's tough to get the tires up to temperature and get into a rhythm in three laps."

Point leader Tracy starts fifth after another eventful day. Posting 44.768 seconds (92.477mph) on his second lap in the #3 Team Player's Lola, "I spun on the last corner of my fast lap. The car is better than Friday and the team made the right adjustments to improve it." Michel Jourdain Jr. starts sixth in the #9 Office Depot/Gigante Lola at 44.939 seconds (92.125mph), calling his lap "pretty good but not great." Adjusting the front bar to remedy understeer, "the car went so loose I went back to full stiff." Roberto Moreno starts seventh in the #4 Herdez Lola and teammate Mario Dominguez earned the eighth slot in his #55 Herdez Lola.

Qualifying was held under hot, partly cloudy and humid conditions with temperatures in the high 80s, yet the track appeared to hold up well. Sunday's second Grand Prix Americas Presented by Sportsbook.com takes the green flags at 1PM EDT and will be televised by CBS, live in many areas of the US and tape-delayed in others.

-lola-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Adrian Fernandez , Roberto Moreno , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Sébastien Bourdais , Michel Jourdain