RAIN INTERRUPTED QUALIFYING FOR THE CHAMP CAR MONT-TREMBLANT RACE; McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS TO START THIRD WHILE MEDI | ZONE DRIVER RAHAL WILL START NINTH OVERALL: The pre-qualifying 15 minute practice session was held in dry conditions and ...
RAIN INTERRUPTED QUALIFYING FOR THE CHAMP CAR MONT-TREMBLANT RACE; McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS TO START THIRD WHILE MEDI | ZONE DRIVER RAHAL WILL START NINTH
OVERALL: The pre-qualifying 15 minute practice session was held in dry conditions and Bourdais set the fastest lap time (1:16.474) while Rahal was fifth (1:16.866). Light rain fell during the 10 minute break and final qualifying ran on a wet track therefore making it impossible to run quicker times than Friday. Toward the end of the session, part of the track was drying while some areas were still wet. Will Power set the fastest time in final qualifying and earned a front row start of second place and bumped Bourdais to a third place start. Bourdais was dogged by a turbo problem in the morning practice but Cosworth worked on the problem and the engine was not changed prior to qualifying. With three minutes to go Bourdais' car stuck in gear.
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone:
"Well, we were one of the first ones to go on wets, because we had a feeling it might get worse from there. Then the blue sky arrived, so it was a wash. We stopped pretty early and then went to dry tires as soon as we could because it felt like we were going to need every lap to get the tires up to temperature. I think it was the right strategy. Will (Power) actually went (on slicks) a lap before us and ends up on pole. I think it was the right thing to do. It's just unfortunately the gearbox failed, something failed. We were losing oil, oil pressure, and the gearbox wouldn't downshift and wouldn't upshift properly. Bruno nearly ran into the back of my car two laps to the end. There really was nothing I could do. I think it (weather) might have actually been a good thing with our gearbox issue, because had it not been raining and been quicker in this session, we would have lost a lot of positions and probably started very far back in the pack. So, you know, the conditions might actually have helped us with the problem that we encountered because, you know, the failure on the gearbox would have happened just the same under the dry - maybe even quicker. We might have been a little lucky in our bad luck. I don't know what's going on this year, but we just don't seem to have everything going our way like it's been in the last three years. It's a little tough because, you know, we were the quickest car by quite a bit this morning without putting new tires on. We felt like we were going to have a real good shot at putting the McDonald's car on the pole, but it turned out different. It's probably going to change the rest of the weekend quite dramatically because we're going to start third and it's definitely not pole. We'll do the best we can and see how it turns out tomorrow."
Graham Rahal, No. 2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone:
"It was a difficult session due to the weather. You can only run 15 laps so you didn't want to go out on rain tires too early in case the track dried and you were already out of laps. We fell just short again but the car felt close on rain tires and pretty close on dry tires. It's like Portland all over where on the first day we weren't competitive and on the second day we were much better but yet again we don't get to show it. The car feels good and I think we can march through the field if the passing opportunities present themselves. The conditions could be just like they were today, tomorrow so it was good to get some information in case. For me its good to know how quickly the track will dry. The guys asked me if I thought the track was going to dry and I said 'No way.' Suddenly it was dry though. If we race in these conditions tomorrow I think the Medi | Zone team will be pretty solid. A standing start in the rain would be tricky. It's going to be tough to pass in the race. You are going to have to have someone mess up to have an opportunity to pass. The Medi | Zone guys will give me great stops and we could try to pick up some positions in the pits as well."
ON THE SCHEDULE TOMORROW: The morning warm-up will take place from 10:00-10:30 AM ET while the Champ Car Mont-Tremblant will begin at 2:00 PM ET.