Servia serves up provisional pole; leads top five lola drivers at Molson Indy Montreal. Oriol Servia used his 12th and final lap to take provisional pole position this afternoon at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for Sunday afternoon's second...
Servia serves up provisional pole; leads top five lola drivers at Molson Indy Montreal.
Oriol Servia used his 12th and final lap to take provisional pole position this afternoon at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for Sunday afternoon's second Molson Indy Montreal. Driving the #20 Visteon Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone Champ Car to a tour of 81.112 seconds (120.234mph) on the 2.709-mile road circuit at Ile Notre Dame, Servia extended his dominance today after leading both morning practice sessions.
While his hand was a bit sore from a slight collision with Bruno Junqueira just before the session ended, Servia "knew we had a good car; we were fast in the morning. When I saw Paul [Tracy] had passed us [for first], I got pissed and I was able to take the pole on my last lap," he explained. "This is big for our team. We haven't had much luck."
Points leader Tracy was second in the #3 Team Player's Lola at 81.405 seconds (119.801mph), just .293 seconds behind on only his eighth lap around the Grand Prix circuit and, "obviously a little frustrated and disappointed to lose the pole with a minute to go, but I'm happy with our Lola." Running out of methanol on his final lap, Tracy's "motivation is really high for tomorrow when the track should be better."
A red flag flew midway through the 40-minute time trials on this mostly clear, warm afternoon (82 degrees), when Max Papis spun at turn 9, losing his fast lap in the #27 PK Racing Lola. At that point, most of the field was starting their qualifying laps.
Junqueira, third in the #1 PacifiCare Lola at 81.476 seconds (119.697mph), was also frustrated by the red flag. "After the red, everyone went out at once and I could not get a good lap. Traffic made it impossible." His teammate, rookie Sebastien Bourdais used his 11th lap in the #2 Lilly Lola to claim fourth overall at 81.495 seconds (119.669mph) and thought "we were really very close, only 900ths of a second behind P2."
After being fastest in pre-qualifying practice, Alex Tagliani earned fifth today in the #33 Johnson Controls Lola. Turning a lap of 81.542 seconds (119.600mph) Tagliani remarked, "The Lola felt fine today and handled the course really well. We simply need to work on our strategy with tires and tire pressures" to conserve his Bridgestone rubber for the 75-lap contest Sunday afternoon.
Cooler, partly cloudy conditions are anticipated for Saturday's final qualifying to determine the 19-car grid for round #14 of the 19-race Champ Car campaign. SpeedTV shows final qualifying live beginning at 1:30PM EDT.