Jourdain fastest in soggy provisional qualifying; stretches point lead to seven over Junqueira. Michel Jourdain Jr. took the fastest lap in provisional qualifying for Sunday's 20th annual G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway, touring...
Jourdain fastest in soggy provisional qualifying; stretches point lead to seven over Junqueira.
Michel Jourdain Jr. took the fastest lap in provisional qualifying for Sunday's 20th annual G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway, touring the 1.969-mile road course at 59.397 seconds (119.339mph) in the #9 Gigante Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone Champ Car. The point leader set his lap halfway into the 40-minute session, before rain and on-course incidents brought the proceedings to an early close. Fifteen of 19 drivers turned laps within one second. Seven of the top 10 performed with Lola chassis.
On a cool first day of summer in which intermittent showers peppered the 12-turn circuit, Jourdain turned only eight of his allotted 15 laps, setting quick time on his penultimate tour. "It's great to have this provisional pole. The car has been just great this weekend. We did a one-day test after Long Beach that was very good for Team Rahal," Jourdain explained. "We learned a few things and unloaded well this morning. It's great to have a front-row start for sure, and if it rains tomorrow, we'll go out to get another point. Now we have to forget about today and prepare for tomorrow. Our prime intent for 2003 was to improve our qualifying results and that's what we're doing."
American Spirit Team Johansson's Jimmy Vasser earned second place. Oriol Servia took the #20 Visteon Lola to third place on this first day of time trials, turning 59.519 seconds (119.095mph) on his 11th of 14 laps. "I am happy with qualifying and even though I'd like to do a little better, overall I'm pleased. Adrian Fernandez was fourth quickest in the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Lola at 59.538 seconds (119.057mph) and said, "I think the car is good." Darren Manning was 5th for Walker Racing.
Bruno Junqueira took 6th in the #1 PacifiCare Lola at 59.639 seconds (118.855mph) and knew his car "was good enough to run a 59.4, which would have put us higher." Paul Tracy qualified 7th in the #3 Team Player's Lola despite causing the final red flag when he punted Alex Tagliani, 8th in the #33 Johnson Controls Lola. Rookie Sebastian Bourdais was 9th in the #2 Lilly Lola, needing more time to "improve the car. Rain in practice and qualifying limited our time."
Veteran Max Papis rejoined the Champ Car field driving the #27 PK Racing Lola on what he termed "a very demanding day. It was a lot to absorb in a short amount of time and overall we are pretty pleased with what we did." Papis was 10th on the day.
Final qualifying takes place at 4:45pm EDT and will be televised Saturday at 5:30pm EDT. The 20th G.I. Joe's 200 airs live on CBS at 3:30pm EDT Sunday afternoon.