WILSON TAKES THE PROVISIONAL POLE IN PORTLAND Tagliani rounds out a top four effort for RSPORTS in the first round of qualifying PORTLAND, Oregon (June 8, 2007) -- All the hard work is beginning to pay off for the RSPORTS team as Justin...
WILSON TAKES THE PROVISIONAL POLE IN PORTLAND
Tagliani rounds out a top four effort for RSPORTS in the first round of qualifying
PORTLAND, Oregon (June 8, 2007) -- All the hard work is beginning to pay off for the RSPORTS team as Justin Wilson claimed the provisional pole this afternoon at Portland International Raceway and Alex Tagliani finished fourth quickest as the team prepares for Sunday's Mazda Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland Presented by Joe's Sports and Outdoor.
This morning's green flag for the first practice session in Portland, Oregon officially kicked off the racing festivities in the Rose City. After taking to the track and completing 19 laps, Wilson proved that his #9 CDW/RSPORTS machine was on the fast track. On his 13th orbit, the Englishman posted a time of 58.529 (120.802 mph) and finished the session sitting third quickest on the charts.
Tagliani did not have as good of a start as his teammate; he just was unable to get a good rhythm going in the #8 LXN2/RSPORTS car during the morning practice session. Logging 17 laps, he finished tenth on the first practice report with a time of 59.110 (119.614 mph).
This afternoon hosted the first round of qualifying for Round 4 of the 2007 Champ Car World Series. Both RSPORTS cars found their way to the P1 spot, but it was Wilson who would claim the provisional pole, guaranteeing him a front row start in Sunday's race along with one championship point. Wilson is no stranger to be running on top here in Portland, as he claimed the 2005 pole position and finished second last year.
Wilson's provisional pole lap was posted on his ninth lap this afternoon, with a time of 58.000 (121.903 mph). The weather forecast for the rest of the weekend is uncertain, and there's a chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday. Wilson may already have done enough to secure pole, but he feels there's more speed to come from the car if final qualifying stays dry.
Tagliani finished the day fourth quickest, making it a positive first day for RSPORTS in Portland. The French-Canadian posted his fastest lap on his tenth run around the 1.964-mile permanent road course, recording a time of 58.363 (121.145 mph). Tagliani's fourth place position on the provisional pole matches his best start here in Portland, which was recorded in 2002 and 2005.
Things are about to get more interesting here in the Pacific Northwest, as final qualifying is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. The green flag for final qualifying will wave at 2:00 p.m. local time. The Mazda Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland Presented by Joe's Sports and Outdoor will be run Sunday afternoon, with the scheduled start at 1:00 p.m. PDT and can be seen live on ABC.
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"Everything went quite well. We're pleased with the performance. I'm very happy with the way the whole team has been working and improving. We're just getting stronger and stronger and learning all the time. The lap itself was feeling quite good. We kept working away at it. I got a little bit of traffic on a few laps, but managed to put one lap together and it felt good. The option tires just added more grip. We didn't actually touch the setup between the two runs. We just put tires on. It worked very well. We're quite pleased. We feel like we've got some more in reserve for tomorrow if it does stay dry. Other than that, you know, we're quite happy."
Alex Tagliani #8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"We are happy with the result because this morning we didn't have a very good session. We had a couple of things going on and going into the first round of qualifying we were a little bit nervous. But Justin had a good session this morning, so we had the chance to look at what he did and make it work for us and for him as well. I think today we proved the advantage of running with a two-car team because it is really important for things that happen like what happened with us this morning during practice. The RSPORTS boys did a really good job. Qualifying in the top four today, especially if there is going to be rain tomorrow, is important for the first standing start of the season. Having both RSPORTS cars in the top four shows how hard the team has been working since the Houston race, so we will keep working a little bit harder, and hopefully we can put two RSPORTS cars on the podium this weekend."