SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS EARNS THIRD STRAIGHT FRONT ROW START AT SAN JOSE French Driver goes from Worst to First During Qualifying to Claim Provisional Pole SAN JOSE (July 27, 2007) Exciting action highlighted provisional qualifying for the San...
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS EARNS THIRD STRAIGHT FRONT ROW START AT SAN JOSE
French Driver goes from Worst to First During Qualifying to Claim Provisional Pole
SAN JOSE (July 27, 2007) Exciting action highlighted provisional qualifying for the San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway as Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) moved from 17th on the time sheets to first with one fast lap around the 1.443-mile circuit in the heart of downtown San Jose.
With only fifteen laps to establish his time in qualifying, Bourdais waited until his 14th orbit before claiming his sixth front row starting spot with a lap of 49.509 seconds (104.926 mph). Brake bias problems haunted the McDonald's driver during qualifying, forcing him into more than one runoff. When he was able to get a clear lap, the problem faded and the three-time champion drove to the top of the speed charts.
For most of the session it looked like Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) would battle for the provisional pole. Power and Wilson traded shots at each other, each holding the top spot twice during the session while Bourdais was stymied at the back of the field. Wilson would hold on for the second spot after a best lap of 49.747 seconds (104.424 mph). Power, who is coming off of his worst finish of the season, after having a mechanical failure in Edmonton would end today's qualifying in third with a best lap of 49.882 seconds (104.267 mph).
Tying for fourth during the qualifying session were Bruno Junqueira (#19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Alex Tagliani (#8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who both posted a time of 49.852 seconds (104.204 mph). Junqueira has qualified in the top-six during the last two races and earned the fourth spot in qualifying based on his second fastest lap in the session. Tagliani was then slotted into the fifth spot.
Rookie Robert Doornbos (#14 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was sixth quickest today after struggling through the last event in Edmonton. The Dutch driver was the fastest rookie in the session with Oriol Servia (#7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) just behind.
Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was eighth fastest on the day and Tristan Gommendy (Pay by Touch-Megaspiera Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was ninth. Gommendy missed last week's event at Edmonton after injuring his back during Friday qualifying. The French driver was cleared by his doctors to drive this week and put in a lap at 49.981 seconds (103.935 mph). Rounding out the top-ten was Speedy Dan Clarke (#4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who posted a best time of 50.029 seconds (103.836 mph).
Only six-tenths of a second separated the top-12 in today's qualifying session, meaning only the slightest mistake by a driver would mean a big loss of positions. Final qualifying for the San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway will begin at 2 p.m. Pacific (5 p.m. ET) on Saturday with the Race scheduled for Sunday, July 29 at 3 p.m. local time (6 p.m. ET) and can be seen live on ESPN2 in the United States.
QUOTES FROM THE TOP THREE FRIDAY QUALIFIERS
Sebastien Bourdais: ""The first run I spent more time on the escape road than on the track. We have a brake issue on the McDonald's car but I finally got one opportunity and I still don't know quite how it worked out, but we made it stick, and the brakes didn't play any tricks with me, so I was pretty happy about the outcome because it didn't look really good for a long, long time."
Justin Wilson: "I'm pleased that we're making progress and we can do it on the street circuit this year, which is quite nice compared to the last couple of seasons. We've just got a little bit more work to do and I'm sure we can do it and hopefully get the CDW car right up there and qualify on the pole tomorrow."
Will Power: "It's not going to rain here, so for me, it's either number one today or nothing. Obviously we've got to go out and try to get the pole tomorrow in the Aussie Vineyards car so we can get front row start or second if Sebastien is on pole, and race away."