CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Team Rahal Friday report

Jourdain and Vasser in the top-eight in provisional qualifying in Australia. SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA . . . Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain Jr. and Jimmy Vasser claimed top-eight spots in provisional qualifying for Sunday's Gold Coast Indy ...

Jourdain and Vasser in the top-eight in provisional qualifying in Australia.

SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA . . . Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain Jr. and Jimmy Vasser claimed top-eight spots in provisional qualifying for Sunday's Gold Coast Indy 300.

Jourdain who turned the fifth fastest time in the morning session took seventh in provisional qualifying with a fast lap of 108.915 mph. Jourdain was just over two-tenths of a second off of the time which would have put him third overall.

Vasser lost his fastest lap due to a penalty for causing a red flag stoppage when he clipped the tire barrier in Turn 1 and sustained significant damage to the Shell car. Vasser was among the quickest cars on track and qualified his back-up car eighth with a fast lap of 108.863 mph.

Qualifying will continue on Saturday afternoon at Surfers Paradise for Sunday's Gold Coast Indy 300 which will be broadcast live on Speed at 12 AM Sunday morning.

Jimmy Vasser (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires) - "I was really close to Cristiano (da Matta) heading into Turn 1, and I thought he was letting me by, but then he came back on line and I had nowhere to go. He didn't really cut me off but his car took the air off my car when I was under braking. I had to brake even harder and the rear tires locked up. I hit the barrier damn hard. You are going pretty fast down the front straight into Turn 1. That car is messed up. I feel bad for the Shell crew because that car was fast. We obviously have a pretty good set-up because I jumped into the back-up car and only got four laps in but I was fifth fastest. The rules say you lose your fastest lap when you cause a red so I ended up eighth."

Michel Jourdain Jr. (#9 Office Depot/Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola on Bridgestone tires) - "We are making a little bit of progress with the Office Depot car. The car is really pretty good although you can always find some room for improvement. This is the best start to a race weekend that we have had in a while and we need to take advantage of this. If we can improve the car just a little bit we can find ourselves right at the front of the grid for Sunday."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Michel Jourdain