TORONTO, Ontario -- July 8, 2005 - With a large Friday crowd cheering their hometown boy at Exhibition Place on the shores of Lake Ontario, Paul Tracy ( ...
TORONTO, Ontario -- July 8, 2005 - With a large Friday crowd cheering their hometown boy at Exhibition Place on the shores of Lake Ontario, Paul Tracy (#3 Mountain Grand Lodge/Avalanche Bay Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone) used a clear track on his first stint early in today's provisional round of Qualifying to set a quick time that no one could touch. On his eighth lap of the fifteen allotted to each driver, the Thrill from West Hill (a Toronto suburb) stopped the clocks with the only time of the day under 59 seconds, a lap of 58.887s averaging 107.290mph around the 1.755-mile road course. With that effort, the Canadian veteran grabbed Provisional Pole, a critical Championship point and a guaranteed front-row starting spot in Sunday's main event.
"We got a clear lap early in the session and laid down a good time" said Tracy. "We added a bit more front grip for the second stint but I couldn't get a clear run on the second set of Bridgestones. The track was pretty crowded and everybody just kept backing up, backing up, trying to find clear space but it just had a ripple effect all the way around the track. But we're where we want to be and we'll keep working on things for tomorrow. The #3 Mountain Grand Lodge/Avalanche Bay car is quick this weekend so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Teammate Mario Dominguez (#7 INDECK Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone) had a strong day also as he posted the quickest time in the practice session just prior to Qualifying and was poised to post a quick time in the battle for Provisional Pole, but ran afoul of the same traffic jam that kept Tracy from improving his time.
"The car was pretty good" commented Dominguez, "although it wasn't putting the power down as well as I would like. We had a good lap on our first stint and were looking forward to a top spot since we were fastest during the last practice. We made some adjustments to plant the rear end better and tried to go out a bit early to get some clear track but we didn't go early enough and the track became like rush hour when everybody else came out. There was just no space on the track to launch a lap. I'm pretty happy though because the #7 Indeck car is good, the Bridgestone tires are holding up well and we should be strong tomorrow."
Final Qualifying gets underway Saturday at 1:45pm ET (17:45 UTC) with the Molson Indy Toronto scheduled to get underway on Sunday at 1pm ET (17:00 UTC). The race will be televised LIVE in the USA on CBS and can also be viewed live anywhere in the world using Race Director, available at the official website of the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, www.ChampCarWorldSeries.com.