CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Friday qualifying report

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS EARNS PROVISIONAL POLE IN TORONTO Frenchman takes sole possession of championship lead TORONTO -- As the summer continues to heat up, so does the Champ Car World Series championship chase with Sebastien Bourdais ( ...

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS EARNS PROVISIONAL POLE IN TORONTO
Frenchman takes sole possession of championship lead

TORONTO -- As the summer continues to heat up, so does the Champ Car World Series championship chase with Sebastien Bourdais (#1 McDonald's Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Robert Doornbos (#14 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) locked in a dead heat for the title. After today's qualifying session Bourdais pulled ahead by a nose running the fastest lap at the 1.755-mile temporary circuit at Exhibition Place, home of the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto. The Frenchman earned a championship point and guaranteed himself a front row starting spot on Sunday with the provisional pole.

On his final lap, Bourdais clocked the fastest time at 58.783 seconds (107.480 mph) just nipping Oriol Servia (#7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) who just seconds earlier had posted a best lap of 58.801 seconds (107.447 mph). The lap marked Servia's best qualifying effort of the season and the Spaniard is hoping to parlay today's performance into a front row start during tomorrow's qualifying session.

Justin Wilson (#9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was third fastest in the session after completing a best lap at 59.099 seconds (106.905 mph). Wilson looked to better his time late in the session but a bout of over-driving the car caused the Brit to spin in Turn 8 ruining his chance at the provisional pole.

Both Minardi Team USA drivers lined up next on the time sheet with Doornbos slotted in fourth and 'Speedy' Dan Clarke (Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) fifth. Rookie Simon Pagenaud (#15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was sixth fastest on the day after spending a couple of minutes at the top of the time sheet midway through the session.

Canadian Paul Tracy (#3 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) was seventh fastest in front of his hometown fans and rookie Graham Rahal (#2 Medi|Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) lined up in eighth. Rounding out the top-ten were Dale Coyne Racing teammates Katherine Legge (#11 Dale Coyne Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and Bruno Junqueira (#19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone). Junqueira caught a bad break as the checkered flag flew, hitting the tire wall at the exit of Turn 8.

Team Australia's Will Power (#5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) and last week's polesitter Tristan Gommendy(#22 Pay By Touch-Megaspiera Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) both brought out red flags during the session. Power's car came to a stop in Turn 1 bringing out the scarlet banner, and Gommendy spun in Turn 5 to stop the session. Both drivers were penalized their fastest lap leaving Gommendy 11th in the order and Power 17th.

Final qualifying for the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto will begin at 1:15 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. The race on the Exhibition Place temporary circuit is scheduled for Sunday, July 8 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern and can be seen live on ESPN in the United States and Global in Canada. Fans can also follow all of the action via the official website of the Champ Car World Series, www.champcar.ws.

QUOTES FROM THE TOP THREE FRIDAY QUALIFIERS

Sebastien Bourdais: "I don't know if it's just me, but it was slippery out there. Man, yeah, I think we were just talking it over with Justin. It was a big sliding party. It was a lot of fun, but obviously when you start sliding in between walls it can get pretty hairy out there. Between touching and hitting a wall, it's a fine line. Managed to do that today. But we're going to have to make some progress for tomorrow."

Oriol Servia: "First of all, it's always frustrating to end up two-hundredths behind Sebastien. But, to be honest, I'm very happy to be in the top-three. It's been a while. Last few races we really didn't have the pace. Very frustrating being in a team like Forsythe and just not being quick."

Justin Wilson: "I'm really pleased with the progress we made during that qualifying session and through this morning. The CDW car was feeling good and I felt like we had a chance of going for pole. But I think, like Oriol, we got stuck in traffic, could never put a good run together."

-credit: ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Graham Rahal , Sébastien Bourdais , Katherine Legge , Will Power , Simon Pagenaud , Dale Coyne , Dan Clarke
Teams Dale Coyne Racing