Pacificare Driver Junqueira to start second in Molson Indy Toronto; Lilly Driver Bourdais to start sixth OVERALL: The 10-minute session began under light sprinkles but the track started to dry as the 40-minute final qualifying session began.
Pacificare Driver Junqueira to start second in Molson Indy Toronto; Lilly Driver Bourdais to start sixth
The 10-minute session began under light sprinkles but the track started to dry as the 40-minute final qualifying session began. While the majority of the field were on their first set of tires, Max Papis spun and brought out the red flag. During this time, the sprinkles that had previously subsided returned with more intensity and the field waited for the conditions to improve rather than use up their 15-lap allotment. By the time the conditions did improve, the majority of the 19-car field took to the track and therefore traffic became an issue in the final 10 minutes of the session. Junqueira was the final driver to begin a qualifying attempt as he was guaranteed a front row start by virtue of setting the fastest lap in provisional qualifying. Unfortunately the timing of the condensation did not help Junqueira or Bourdais's strategy. Junqueira was able to better his time but was fourth fastest in final qualifying but will start second due to earning the provisional pole. Bourdais set the fastest time in the morning practice session that ran under intermittent light sprinkles and had hoped for similar results in final qualifying. Unfortunately traffic coupled with light sprinkles wreaked havoc on the plan and the highest position he held was fifth fastest until Patrick Carpentier ran a slightly quicker lap on his final attempt and Bourdais dropped to a sixth place start.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"Unfortunately we waited until the end of the session. It worked for us yesterday but not today. It's a lottery trying to decide when to go on track for your 15 timed laps. This morning I didn't run very much because we knew the car was good. I did one outing on old tires and was fastest. Sebastien ran a lot this morning and he said he found something that was good so I put it on my car and it turned out not to be too good for us but because we went out so late in the session and decided to make only one run instead of two, we didn't have time to make a change and go back out. The car was very loose as the tires got old.
When the car was at its best, I got behind traffic. It cost us probably three or four-tenths to Tracy. Because of the rain and the red flag everyone had waited to go on track at the very end. We lost pole and lost a point to Tracy. For the start, the first turn is really difficult here. This is the sort of track where it's almost better to start third but the PacifiCare car is good and Newman/Haas has had good success here in the race so let's see what happens.
I know that Tracy, under pressure, makes mistakes and that's going to be my approach -- to put as much pressure on him as possible."
NOTES: It will be his third race here. It will be his highest start so far at this track. Started third and finished 14th after a mistake by rookie Townsend Bell caused contact and his retirement from the event in 14th place. Started 20th in rookie season here and finished 13th after contact with Fittipaldi. Both incidents were in the same location - the hairpins currently in second place in the point standings with 110 and is only EIGHT behind leader Tracy who has 118.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"The Lilly car is obviously very good but I couldn't put a run together. (Rodolfo) Lavin messed up my laps three times - two times on my first run and the third time he came out right in front of my from the escape road and I had no choice but to go straight (into the runoff area). It's a very, very frustrating weekend for the moment. It's frustrating not to be able to use what we have. The red came out and ended our first run early then we had the rain so every one was on track at the end of the session. It will be difficult because passing is hard to accomplish here but we will have to pass people on track and in the pits if we want to get to the front."
Will be his first race here... He earned four poles (3-road course; 1-oval) and three wins in nine events so far. (He started in second place in England and fifth in Long Beach.) Has won a total of six bonus points this season (Friday & Saturday in St. Pete; Saturday in Monterrey, Saturday and Sunday in Germany; Friday in Cleveland)=E2=80=A6He is currently ranked 5th in the point standings with 74 points.
The team has won SIX races here (da Matta - 2002; Mi. Andretti 2000, 1995, 1992, 1991, 1989) and TWO POLES (da Matta 2002; Mi. Andretti 1991) as well as 12 PODIUM FINISHES (2nd - Mi. Andretti 1998, 1991, 1990), (3rd - Fittipaldi 2002, 1999; Ma. Andretti 1986). LAST YEAR IN TORONTO: da Matta matched a CART record with his fourth consecutive win after leading 112 laps here. Fittipaldi finished third.
ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:
The 30 minute morning warm-up will begin at 8:30 AM ET with the Molson Indy Toronto set to begin at 12:30 PM ET. CBS Sports will televise the event live.