RSPORTS TOP SIX QUALIYFING EFFORT IN TORONTO Wilson secures a front row start; Tagliani to start sixth as the top Canadian driver for the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto TORONTO, Ontario Canada -- It was another good effort for RSPORTS today in...
RSPORTS TOP SIX QUALIYFING EFFORT IN TORONTO
Wilson secures a front row start; Tagliani to start sixth as the top Canadian driver for the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto
TORONTO, Ontario Canada -- It was another good effort for RSPORTS today in Toronto, which saw Justin Wilson almost take the pole position and Alex Tagliani round out a double top-six qualifying result for the team as they prepare for tomorrow's Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto.
In both sessions today, the RSPORTS pair was positioned within the top-six of the 17-car field. The morning practice wrapped up with Wilson topping the charts with a time of 59.018 (107.052 mph), a time that he posted on his 31st and final lap of the session. Tagliani posted a time of 59.580 (106.042 mph) on his 30th lap during his 32-lap stint, which happened to be the sixth quickest time this morning.
This afternoon saw the final round of qualifying for Sunday's event on the streets of Toronto. It was a session that had everyone on the edge of their seats, fans and crew members alike. Down to the final minute, it was undetermined who would ultimately claim the 2007 Toronto pole. Wilson had his name on top for a good majority of the session, up until the final laps, which saw him and Sebastien Bourdais battle for the top spot. It was Bourdais who would beat the 2006 pole sitter by 1/100th of a second this afternoon. Wilson's best time was recorded on his 12th qualifying lap when he posted a time of 58.299 (108.372 mph).
Wilson will be starting on the front row for the second consecutive year, after claiming the pole position here in Toronto last year. This is the fourth time that the England-native will start in the top four after making six starts in 2007, and it also marks the second time this season that Wilson will start on the front row.
Tagliani had a good run this afternoon as well, but when he ran his second stint on the softer Bridgestone Potenza red tires, he struggled to find a car that would beat the time recorded during his first stint. The French-Canadian posted a 58.779 (107.487 mph) on his seventh lap this afternoon on the harder Bridgestone black tire compound. Despite running seven more laps around the 1.755-mile temporary street course, he was unable to better his time.
Representing Canada as the top driver on the Toronto grid, Tagliani will start sixth for the 22nd Grand Prix in Toronto. This weekend will mark the sixth out of seven race starts in 2007 that he will start from inside the top ten.
Today's results also showed just how competitive the Champ Car field is here in Toronto. As previously mentioned, Wilson was only 1/100th of a second off of Sebastien Bourdais for the pole, but even more amazing is that in a 17-car field the top 14 cars are within a second of each other. That should make for a very interesting start as the cars head into turn one, along with the possibility of many on track battles, which should make way for a very action-filled and exciting race tomorrow.
There will be a 30-minute warm up session tomorrow morning before the RSPORTS team grids their Champ Cars at 12:15 p.m. ET. Round 7 of the 2007 Champ Car World Series, the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto is scheduled to take the green light at 1:00 p.m., marking the fourth standing start attempt this season, the first on a street course venue. The race can be seen live on ESPN in the United States and on Global in Canada with coverage beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"I thought we had it (the pole) for a minute, and then my team came on the radio and told me Sebastien's time. I knew what mine was, so I thought, 'Okay, I'm up again.' I got another lap going, which was my final lap of the day and I just got carried away at turn six. As I went back to throttle, it pushed out and brushed the wall, which ultimately ruined my chance to post a faster time to grab the pole. So, I am pretty happy, but also disappointed. I am going to make the most out of starting on the front row tomorrow. I am looking forward to the race and we will see if we can do well for CDW and all our sponsors."
Alex Tagliani #8 Tide@Wal-Mart Victory Lap Charity Program Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"The RSPORTS team did a good job on the #8 Tide@ Wal-Mart Victory Lap Charity Program car from last night to today as there was a huge improvement on the car. It was just unfortunate that we couldn't really improve the balance of the car on the red Bridgestone Potenza tires because we had a top-four car on the blacks. Basically, when we went to the reds we went backward. So that is really the only negative thing that is going on, I think that we are basically in the ballpark with all the rest. If we work a little bit more on the #8 car tonight and tomorrow, then we should be able to have a decent car to fight for a podium finish in tomorrow's race."