CHAMPCAR/CART: Tracy nips Bourdais for Vancouver provisional pole

CHAMPCAR/CART: Tracy nips Bourdais for Vancouver provisional pole

The Canadian superstar duo of Forsythe Racing put on quite a show today along with the two Newman/Haas Racing superstars. The top four after today's first qualifying session for the Vancouver weekend were: Paul Tracy, Sebastien Bourdais, Patrick...

The Canadian superstar duo of Forsythe Racing put on quite a show today along with the two Newman/Haas Racing superstars. The top four after today's first qualifying session for the Vancouver weekend were: Paul Tracy, Sebastien Bourdais, Patrick Carpentier and Bruno Junqueira.

Paul Tracy.
Photo by Kurt Dahlstrom.
The winner of the bonus point and the guarantee front row start in Sunday's race was Tracy. His fastest time at 1:00.870 with an average one-lap speed of 105.333 miles per hour nipped Bourdais by just 0.104-seconds.

"I am very happy with our results today," said Tracy. "We made some changes in the afternoon after the morning practice session and the car came alive during qualifying. We had a good first run posting a fast time, then backed it up with an excellent second stint and posted a solid time. Then I had to sit and watch, it was hard knowing the Newman/Haas cars were still out and running, but we were able to lock the provisional pole."

Bourdais in turn bested Carpentier by a 0.424-seconds with a time of 100.974. Junqueira's 1:01.459 was not far behind Carpentier's 1:01.398; a mere 0.061-seconds.

"I am pretty happy; the McDonald's car was good," explained Bourdais on just missing the provesional pole. "The first run during qualifying was good, but I made a small mistake. The second run was better, but we still did not have a perfect lap. We will tweak the car a little tonight so we can give Paul (Tracy) a run tomorrow and hopefully repeat our success in Toronto."

The dynamic foursome of 2004 has set the stage for tomorrow's final qualifying session. Alex Tagliani is looking forward to better his time of 1:01.539 in his Rocketsports Lola. The French-Canadian would like to score his first pole of the season in his native country. Of course, so would Carpentier. Tracy lead the field to the green in Cleveland.

"The car felt good and the changes we made throughout the session made the improvements we needed," commented Tagliani on today's run. "We'll keep working and pushing for better results tomorrow."

The Champ Car World Series has been a contest between the Forsythe and Newman/Haas teams. Many of the other teams have poked their nose into the front slots and knocked on the victory lane door, yet seven rounds into the season and Bourdais is on top of the standings by a nice cushion.

Tracy came close to the one-lap qualifying record on the 1.781-mile street course today. Tomorrow, the record could fall and it may be one of the top four today or it could be a surprise like the Milwaukee oval race when Ryan Hunter-Reay took the honors.

The game as just begun, Saturday's final qualifying session will get underway at 1:45 p.m. PDT (4:45 EDT).

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy