Find out more about our subscriptions

Clarke retains Elkhart Lake pole

Dan Clarke on pole at Road AmericaDan Clarke has retained his pole position for the Champ Car World Series race at Elkhart Lake, as further rain in Saturday's final qualifying session meant that no one could improve their Friday times.

In a session where lap times were 11 seconds shy of yesterday's efforts, Clarke kept his pole despite completing just an out-lap this afternoon.

Given the Champ Car World Series rule that the fastest driver from each qualifying session gets on the front row, however, second place on the grid was still up for grabs.

Unsurprisingly, the man to make the most of this was reigning champion Sebastien Bourdais, who went out early in the session when the track was at its driest, and strung a lap together in his Newman/Haas Racing entry that was a half second quicker than anyone else.

His closest opponent was Justin Wilson of RuSPORT, while Will Power was also impressive for Team Australia - setting third quickest time of the session.

However, the fact that no one was going to improve meant many drivers didn't risk their machinery, so it was an inconclusive session all round.

It does throw up an interesting grid for tomorrow, though, with Clarke becoming the first rookie to sit on pole since Bourdais in Surfers Paradise in 2003.

Bourdais is unlikely to think too hard about going for points despite the championship being at stake, while behind these two Charles Zwolsman (Conquest Racing) and Alex Tagliani (Team Australia) will be eager to make the most of their best grid positions of the year.

Down in fifth and sixth are AJ Allmendinger and Justin Wilson - the two men fighting over second in the championship and desperate to stop Bourdais from clinching the title too early.

Combined qualifying times:

Pos  Driver              Team                Time
 1.  Dan Clarke          CTE-HVM         1:55.123
 2.  Sebastien Bourdais  Newman/Haas     1:58.945  + 3.822
 3.  Charles Zwolsman    Conquest        1:55.599  + 0.476
 4.  Alex Tagliani       Team Australia  1:57.517  + 2.394
 5.  AJ Allmendinger     Forsythe        1:58.507  + 3.384
 6.  Justin Wilson       RuSPORT         1:59.076  + 3.953
 7.  Will Power          Team Australia  1:59.286  + 4.163
 8.  Katherine Legge     PKV             1:59.388  + 4.265
 9.  Andrew Ranger       Conquest        1:59.486  + 4.313
10.  Bruno Junqueira     Newman/Haas     1:59.977  + 4.854
11.  Paul Tracy          Forsythe        2:00.165  + 5.042
12.  Jan Heylen          Dale Coyne      2:00.835  + 5.712
13.  Oriol Servia        PKV             2:01.082  + 5.959
14.  Tonis Kasemets      Rocketsports    2:01.381  + 6.258
15.  Mario Dominguez     Rocketsports    2:01.582  + 6.759
16.  Nelson Philippe     CTE-HVM         2:02.273  + 7.150
17.  Juan Caceras        Dale Coyne      2:03.690  + 8.567

Daytona Competition
  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Allmendinger wins, Legge saved
Junqueira tops warm-up
Newman/Haas dominate practice
Clarke takes shock provisional pole
Tracy on top at Road America