Sebastien Bourdais not only held on to his pre-eminence at the top of the Champ Car leader board in Saturday practice, he also showed that this afternoon's qualifying session should see the Hermanos Rodriguez Autodromo qualifying lap record fall to the DP01-Cosworth in its inaugural season.
The Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing driver's fastest lap this morning was 1:24.815, set on the harder compound black-walled tyres, resulting in 117.743 mph average speed.
Justin Wilson's pole position from last year, which is the current track record, was 1:24.801. Once the cars use the red-walled 'sticky' tyres, expect those lap times to come down to the high 1:23s.
Blurring the true picture, however, was that as yesterday, the drivers were each allowed to try the experimental 100bhp boost option, which at Mexico City's high altitude boosts power from 670 to 770.
Given that this morning the drivers were only allowed one stab at this overboost, if that did not coincide with their best performance elsewhere on the circuit, then they missed their optimal lap time.
It also means that the red tyres used in qualifying this afternoon may not show such a spectacular improvement in lap times, given that the overboost won't be permitted in qualifying.
Two men who got it right were PKV Racing's Neel Jani, who wound up second fastest, just 0.067 seconds behind Bourdais, and Robert Doornbos of Minardi Team USA who was mere hundredths further adrift. Justin Wilson of RuSPORT and Will Power of Team Australia were next.
Encouragingly for Forsythe Championship Racing, Paul Tracy was sixth fastest, albeit 0.8 seconds away from Power. The likelihood of anyone mixing it with Bourdais, Wilson and Power in the top three positions this afternoon - seems a remote one. Not only was this the top three in Friday qualifying, they were also the top three finishers in this race last year.
Enduring a poor morning session today were Pacific Coast Motorsports, whose drivers were around two seconds off the ultimate pace, much to the disappointment of crowd favourite Mario Dominguez in particular.
Katherine Legge was crippled by such bad understeer that she didn't even bother trying the overboost, which partly explains her disastrous showing.
Pos Driver Team Time
1. S.Bourdais Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 1:24.815
2. Neel Jani PKV Racing 1:24.882 + 0.067
3. Robert Doornbos Minardi Team USA 1:24.918 + 0.103
4. Justin Wilson RuSPORT 1:24.943 + 0.128
5. Will Power Team Australia 1:25.072 + 0.257
6. Paul Tracy Forsythe Championship Racing 1:25.886 + 1.071
7. Oriol Servia PKV Racing 1:25.939 + 1.124
8. Dan Clarke Minardi Team USA 1:26.216 + 1.401
9. Simon Pagenaud Team Australia 1:26.248 + 1.433
10. David Martinez Forsythe Championship Racing 1:26.305 + 1.490
11. Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne Racing 1:26.516 + 1.701
12. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 1:26.564 + 1.749
13. Nelson Philippe Conquest Racing 1:26.642 + 1.827
14. Alex Figge Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:26.780 + 1.965
15. Mario Dominguez Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:26.808 + 1.993
16. Alex Tagliani Rocketsports Racing 1:26.957 + 2.142
17. Katherine Legge Dale Coyne Racing 1:27.903 + 3.088