Trulli Secures First Pole for Toyota

Trulli Secures First Pole for Toyota

Jarno Trulli put Toyota's troubles behind them to secure the team's first ever pole position when he outpaced his rivals in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix on Saturday.

The session was run with a cloud hanging over the Michelin runners after the French tyre company insisted they make set-up changes after failing to find the cause of Trulli's teammate Ralf Schumacher's Friday practice crash.

Following a meeting with the seven technical directors of the Michelin runners the qualifying session went ahead as usual and the modifications proved no problem for the Toyota driver.

Trulli set a time of 1:10.625 early in the session to secure his third career pole position as final runner Kimi Raikkonen missed out by just 0.069 and had to settle for a place on the first row as he finished second.

Jenson Button, whose BAR-Honda team only had to make slight modifications to their car based on Michelin's suggestions, appeared to benefit from the changes as he finished third fastest.

World Champion Michael Schumacher finished in fifth for Ferrari, sandwiched between the two Renaults of Giancarlo Fisichella in fourth and championship leader Fernando Alonso in sixth.

Rubens Barrichello finished seventh in the second Ferrari with Takuma Sato eighth for BAR-Honda, Mark Webber ninth for Williams and Felipe Massa completing the top ten for Sauber.

Ricardo Zonta, substituting for the injured Ralf Schumacher for this weekend, was out first and set a benchmark time of 1:11.754 and Juan Pablo Montoya went only slightly quicker on his lap.

Montoya was an early runner because of his disqualification from the last race in Canada but the Renault pair, who both retired midway through that race, were also forced out early in the session.

Fisichella set a time of 1:11.290 and Alonso, out next, failed to beat it and slotted in just behind with Sato, whose team changed a gearbox during the last race to push him up the Indy qualifying order, dropping in just behind him.

Button then put himself up into top spot with a time little more than one hundredth faster than Fisichella but Trulli then went faster by 0.652 seconds with a lap that proved unbeatable.

Pos Driver Team Time 1. (10) Trulli Toyota (M) 1:10.625 2. (20) Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:10.694 + 0.069 3. (9) Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:11.277 + 0.652 4. (3) Fisichella Renault (M) 1:11.290 + 0.665 5. (19) M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:11.369 + 0.744 6. (5) Alonso Renault (M) 1:11.380 + 0.755 7. (18) Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:11.431 + 0.806 8. (7) Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:11.497 + 0.872 9. (16) Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:11.527 + 0.902 10. (17) Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:11.555 + 0.930 11. (2) Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:11.681 + 1.056 12. (13) Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:11.691 + 1.066 13. (1) Zonta Toyota (M) 1:11.754 + 1.129 14. (14) Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:12.132 + 1.507 15. (8) Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:12.430 + 1.805 16. (15) Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:12.682 + 2.057 17. (12) Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:13.462 + 2.837 18. (11) Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:13.632 + 3.007 19. (4) Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:13.776 + 3.151 20. (6) Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:14.494 + 3.869 
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