Analysis: Allmendinger Holds On

A pair of lengthy red-flag interruptions and a still-damp track surface rendered final qualifying for the inaugural Edmonton Champ Car race an academic exercise

Analysis: Allmendinger Holds On

No one came close to beating AJ Allmendinger's Friday time of 58.628 seconds and the Californian duly earned the first pole position of his Champ Car career. For good measure, he set the fastest time in today's session, pocketing an additional Championship point and underlining his status as the favourite heading into tomorrow's race.

Heavy morning rain caused the regular hour-long free practice session to be rescheduled and compressed to a 45-minute recce immediately prior to qualifying. Justin Wilson paced that session with a time of 61.108, suggesting there was some prospect of the track drying out enough for a shuffling of the order in qualifying.

But the two red flags - one for a collision between Mario Dominguez and Alex Tagliani and the other for separate incidents involving Timo Glock and Alex Sperafico - put paid to any improvements and meant that the starting line-up is unchanged from the overnight order.

Thus Wilson was unable to take the fight to teammate Allmendinger and had to settle for second on the grid, ensuring a mirror image of RuSPORT's previous front row lock-out at Portland last month. Furthermore, the Englishman had to nurse a damaged car back to the pits at the end of the session after inadvertently punting Glock into the barriers at Turn Seven.

Paul Tracy starts third for Forsythe Championship Racing ahead of the leading Newman/Haas entry of Oriol Servia, who matched his best qualifying effort of the season. PKV Racing's Cristiano da Matta will be flanked on the third row by Tagliani, who was hit from behind by a fast-closing Dominguez halfway through this afternoon's session and sustained heavy damage to his #15 Aussie Vineyards Lola.

Dominguez escaped with only a broken nosecone and will line up eighth on the grid behind veteran Jimmy Vasser and ahead of top rookie Timo Glock.

Championship leader Sebastien Bourdais was one of several drivers with particular cause to be frustrated by the lack of running, after a crash during Friday qualifying saddled him with tenth place on the grid. With closest rival Tracy starting seven spots ahead of him, Bourdais may have to roll the strategic dice to haul himself into contention tomorrow afternoon.

Others to pay a heavy price for Friday woes were talented Canadian rookie Andrew Ranger, who was involved in a misunderstanding with Dominguez at the pit exit yesterday and lost precious track time, and Dane Ronnie Bremer, who has been finding his feet in an unfamiliar Dale Coyne Racing Lola and made significant progress today for no reward.

shares
comments
Q & A with Justin Wilson
Previous article

Q & A with Justin Wilson

Next article

Collision Ends Wilson’s Session

Collision Ends Wilson’s Session
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021