Bourdais Claims Montreal Pole

Sebastien Bourdais underlined his reputation as Champ Car's qualifying king with his fourth pole position of the season in Montreal today

Bourdais Claims Montreal Pole

After being made to work hard yesterday by Newman/Haas Racing teammate Oriol Servia, Bourdais has been in imperious form today, pacing the morning practice session by six tenths of a second and securing the top grid slot by a comfortable 0.302s.

Servia backed Bourdais up capably in the #2 PacifiCare Lola and ensured a Newman/Haas lock-out of the front row for the second time in three races.

For much of the session Bourdais' stiffest competition came from the RuSPORT team, which has made huge progress after struggling to find a good set-up yesterday.

AJ Allmendinger quickly established himself as a pole contender by clocking a 1:20.954 lap early in this afternoon's session - almost a second quicker than Bourdais' Friday standard.

That held up until shortly after the halfway mark, when the Frenchman uncorked a 1:20.645 and then put pole beyond reach with a stunning 1:20.396.

Servia's final flier promoted him to second ahead of Justin Wilson, who pipped RuSPORT stablemate Allmendinger by a wafer-thin 0.022s.

Paul Tracy was consigned to a bit-part role in today's proceedings and will start fifth in the leading Forsythe Championship Racing entry. The 2003 series Champion will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat tomorrow - or else rely on misfortune striking Bourdais - if he is not to lose any realistic chance of reclaiming his crown.

Local favourite Alex Tagliani, who was denied a fairy-tale victory in Montreal two years ago due to poor fuel consumption, qualified sixth for Team Australia despite a cross-country jaunt at Turn Eight.

Mario Dominguez was next up in the second Forsythe machine, while PKV duo Cristiano da Matta and Jimmy Vasser each slipped three places from yesterday and will line up eighth and ninth respectively.

The improving Nelson Philippe rounded out the top ten for Eric Bachelart's Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team, four places ahead of the sister car of Andrew Ranger.

Ranger is showing no ill effects from yesterday's big crash but had another, more minor, 'off' during practice this morning and struggled to make up for the lack of track time in the pressure cooker atmosphere of qualifying.

Timo Glock was again the cream of the rookie crop with the 11th fastest time in the top Rocketsports entry.

Pos Driver Team Time 1. Sebastien Bourdais Newman Haas 1:20.396 2. Oriol Servia Newman Haas 1:20.698 + 0.302 3. Justin Wilson RuSPORT 1:20.932 + 0.536 4. A.J. Allmendinger RuSPORT 1:20.954 + 0.558 5. Paul Tracy Forsythe Championship 1:21.009 + 0.613 6. Alex Tagliani Team Australia 1:21.160 + 0.764 7. Mario Dominguez Forsythe Championship 1:21.600 + 1.204 8. Cristiano da Matta PKV 1:21.623 + 1.227 9. Jimmy Vasser PKV 1:21.794 + 1.398 10. Nelson Philippe Mi-Jack Conquest 1:21.893 + 1.497 11. Timo Glock Rocketsports 1:22.066 + 1.670 12. Rodolfo Lavin HVM, Inc. 1:22.262 + 1.866 13. Ryan Hunter-Reay Rocketsports 1:22.285 + 1.889 14. Andrew Ranger Mi-Jack Conquest 1:22.315 + 1.919 15. Bjorn Wirdheim HVM, Inc. 1:22.651 + 2.255 16. Ricardo Sperafico Dale Coyne 1:22.917 + 2.521 17. Ronnie Bremer Dale Coyne 1:23.214 + 2.818 18. Marcus Marshall Team Australia 1:23.266 + 2.870 
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