Bourdais Fastest at San Jose

The first day's running at the inaugural San Jose Champ Car race was thrown into disarray by safety and logistical headaches with the new 1.5-mile downtown street circuit

Bourdais Fastest at San Jose

The start of practice was delayed by three and a half hours while last-minute construction work was performed on walls, catch-fencing and a pedestrian bridge.

The Champ Cars were eventually fired up at 13:50 local time (20:50 GMT) for the first of two 45-minute sessions, which saw Sebastien Bourdais set the pace from perennial nemesis Paul Tracy.

The Frenchman ruled the roost once again later in the afternoon, heading teammate Oriol Servia in a Newman/Haas 1-2.

Bourdais took an adventurous route to the fastest time, resorting to the run-off areas on three separate occasions after locking his front wheels under braking on the very bumpy surface. He finally hooked everything together on his penultimate lap, stopping the clocks in 52.615 seconds (99.074 mph).

The new track scrambled the usual pecking order behind the Newman/Haas duo, with top rookie Timo Glock posting the third best time for Rocketsports ahead of Mi-Jack Conquest Racing's Nelson Philippe.

The teenager's performance took his own team by surprise, and he was promptly asked over the radio, "Where did that lap come from, Nelson?"

"On this track, if you hang it out, it's quick; I hit everything just right on that lap and the car feels good," reported Philippe.

Tracy had to make do with fifth on the time sheets in the leading Forsythe entry, while sixth place went to fellow Canadian Alex Tagliani, who has been strong all season for the rechristened Team Australia outfit.

Ronnie Bremer underlined his credentials for a full-time seat at Dale Coyne Racing with the seventh fastest time, just 0.4s adrift of pacesetter Bourdais. Ryan Hunter-Reay (Rocketsports), Justin Wilson (RuSPORT) and series returnee Rodolfo Lavin (HVM) rounded out the top ten.

Friday's practice times provide an interesting snapshot of relative performance at this early stage of the meeting, but they will not count towards the starting grid, which will be determined by the sole qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.

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