Bourdais Keeps His Powder Dry

Sebastien Bourdais may have qualified 'only' fourth on the provisional grid at Cleveland on Friday - a below-par effort by his lofty standards - but the Frenchman is resting easy in the knowledge that he didn't place all his cards on the table at this early stage in the weekend's proceedings

Bourdais Keeps His Powder Dry

Whereas most of the leading contenders bolted on a set of softer, 'alternate' tyres for their second runs, Bourdais stuck with the harder primary compound throughout, saving an extra set of 'reds' for tomorrow's grid-deciding session and Sunday's race.

Even so he wound up only 0.14s shy of the pole time, and with back-to-back wins under his belt at the fast, bumpy Cleveland airfield track, has every reason to feel confident.

"We were really, really close but one-tenth of a second difference puts you P4 - that's how competitive this series is now," noted Bourdais.

"We stuck to our plan and only ran the standard tyres so maybe there is more on the table for tomorrow. [Provisional polesitter Cristiano] da Matta and [Paul] Tracy used the alternate tyres so maybe we can gain some time there.

"On my fastest lap I made a small mistake in Turn Eight and then on the next lap I made a mistake in the chicane. The McDonald's car was really, really close but everybody just stepped up."

Oriol Servia claimed seventh on the overnight grid in the sister Newman/Haas Lola, but admitted he had hoped for more.

"We changed the PacifiCare car a little bit for the second run but I wasn't able to put a lap together," related the Spaniard, who finished a splendid fourth here last year for Dale Coyne Racing.

"The car feels good but we are still farther off than I would like to be. But I'm confident we can get it together tomorrow and move closer to the front."

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Series General
Author Alex Sabine
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