Bourdais Thwarted by Traffic

Sebastien Bourdais was frustrated to miss out on provisional pole position by little more than a tenth of a second at Toronto on Friday

Bourdais Thwarted by Traffic

The Frenchman had been fastest in the morning practice session and was satisfied with the baseline set-up of his Newman/Haas Lola around the tortuous Exhibition Place street circuit.

But, echoing a common refrain up and down the pit lane, he complained that heavy traffic thwarted his final shot at pole in the crucial 35-minute timed session in the afternoon.

"It's always an interesting qualifying session here in Toronto," smiled Bourdais, who scored an emphatic victory from pole here in 2004.

"I guess a lot of people are getting frustrated by traffic - it's pretty difficult to put a lap together. It was very busy out there and we didn't get the best out of the McDonald's car today.

"I think my second run could potentially have been a bit better. But I was about a hundred metres from the HVM car of Bjorn Wirdheim. When you're about that close, you're losing probably 10 percent of your downforce; you know you're screwing yourself up.

"There really weren't many options - I had people in front and behind. You just do what you can and hope for the best. But it wasn't good enough today."

With Paul Tracy snatching the overnight pole, Bourdais now trails his arch-rival by two points in the Championship and, more importantly, does not have the luxury of a guaranteed front row starting spot for Sunday's race.

However, he is optimistic of being able to turn the tables over the balance of the weekend - especially with the omens working in his favour...

"We have a good car and it seems a lot like last year," he said. "And another thing makes sense, too - last year PT was on pole and we were second [on Friday]. If we can repeat [the reversal] and be on pole tomorrow, it's looking good!"

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