Qualifying 1: First pole for Servia

Oriol Servia was the man to beat at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Friday. The Catalonian paced both Champ Car practice sessions and backed up that form by claiming the provisional pole for Sunday's race, round 13 of 19 in the Champ Car World Series.

Qualifying 1: First pole for Servia

The point for winning the Friday pole moves Servia into a tie for sixth place in the CART standings with Adrian Fernandez and guarantees him his first career front row start no matter what happens in Saturday's final qualifying session.

Servia had to overcome a bump with Bruno Junqueira late in the session that left him with a sore left hand. The incident occurred with just over a minute left in the session, but neither man's Lola was substantially damaged and both subsequently recorded their fastest time on the last lap of the session. Junqueira wound up third fastest behind CART championship leader Paul Tracy.

"We didn't do anything differently this weekend, but we're obviously doing it a little bit better," remarked Servia after his 1m21.112s (120.234mph) pole lap. "We've been fast many times this year, but never at the right time. I like this track and the car felt really good all day."

Servia played down the clash with Junqueira: "The lap before I had to slow down for traffic and I let Bruno past. Then Bruno caught the traffic at the hairpin. I could see that he had slowed down a lot and I wasn't even trying to pass him, but I don't think he saw me and we touched. We hit quite hard, actually, and it hurt my hand a little.

"I had been P1, but then the team said that Tracy went faster and that pissed me off," he added. "So we got it back."

Junqueira saw things differently. "It's the second week in a row [Servia] hit me in the back," he stated. "For sure, he was very fast today, but I think he doesn't know how to brake when there is someone in front. It seems like I got blocked by [Tiago] Monteiro on every lap today and it was really frustrating."

Tracy moved up to the top spot with a minute to go but ran out of fuel on his last lap.

"I got caught in traffic and had to run an extra lap, and just didn't have enough fuel," the Canadian reported. "I was up a couple of tenths after the first few corners, but it ran out and we'll never know if it would have been good enough to beat Oriol."

The battle for second was very close, with Tracy (1m21.405s), Junqueira (1m21.476s) and Sebastien Bourdais (1m21.495s) covered by less than a tenth of a second. Darren Manning was fifth fastest on 1m21.542s.

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Friday practice: Servia starts well

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