Qualifying 1: Tracy leads Forsythe 1-2

Paul Tracy's odds of claiming victory in his 200th Champ Car race got better Thursday afternoon as the Canadian grabbed provisional pole for the Grand Prix of Cleveland. Patrick Carpentier made it a Forsythe Racing sweep of the front row by running second fastest, but he was nearly half a second slower than his countryman.

Qualifying 1: Tracy leads Forsythe 1-2

Tracy receives a championship point and is guaranteed of starting no worse than second in Saturday night's 115-lap event.

Carpentier set the early pace with a 59.227-second lap while Tracy suffered a brief spin at Turn 4. But after cleaning his tyres, Tracy stormed around in 58.405 seconds (129.811mph), a lap he couldn't match with his second set. But neither could anyone else, though Carpentier came closest, improving to 58.868 seconds.

"I think the track got slower later in the session because people were going off and throwing dust and dirt onto the circuit," Tracy said. "I had to regroup after that 360, but I put a lap together. It was good because I couldn't do better than a 58.8 on my second set of tyres."

Carpentier said he and the Forsythe team were coming off a good test at Mid-Ohio and he was happy with his effort on the day.

"I knew it would take a really good lap to beat Paul's time," Patrick said. "I had another lap going that seemed faster but I ended up doing a 360 at the same place Paul did, at Turn 4. At the end, I blocked Jimmy Vasser pretty badly, so I have to apologise to him [Vasser had the quickest Reynard in eighth place]."

Sebastien Bourdais also mowed the Burke Lakefront Airport grass on a couple of occasions, but the French rookie improved to 59.163 seconds on his final lap to jump up to third.

"This is a difficult track and we had even less practice here than usual so I am very happy to be here," Bourdais said.

Oriol Servia ran a series of quick laps to claim fourth on the grid in the Patrick Racing Lola, while Michel Jourdain and Alex Tagliani filled the third row. Jourdain was unhappy after being blocked by Tracy on his final flying lap.

"I'm very disappointed with Paul," he said. "We were P1 and P2 on the first set of tyres and he went out on the next set to try to block me. I saw that Jimmy had problems with Patrick and I'm not sure what strategy that team is running, but it kills me that nothing is being done about this."

Bruno Junqueira completed only one flying lap before a gearbox failure ended his day and left him 11th fastest. "The tyres weren't even up to temperature yet," he reported. "The car was obviously good because we were fastest in practice so it's a shame."

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