Qualifying 2: Junqueira secures pole

Bruno Junqueira retained his pole position for Sunday's Denver Grand Prix despite not making a run in Saturday's final qualifying session. The Newman/Haas ace was ready to go out, the last man in the qualifying line, but aborted his run when it started to rain. There was no need for him to run because nobody had been able to beat his fast lap from Friday

Qualifying 2: Junqueira secures pole

Although pleased to claim pole, Junqueira was disappointed not to have the chance to earn an extra point for turning the best lap on Saturday. "Everyone had a chance apart from me," Junqueira said. "The car was really fast today and I thought I could put it on pole but it started to rain as I switched on the engine."

With championship leader Paul Tracy (Forsythe) qualifying ninth and Michel Jourdain Jr (Team Rahal) starting tenth Sunday's race provides Junqueira with a fine opportunity to close the gap in points to Tracy.

"The most important thing is to have a clean start and run a clean race and try to close the gap," Junqueira remarked. "It's a big chance for me to do that."

Fastest on Saturday and therefore taking the point for best lap on the day was Oriol Servia. The Spaniard improved dramatically from Friday, leaping from ninth to second in the starting line-up. The Patrick Racing driver is driving this weekend with his right wrist taped as a result of a collision with Junqueira during qualifying in Montreal last weekend.

Also making a big improvement today was Sebastien Bourdais who moved from seventh yesterday to third overall today. The Newman/Haas rookie had trouble with a broken damper on Friday and was able to find a much better balance today. "The car is quite good and we have a better starting position than I thought, so we maybe have a chance to do well in the race," Bourdais observed.

Adrian Fernandez had to rely on his Friday time to take fourth on the grid after locking his brakes and sliding down the escape road. Fernandez was caught out by rain which started to fall just as he began his qualifying run.

Tiago Monteiro (Fittipaldi/Dingman) improved from eighth to fifth today as he made his best qualifying run of the year. The Portugese driver has been competitive all weekend in Denver and hopes to score his best result of the year on Sunday.

Qualifying sixth today, despite spinning on his first of two qualifying laps was Forsythe's Patrick Carpentier. Next up was Darren Manning (Walker) who recovered from a disastrous morning practice session to qualify solidly among the top ten. Practice session pace-setter Mario Haberfield (Conquest) was eighth, explaining that his tyres took too many laps to come up to temperature for him to be able to equal his quick laps from the morning session.

Championship leader Paul Tracy was on schedule to steal the pole from Junqueira only to spin two turns before the end of his quick lap. "I knew I had a good time going," Tracy reported. "You've got just one lap to push to the limit on cold tyres and I lost it. It's frustrating."

Tracy admitted that the race will pose a test for he and the Player's team. "It's going to be a hard day," Tracy said. "We're going to have to pit out of sequence to make up ground. But we're going to have to be careful because it's very easy to slide off the road here."

Montreal winner Michel Jourdain qualified tenth, directly ahead of Montreal
pole-winner Alex Tagliani (Rocketsports), while Mika Salo qualified PK Racing's Lola seventeenth in his Champ Car debut.

Denver practice: Haberfeld again

Previous article

Denver practice: Haberfeld again

Next article

Seven-year Turkish GP F1 deal

Seven-year Turkish GP F1 deal
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

Nov 24, 2020