Qualifying 2: Tracy gets it done

Paul Tracy didn't waste any time in securing pole position for Sunday's Champ Car round at Portland International Raceway. The Canadian's pole lap of 58.793s (120.666 mph) came just five minutes into Saturday afternoon's qualifying session - a good thing, because a strong shower soaked the track just over halfway through the scheduled 40 minutes of qualifying.

Qualifying 2: Tracy gets it done

By then, Tracy and most of his competitors had already completed their allotted 15 laps. Provisional pole winner Michel Jourdain still had laps to run, but the rain prevented him from keeping the top spot. The Mexican's 58.38s lap was second fastest on Saturday, with Adrian Fernandez and Sebastien Bourdais next up to fill the second row of the grid.

"We felt the rain would come so we wanted to get three or four laps in early in case we couldn't do another run," Tracy explained after winning his 15th career Champ Car pole. "This track is a little bit funny. When there is no rubber down, it's very fast, with a lot of grip. I think today the track was at its best right at the start of qualifying."

Jourdain's 59.379s lap set the standard Friday, but Michel completed only nine laps before the rains came. "We were in a different position from everyone else because we were guaranteed to be on the front row," he said. "We took a gamble by waiting and maybe we waited a little too much because suddenly I saw 58s on the board and I realized holding onto the pole wouldn't be easy. But I went out and did a good time."

Ryan Hunter-Reay, who was second fastest on Friday only to have his time disqualified because his Stefan Johansson Reynard was underweight, responded well to qualify seventh, two spots ahead of his teammate Jimmy Vasser. But Tracy's Forsythe Racing teammate Patrick Carpentier was disappointed to run 10th, one spot ahead of Bruno Junqueira.

Sunday's forecast is similar to what was dished out Friday and Saturday - a mixture of wet and dry conditions. One of the unique characteristics of the Portland road course is its ability to shed moisture. On Saturday, the track went from standing water to dry in less than an hour.

"The race will be won by the best driver, the guy who can adapt best to the changing conditions," reckoned Tracy. "These cars are very difficult to keep on the track in the wet if you're on dry tyres, and they're tough to drive in the dry on wets. So if the weather is anything like today, it's going to be a tremendous challenge."

shares
comments
Practice 2: Jourdain again

Previous article

Practice 2: Jourdain again

Next article

Portland: Surprise victory for Fernandez

Portland: Surprise victory for Fernandez
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

General
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

General
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

General
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...

General
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

General
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

General
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

General
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

General
Nov 24, 2020