Qualifying: Bourdais secures pole

Sebastien Bourdais proved Saturday that he is the fastest man in the Champ Car World Series no matter what type of circuit is on the menu. The 23-year old Frenchman's remarkable rookie run continued as he took pole position for Sunday's German 500 on his oval-track debut

Qualifying: Bourdais secures pole

Newman/Haas Racing again ran 1-2, but Bruno Junqueira looked far from happy as he listened to the airhorns and claxons that greeted his teammate's pole lap. Bourdais ran a 37.000-second (196.832 mph) lap that was 0.211 second faster than his more experienced colleague.

"We've had a very strong car since the beginning of the season but I'm a bit surprised that I won the pole here," Bourdais said after claiming his third pole in five Champ Car races. "We were so quick at Brands Hatch that I thought we maybe didn't keep enough car for this event. But we knew that the pole was a possibility after we were fastest in practice."

Second on the grid marks Junqueira's best qualifying performance of the 2003 season, but he was clearly not pleased with the order of things. "It's terrible," he said. "I can't believe I'm beaten around here by two tenths of a second. That's a lifetime around here That's never happened in my life on an oval, but the difference between engines is incredible. Plus my car carries extra weight because I'm lighter and I have to carry a camera, and that's more drag - maybe half a tenth."

Behind the Newman/Haas duo came early-season star Michel Jourdain Jr., keen to score his first win after coming so close at Long Beach. He ran a 37.274-second qualifying lap. The Mexican briefly lost his time after being disqualified for a technical infringement, but an appeal by Team Rahal was upheld and his rightful grid position was restored.

Fourth went to Mario Haberfeld, who just pipped Darren Manning for fastest Reynard honours. "I don't think there is anybody who isn't running wide-open," said Manning after qualifying a career-best fifth. "We dialed out the push that I had in the morning. Third row is good - we'll see how it goes."

Mario Dominguez will start from the third row, sixth place representing the fourth time in five races this year that the Mexican has achieved a career-best. Oriol Servia was seventh, with the top ten filled out by Rodolfo Lavin, Alex Tagliani, and Patrick Lemarie.

Those teams that opted for additional downforce given the compromise between Brands Hatch and Eurospeedway suffered. Adrian Fernandez was dead last, while the Player's/Forsythe duo of championship leader Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier were 16th and 17th.

"Not very good, obviously," Tracy stated. "I gave it everything but the car was not responding. I wanted to take the seat out for qualifying so that I could sit lower in the car but they told me it was illegal."

Quipped Carpentier: "I wanted to drive through the pits to shorten the lap but I don't think that would have looked good. The car is like a parachute."

shares
comments
Free practice: Bourdais quickest

Previous article

Free practice: Bourdais quickest

Next article

Jourdain and Rahal evade penalty

Jourdain and Rahal evade penalty
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