Tracy Takes Home Pole in Toronto

Paul Tracy gave his home crowd plenty to smile about by taking a commanding provisional pole in the opening qualifying session for Sunday's Molson Indy Toronto - round six of the 2005 Champ Car World Series

Tracy Takes Home Pole in Toronto

The Canadian Forsythe driver was the only man to crack the 59 seconds barrier, ultimately taking pole with a lap of 58.887. His perennial rival Sebastien Bourdais closed to within 0.123 of Tracy's benchmark, but could not steal the Canadian's thunder on this occasion.

Another Canadian, Team Australia's Alex Tagliani, was third fastest, despite his position coming under threat from Cristiano da Matta as the PKV Racing driver put on a spurt in the final minutes of the session.

Da Matta's improvement pushed Tracy's teammate Mario Dominguez down to fifth - a slight disappointment for the Mexican, who had set the pace in the short pre-qualifying warm-up session and held provisional pole until Tracy got up to speed.

PKV's Jimmy Vasser and RuSPORT pairing Justin Wilson and AJ Allmendinger completed a leading octet covered by just under seven tenths of a second.

Oriol Servia lagged behind Newman/Haas teammate Bourdais in qualifying once again, over a second slower than the reigning Champion in ninth.

Scotland's Ryan Dalziel showed promising form in his first ever Champ Car qualifying session. The Toyota Atlantic graduate wound up 16th fastest, having been quicker than his Dale Coyne Racing teammate Ricardo Sperafico for much of the session. The Brazilian ultimately pipped Dalziel by just two tenths of a second.

New HVM signing Alex Sperafico (Ricardo's cousin) quickly got back into the swing of Champ Car racing, despite his unfamiliarity with the team and the Lola chassis. He was well matched with teammate Bjorn Wirdheim in practice and only three tenths slower in qualifying. The Swede took top rookie honours in 10th, three places ahead of Sperafico.

Canada's rising star Andrew Ranger was an uncharacteristically lowly 12th fastest and out-qualified by his Conquest Racing teammate Nelson Philippe, albeit by a paltry one thousandths of a second, as the well-matched teenagers filled the sixth row.

The Toronto weekend has begun badly for the Rocketsports team. Ryan Hunter-Reay was only 15th fastest in the first session, but still fared rather better than teammate Timo Glock.

The German had to sit out most of the second practice period after spinning and stalling in turn three, and then parked his Lola early in qualifying with a suspected engine problem. He was slowest of all on the provisional grid, sharing the back row with Marcus Marshall, who had a couple of harmless excursions in his Team Australia car.

Tracy's performance today earns him a Championship point and a guaranteed front row start, but there is a long way to go before his third Toronto victory can be secured. A year ago, Tracy set the pace on Friday, only to be beaten to pole position and the race victory by Bourdais once the real action started...

Pos Driver Team Time Lap 1. Paul Tracy Forsythe Championship 58.887 8 2. Sebastien Bourdais Newman Haas 59.010 + 0.123 7 3. Alex Tagliani Team Australia 59.248 + 0.361 12 4. Cristiano da Matta PKV 59.372 + 0.485 12 5. Mario Dominguez Forsythe Championship 59.380 + 0.493 5 6. Jimmy Vasser PKV 59.507 + 0.620 13 7. Justin Wilson RuSPORT 59.519 + 0.632 14 8. A.J. Allmendinger RuSPORT 59.578 + 0.691 12 9. Oriol Servia Newman Haas 1:00.013 + 1.126 7 10. Bjorn Wirdheim HVM, Inc. 1:00.402 + 1.515 7 11. Nelson Philippe Mi-Jack Conquest 1:00.477 + 1.590 5 12. Andrew Ranger Mi-Jack Conquest 1:00.478 + 1.591 4 13. Alex Sperafico HVM, Inc. 1:00.686 + 1.799 6 14. Ricardo Sperafico Dale Coyne 1:00.687 + 1.800 13 15. Ryan Hunter-Reay Rocketsports 1:00.783 + 1.896 15 16. Ryan Dalziel Dale Coyne 1:00.877 + 1.990 5 17. Marcus Marshall Team Australia 1:01.015 + 2.128 7 18. Timo Glock Rocketsports 1:01.992 + 3.105 3 
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