Tracy Takes Q1 with Record Lap

Paul Tracy took provisional pole position for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Denver after setting the pace by an emphatic margin in the first qualifying session on Friday afternoon

Tracy Takes Q1 with Record Lap

The 2003 series Champion laid down a marker at the halfway point in the 35-minute session with the first sub-one minute lap of the day. That would have been good enough for pole, but Tracy left nothing to chance and improved by a further two tenths of a second to 59.759 - a new lap record for the tight 1.647-mile street circuit.

He thereby earned a guaranteed front-row starting spot and a bonus Championship point, trimming Sebastien Bourdais' advantage to 27 markers.

If he is to stand a realistic chance of wresting the title back from Bourdais this year, Tracy needs to stem the momentum the Frenchman has built up over the last two races in Edmonton and San Jose; this afternoon's performance was an ideal way to start.

Bourdais was even knocked off the provisional front row by an on-form Mario Dominguez, who made it a Forsythe Championship Racing 1-2.

The Mexican was fastest in the short pre-qualifying warm-up and was a major factor throughout qualifying, even if he ultimately trailed his teammate by the best part of half a second.

Bourdais finished some six tenths of a second adrift of Tracy in third, aboard the leading Newman/Haas Racing entry. The reigning Champion's decision to use nine of his 15 available laps on his first run didn't pay off, and any hopes of usurping Tracy were nixed when Marcus Marshall deposited his Team Australia car in the tyre barrier at Turn Five, bringing the session to an end two minutes early.

AJ Allmendinger and Justin Wilson were fourth and fifth quickest respectively for RuSPORT, the second-year team based locally in Loveland, Colorado. Allmendinger in particular has a point to prove this weekend - not least to himself - after crashing out of each of the last three races.

Timo Glock once again headed the rookie crop with a strong sixth fastest time for Rocketsports Racing. Fellow freshman Bjorn Wirdheim was seventh, a morale-boosting start to the weekend for the Swede after a series of lacklustre outings in the last few weeks.

Wirdheim's HVM teammate Rodolfo Lavin seems to be settling back into the Champ Car groove after a lengthy hiatus and clocked the eighth best time, while Oriol Servia was a surprisingly off-the-pace ninth in the second Newman/Haas car. Cristiano da Matta rounded out the top ten for PKV Racing.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Paul Tracy Forsythe Championship 59.759 15 2. Mario Dominguez Forsythe Championship 1:00.213 + 0.454 15 3. Sebastien Bourdais Newman Haas 1:00.347 + 0.588 14 4. A.J. Allmendinger RuSPORT 1:00.612 + 0.853 11 5. Justin Wilson RuSPORT 1:00.697 + 0.938 14 6. Timo Glock Rocketsports 1:00.957 + 1.198 15 7. Bjorn Wirdheim HVM, Inc. 1:00.980 + 1.221 14 8. Rodolfo Lavin HVM, Inc. 1:01.029 + 1.270 14 9. Oriol Servia Newman Haas 1:01.043 + 1.284 12 10. Cristiano da Matta PKV 1:01.214 + 1.455 14 11. Alex Tagliani Team Australia 1:01.257 + 1.498 11 12. Ryan Hunter-Reay Rocketsports 1:01.342 + 1.583 15 13. Jimmy Vasser PKV 1:01.389 + 1.630 13 14. Nelson Philippe Mi-Jack Conquest 1:01.434 + 1.675 13 15. Ronnie Bremer Dale Coyne 1:01.630 + 1.871 15 16. Ricardo Sperafico Dale Coyne 1:01.745 + 1.986 15 17. Andrew Ranger Mi-Jack Conquest 1:02.235 + 2.476 14 18. Marcus Marshall Team Australia 1:02.651 + 2.892 12 
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