Warm-up: Tracy top on historic day

The first night-time road racing event in the long history of American open wheel racing takes place on Saturday evening at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport. Sebastien Bourdais leads the 19-car field, with the top five championship contenders filling the first six spots on the grid.

Warm-up: Tracy top on historic day

The 24-year old Frenchman has earned four poles in his rookie Champ Car campaign and he is looking for his first race win on American soil after sweeping the two European rounds of the championship in May. But Bourdais is likely to be met with fierce resistance from fellow front row starter Paul Tracy. Defending Cleveland champion Patrick Carpentier lines up third, flanked by Oriol Servia.

Tracy was fastest in the 30-minute race warm-up on Saturday afternoon, but his 60.1-second lap was more than two seconds slower than Bourdais' pole time. The drivers lost 15 minutes of track time when Tiago Monteiro spun into a tyre wall which required rebuilding before action could resume.

The drivers haven't had any serious complaints about lighting conditions at the unique 2.1-mile airport course. Musco Lighting has erected 21 temporary lighting towers to illuminate the circuit and pit lane.

Moving the race to nightfall will make the race easier on the drivers because the temperature will be much cooler than usual for the Cleveland event. Afternoon practice sessions this week have been run in sweltering heat with temperatures near 90 degrees. However, the temperature is expected to be much more comfortable on Saturday night at around 75 degrees and there are scattered rain showers in the forecast.

The Cleveland event is one of the longest road races on the CART schedule at 242 miles. The race distance was increased from 90 to 100 to 115 laps over the last couple of years to give the fans more value for their ticket dollar. Attendance at Cleveland is up this year, with Friday night's qualifying action capped by a patriotic fireworks display to celebrate American Independence Day.

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Qualifying 2: Bourdais grabs pole

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