Wilson heads RuSPORT front row

Justin Wilson upstaged a pair of Champ Car title holders to claim pole position for tomorrow's season finale in Mexico City

Neither the newly re-crowned Sebastien Bourdais nor 2003 champion Paul Tracy was able to match Wilson in final qualifying, although Bourdais did usurp Wilson from the top of the charts at the halfway point before the Briton retaliated with eight minutes remaining.

Debutant Charles Zwolsman spun and stalled his Team Australia car moments later, bringing out a red flag and leaving a short three-minute window of green-flag running for any pretenders to knock Wilson off his perch.

No one succeeded in doing so, and Wilson's second Champ Car pole was secure. Bourdais was second fastest for Newman/Haas Racing, a quarter of a second adrift, but he will not start the race from the outside of the front row.

That privilege falls to RuSPORT's other driver A.J. Allmendinger by virtue of his provisional pole from yesterday, ensuring the third RuSPORT lock-out of the season and a carbon copy of the front row from Portland in June.

Allmendinger was fourth quickest in final qualifying and reported that the handling of his #10 Western Union Lola wasn't quite au point, but the American still has high hopes of challenging for a maiden victory tomorrow.

Bourdais will be flanked on the second row by perennial nemesis Paul Tracy in the leading Forsythe entry, while Cristiano da Matta vaulted up the charts in the waning moments to claim fifth for PKV Racing.

Despite the raucous support of the crowd, Mexico City native Mario Dominguez could manage only the sixth fastest time, and had some competition for the honour of being top Mexican from Rodolfo Lavin, who qualified a creditable ninth for HVM.

Sandwiching the local favourites were Oriol Servia, who didn't really get things together in the second Newman/Haas Lola, and Mi-Jack Conquest Racing's Nelson Philippe, who continues to improve and has overshadowed highly-rated rookie teammate Andrew Ranger in the latter part of the year.

Jimmy Vasser rounded out the top ten on the eve of what may be his final Champ Car race as a driver - no official word yet and Jimmy is rumoured to be having second thoughts - while Timo Glock headed the rookie crop in 12th.

In fact, the eight rookies present brought up the rear of the time sheets, perhaps testifying to the challenge of the bumpy 2.786-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, now undoubtedly the finest road course on the Champ Car calendar.

Pos  Driver              Team              Time
 1.  Justin Wilson       RuSPORT           1:26.602
 2.  A.J. Allmendinger   RuSPORT           1:27.033 + 0.431
 3.  Sebastien Bourdais  Newman Haas       1:26.827 + 0.225
 4.  Paul Tracy          Forsythe          1:26.978 + 0.376
 5.  Cristiano da Matta  PKV               1:27.287 + 0.685
 6.  Mario Dominguez     Forsythe          1:27.292 + 0.690
 7.  Oriol Servia        Newman Haas       1:27.503 + 0.901
 8.  Nelson Philippe     Mi-Jack Conquest  1:27.653 + 1.051
 9.  Rodolfo Lavin       HVM               1:27.688 + 1.086
10.  Jimmy Vasser        PKV               1:27.803 + 1.201
11.  Alex Tagliani       Team Australia    1:28.089 + 1.487
12.  Timo Glock          Rocketsports      1:28.141 + 1.539
13.  Will Power          Team Australia    1:28.195 + 1.593
14.  Ricardo Sperafico   Dale Coyne        1:28.413 + 1.811
15.  Ronnie Bremer       Dale Coyne        1:28.426 + 1.824
16.  Michael McDowell    Rocketsports      1:28.481 + 1.879
17.  Andrew Ranger       Mi-Jack Conquest  1:28.566 + 1.964
18.  Charles Zwolsman    Team Australia    1:29.503 + 2.901
19.  Homero Richards     HVM               1:29.746 + 3.144
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