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

Wilson heads RuSPORT front row

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
Lapierre takes pole for France
Previous article

Lapierre takes pole for France

Next article

France continues winning streak

France continues winning streak
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

Dec 10, 2021
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

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

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

Feb 27, 2021