Wilson retains Long Beach pole

Justin Wilson retained pole position for the Champ Car finale at Long Beach in second qualifying

Wilson retains Long Beach pole

The Briton overcame a strong challenge from Walker Racing's Alex Tagliani to top the decisive session by 0.182 seconds.

For much of the half hour it looked like Wilson (Newman Haas Lanigan) might hold on to pole using his Friday time, which had been half a second clear of the field.

It was only with five minutes remaining that Wilson shaved a tenth of a second off his previously untouchable Friday best, but within moments he was deposed by Tagliani's 1:07.084 effort.

Then with his final lap of qualifying, Wilson produced a 1:06.902 - six tenths quicker than Sebastien Bourdais' 2007 pole time - to reclaim pole for the last ever Champ Car World Series event.

Behind Tagliani, rookie Franck Perera took a superb third place. The Frenchman had been only 16th on the Friday grid after fuel pressure problems in his Conquest Racing machine, but with the glitch rectified he was able to vault up the order today.

KV Racing's Will Power and Forsythe Pettit duo Paul Tracy and Franck Montagny complete the top six.

Nelson Philippe was another driver to make up for a poor Friday today. A gearbox issue meant he failed to set a time yesterday, but he recovered to claim seventh on the grid this afternoon.

Enrique Bernoldi (Conquest), Graham Rahal (Newman Haas Lanigan) and Mario Dominguez (Pacific Coast) will round out the top ten - all improving their times in the second session but losing positions as others made greater gains.

Having been second yesterday, Oriol Servia tumbled to 12th on the grid after failing to set a time today. His KV Racing entry slowed with mechanical problems before he could complete a flying lap. He will start between Dale Coyne's Bruno Junqeira and his KV teammate and owner Jimmy Vasser.

Roberto Moreno (Minardi HVM) and Mario Moraes (Dale Coyne) also had to rely on their Friday times after their best laps this afternoon were deleted for causing red flags. While Moreno prompted a stoppage by slowing to a crawl on the back straight with a transmission problem, Moraes brought his session to a more dramatic end by crashing at Turn 9.

They will line up in 17th and 19th respectively, sandwiching Forsythe's David Martinez, who also went off at Turn 9 in the closing minutes.

Provisional starting grid:

Pos Driver Team Time 1. Justin Wilson Newman Haas Lanigan 1:06.902 2. Alex Tagliani Walker 1:07.084 + 0.182 3. Franck Perera Conquest 1:07.180 + 0.278 4. Will Power KV Racing 1:07.205 + 0.303 5. Paul Tracy Forsythe Pettit 1:07.352 + 0.450 6. Franck Montagny Forsythe Pettit 1:07.360 + 0.458 7. Nelson Philippe Minardi HVM 1:07.415 + 0.513 8. Enrique Bernoldi Conquest 1:07.682 + 0.780 9. Graham Rahal Newman Haas Lanigan 1:07.703 + 0.801 10. Mario Dominguez Pacific Coast 1:07.745 + 0.843 11. Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne 1:07.786 + 0.884 12. Oriol Servia KV Racing 1:07.858 + 0.956 13. Jimmy Vasser KV Racing 1:07.859 + 0.957 14. EJ Viso HVM 1:07.927 + 1.025 15. Antonio Pizzonia Rocketsports 1:08.463 + 1.561 16. Alex Figge Pacific Coast 1:08.489 + 1.587 17. Roberto Moreno Minardi HVM 1:08.549 + 1.647 18. David Martinez Forsythe Pettit 1:08.645 + 1.743 19. Mario Moraes Dale Coyne 1:09.279 + 2.377 20. Juho Annala Rocketsports 1:09.555 + 2.653 
shares
comments
Tagliani fastest in second practice

Previous article

Tagliani fastest in second practice

Next article

Audi claim a one-two at Long Beach

Audi claim a one-two at Long Beach
Load comments

About this article

Series General
Author Matt Beer
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

General
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

General
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

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020