Archive for Saturday, August 2, 2003

Junqueira earns pole at ‘perfect’ track

August 2, 2003

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— Bruno Junqueira earned a spot in the front row Friday for the Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America, the Brazilian's favorite course on the CART circuit.

"That's the best race track in North America for me and for at least 80 percent of the drivers," he said. "Everything here is perfect."

Junqueira earned the provisional pole in the first round of qualifying with a lap time of 1:43.917. Newman/Haas Racing teammate Sebastien Bourdais was second at 1:44.722.

Series points leader Paul Tracy finished next at 1:44.725. He is 19 points ahead of Junqueira in the Champ Car standings after the qualifying round.

Junqueira is looking for his first win this season Sunday. He has been in the top five in all but one race.

Tracy has been the driver to beat. He earned his fifth victory in eleven races last weekend at the Vancouver Molson Indy.

Tracy said the track was slick Friday after a rain storm Thursday night. He was forced to slow down more than he wanted on the turns, he said.

"We have a little bit of imbalance on the car. We're still searching for the right setup," Tracy said. "If you find just a small gain in performance it can be quite a lot of lap time."

Bourdais, the rookie points leader, put together his best time on his final full lap of qualifying.

Junqueira won his first CART series race at Road America in 2001. He took the pole last season, before finishing third.

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