Despite a broken left wrist, Team Australia’s Will Power turned a lap of 1m23.558s to smash the lap record at the Mexico City Hermanos Rodriguez circuit previously held by Justin Wilson at 1m24.801s.
The record lap was a full second faster that provisional polesitter Sebastien Bourdais and 0.6s faster than Robert Doornbos who will start 3rd. Bourdais struggled in final qualifying and could only manage the 10th best time.
Oriol Servia and Justin Wilson round out the top-5.
For Power, he and his Team Australia team put it all together at the right time to smash the record.
"You only get one lap on the red tires. I found a gap and did one lap. And that was the time. And it was tough in traffic. The red flag which threw everyone into a bit of a limbo and everybody was going out at the last minute. But we got a lap in and the car’s good.
"We got about four or five poles this year, we have to put it together in the race. We had some bad luck during the season, not really representative of our speed. So we’ll be looking for a win tomorrow."
Power will have to fight the pain in his broken wrist tomorrow and the bumps at this track can aggravate his injury.
"I found it harder to wear the brace. It actually hurts it more. The cracked bones are all right. It’s just where the ligament damage is that it hurts. The warmer it gets, the easier it is on the hand. It’s sore in the morning when it’s cold."
Robert Doornbos and his Minardi team were very happy with today’s improvement over Friday’s disappointing results. Having never driven on the circuit before, rookie Doornbos spent Friday coming to grips with the difficult Mexican track.
"Of course it’s the first time for me here and it’s not an easy circuit to find a good setup on, especially with the bumps in the back," said Doornbos. "You really have to be committed with the new tires. We found a problem with the dip yesterday which we fixed last night and this morning it already went a lot better.
"Yeah, we pulled it through to qualifying through a couple of Bridgestones and back-to-back stints on reds can really make a difference. The car felt good. I’m happy to qualify up front for the team and for myself, obviously, and look forward to a nice race tomorrow."
While Doornbos was 2nd fastest overall, Oriol Servia once again proved that he can be fast with any team with third fast time over the two days.
After being 2nd fastest on Friday, a disappointed Justin Wilson was 4th fastest over the two days but will start 5th ahead of Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal, Paul Tracy, Dan Clarke and David Martinez who was 10th.
Bourdais was not happy at all with being only 10th fastest. "Well, quite simply what a good day yesterday and a bad day today," said Bourdais. "Just wasn’t really the way we wanted to have our last qualifying run. But like I said, it’s racing. It can be quite interesting at times. And you’ve got to keep your chin up and go racing.
"So that’s what we’re going to be doing tomorrow. And hope for the best. I think we’ve got a pretty good car. It just wasn’t going to work for us today."
Sunday’s race starts at 1:00 PM local time (2:00 PM ET) and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st) – “You only get one lap on the red tires and I found a gap and did one lap. That was the time. It was tough in traffic though the red flag threw everyone into a bit of a limbo and everybody was going out at the last minute. But we got a lap in and the car’s good. We got about four or five poles this year, so we have to put it together in the race. We had some bad luck during the season, not really representative of our speed. So we’ll be looking for a win tomorrow. (About driving with his injured wrist) I found it harder to wear the brace. It actually hurts it more. The cracked bones are all right. It’s just where the ligament damage is that it hurts. The warmer it gets, the easier it is on the hand. It’s sore in the morning when it’s cold.”
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 2nd) – “Well, quite simply, what a good day yesterday and a bad day today. Just wasn’t really the way we wanted to have our last qualifying run. But like I said, it’s racing. It can be quite interesting at times. And you’ve got to keep your chin up and go racing. So that’s what we’re going to be doing tomorrow. And hope for the best. I think we’ve got a pretty good car. It just wasn’t going to work for us today.”
Robert Doornbos #14 Team Minardi USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 3rd) – “Of course it’s the first time for me here and it’s not an easy circuit to find a good setup on, especially with the bumps in the back. You really have to be committed with the new tires. We found a problem with the dip yesterday which we fixed last night and this morning it already went a lot better. We pulled it through to qualifying through a couple of Bridgestones Reds that back to back can really make a difference. So the car felt good. I’m happy to qualify up front for the team and for myself, obviously, and look forward to a nice race tomorrow.”
Oriol Servia #22 Pay by Touch MegaSpirea Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 4th) – “I am actually very happy with the qualifying performance of the Pay By Touch PKV Racing team today. As I have said since the beginning of the weekend, I don’t do very well at this track, but the team gave me a great car. I think in Australia I was giving a little more than the car had, but here the car is giving more than I am, so I am very happy qualifying third today and starting fourth. We need to finish this weekend, and the season on a high note, but I am just happy with the work we have done so far.”
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 5th) – “The car wasn’t as smooth as yesterday and as the track got better, we weren’t able to keep up with it and it cost us the pole. We are obviously disappointed that we can’t be at the front and now we have to concentrate on making the car good for the race tomorrow and hope for a good result.”
On the Bourdais/Doornbos incident: “We were all trying to get ourselves a bit of space out there and Doornbos backed out of it halfway through the lap which ruined Sebastien’s lap and didn’t help mine either.”
Simon Pagenaud #15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 6th) – “Today was much better. We finally sorted out the track, it’s a very tough track to understand, but the Aussie Vineyards car is really getting there, especially on the Bridgestone red tires. I think we should have a good race tomorrow and it’s going to be special with the tire wear. Qualifying is over now and we need to think about the race. I think we should be in good shape for tomorrow.”
Graham Rahal #2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 7th) – “Unfortunately on our first run Will Power blocked us so we lost a lap there. On the second run I tried to get it a lap too late and didn’t quite manage to put it all together. I’ve still got to be happy with sixth today and starting seventh overall. We’ve got to go forward and move on now. We have to finish ahead of Pagenaud and some of these other guys ahead of us or otherwise it’s going to be tough to finish fifth in the championship. It will be tough but not impossible.”
Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 8th) – “I had a really good first lap, nice and clean. I left a little bit on the table. Then, on the second set of tires, I upshifted on accident in The Esses, two corners too early, and basically lugged the motor down. The first lap is going to be your best lap. I upshifted by accident, and I equaled the time, but I probably lost three tenths just by carrying a gear too long for three or four corners. It was a small mistake on my part, but we’re getting closer. Road courses for our team have been a big struggle, and we’re getting closer to where we need to be. I don’t think it’s going to be hard to pass at all (in the race). The Power-to-pass for tomorrow is an incredible boost. I think we’ll see an unbelievable race. We’ll see what happens after the first couple of laps. You’ve only got five shots of it with the length of the straightaway, so you’ve got to be careful how you use it. But once somebody gets it on, there ain’t no stopping a guy from coming by.”
Dan Clarke #4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 9th) - “We have struggled all day, and finally with the red tires, the car responded how I’d been asking it to. We have a few things to look into that we believe will improve the car even further, but this is a good result considering how we began the morning. We’re not at 100% yet, but we should be good for the race tomorrow.”
David Martinez #7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 10th) – “It was another good day for us. The car has been good all weekend and I feel very comfortable driving it, I’ve been pushing every single lap and we just keep picking up speed every time. I’m happy with my qualifying result because I am very close to my teammate Paul Tracy who is a great driver, a Champion and a winner of this race. I’m pretty sure we could’ve picked up some more positions if we had another lap but the red flag came out right as we were starting it and we never had the chance to improve. The Forsythe Team has done a great job so far, I’m really enjoying working with them we definitely have very strong chemistry. I can’t wait till tomorrow, racing in front of your country men is a great feeling, I am going to be very proud tomorrow when I give them and also my new sponsors Axtel and Tecate a great result.”
Neel Jani #21 Red Bull Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 11th) – “It was a strange qualifying session for the Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing team. This morning I ran an 84.8. This afternoon, on my first run I did an 85.1 with a set of reds (Bridgestone alternate tire), which I thought wasn’t too bad because I had some handling problems and a lot of traffic. Then on second of reds I only improved .2 and that was absolutely the limit. It was a very strange qualifying run and I really don’t have an explanation for it. We will just have to look at the data and see what we can come up with for the race tomorrow.”
Bruno Junqueira #19 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 12th) – “The car’s setup hasn’t been good all weekend. Every time we tried to change something it seemed the car got worse and worse. Now we just have to get a good setup for the race tomorrow and hopefully we can do well in the race since the championship point’s race from fifth to ninth is very close.”
Nelson Philippe #34 Juniper Soul Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 13th) – “Once again I’m pretty disappointed with our qualifying finish. 13th position obviously isn’t where we wanted to be. It has been a tough day overall for us but I think we will be strong in the race like we usually are. It is frustrating that we couldn’t get a better position to start because we were hoping to be in the top ten but we’ll just look forward to a better result in tomorrow’s race.”
Alex Tagliani #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 14th) – “Our luck did not change from yesterday. We are still struggling to find a good car here in Mexico City. I want to thank the #8 Rocketsports crew for all of their hard work today. We made a lot of changes in hopes of finding a quicker car, so they were very busy today; I just wish that all of our hard work could have paid off today. The #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone is still struggling, the car has a lot of understeer and it is not stable in the rear. If we can’t find a decent car by tomorrow, then it is going to be a long race. We can’t work miracles, but we are definitely trying very hard to figure out what is going on. Obviously, I am disappointed with starting 14th, but that is where we will take the green flag tomorrow. We will give it our best and hopefully we can salvage a top-ten finish tomorrow, and clinch a tenth-place result in the 2007 championship.”
Mario Dominguez #28 TECATE Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 15th) – “I am quite puzzled actually. My team did a great job and we made a lot of progress with the car today. We have been trying to settle the rear down and by final qualifying the car felt stable, but just slow. I am not sure, it is a strange situation. We are going to go through a lot of data tonight and see what we can figure out. We are going to give a big show tomorrow and find our way to the front in the TECATE car.”
Katherine Legge #11 Dale Coyne Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 16th) – “I thought everything went relatively well in qualifying compared to the rest of the weekend. We had some issues with the setup of the car that I think we have overcome. It was unfortunate that the red flag cost us our fastest lap. If I would have been able to keep my fastest time I would be starting right next to my teammate Bruno Junqueira, which is what I aim for every race. I messed up on my last lap which hurt my time. I’m feeling very positive for the race tomorrow.”
||Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing
||Minardi Team USA
||Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing
||Forsythe Championship Racing
||Minardi Team USA
||Forsythe Championship Racing
||Dale Coyne Racing
||Pacific Coast Motorsports
||Dale Coyne Racing
||Pacific Coast Motorsports
**Time set on Friday. Guaranteed front row start