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Standings
Final Point Standings
Driver Championship
1 Sebastien Bourdais 364
2 Justin Wilson 281
3 Rob Doornbos (R) 268
4 Will Power 262
5 Graham Rahal (R) 243
6 Oriol Servia 237
7 Bruno Junqueira 233
8 S. Pagenaud (R) 232
9 Neel Jani (R) 231
10 Alex Tagliani 205
11 Paul Tracy 171
12 T. Gommendy (R) 140
13 Dan Clarke 129
14 Ryan Dalziel (R) 116
15 Katherine Legge 108
16 Jan Heylen 104
17 Alex Figge (R) 95
18 Mario Dominguez 78
19 Nelson Philippe 28
20 David Martinez (R) 18
21 Matt Halliday (R) 18
22 Roberto Moreno 9

Rookie of the Year
1 Robert Doornbos (R) 268
2 Graham Rahal (R) 243
3 Simon Pagenaud (R) 232
4 Neel Jani (R) 231
5 Tristan Gommendy (R) 140
6 Ryan Dalziel (R) 116
7 Alex Figge (R) 95
8 David Martinez (R) 18
9 Matt Halliday (R) 18

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Bourdais takes provisional pole in Mexico City

Mark J. Cipolloni
Friday, November 09, 2007

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Sebastien Bourdais
Adriano Manocchia/AutoRacing1.com

4-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais made it look easy in taking the provisional pole position for Sunday's Mexico City Champ Car race.  Bourdais' pole lap of 1m24.698s came after just six laps in the 30-minute session.

Justin Wilson came closest to Bourdais with a lap of 1m24.825s.  Will Power was 3rd at 1m25.199s. Bourdais' lap was 8/10ths of a second faster than last year's provisional pole time of 1m25.449s so once again the new Panoz is proving significantly faster than the old Lola on natural terrain road courses.

Oriol Servia and Graham Rahal rounded out the top-5.  A mildly happy Servia told AutoRacing1.com, "I always struggle to excel at this track for some reason, but I'm working hard to improve."

This is Bourdais' final Champ Car race before embarking on a F1 career and it looks like he has every intention of going out on a winning note.  However, the weekend is young and Wilson is right there with him on the speed charts.

Both Bourdais and Wilson felt they could have gone faster had they not made slight mistakes on their fastest laps.

However, that might be harder tomorrow.  "Well, if that Porsche is dumping oil like I think it is right now tomorrow is going to be bad," said Bourdais. "You know, it's pretty usual. I think a lot of turns are very close to what they were last year, a bit quicker. The style (with the Panoz) seems to be easier to deal with on road courses, which I think is mainly a thing of the added downforce and the shorter wheel base. I like it, and just hope to keep it on the asphalt and have a great race on Sunday."

"I think it was a similar order last year, and Friday went a similar way," said Wilson.  "We just missed pole. I'm hoping it is going to turn out a similar race. We'll be pushing hard and trying to finish the season off with a win. It would be great for myself but mainly for my team, RuSPORT. Everybody has done a great job. Obviously there's some uncertainty about the future, which is not good. So I'd just like to thank them for their efforts and continue to push hard and work hard and prepare a great race car. Hopefully we can finish on top."

Local favorites David Martinez and Mario Dominguez had good qualifying sessions. Martinez recovered from being last in the morning practice session to turning a lap in qualifying good enough for 6th on the provisional grid, just ahead of his Forsythe teammate Paul Tracy.  Martinez was on red tires while Tracy set his fast time on blacks. 

Dominguez ended up 10th fastest despite having pneumonia and gasping for breath in the thin Mexico City air.

Both teams were happy with their results and their Mexican supporters were all smiling.

Final qualifying is Saturday afternoon.

Quotes

Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st) – “The car was very competitive on the track. My team did a great job again. No surprise there. It's a place we've been pretty solid here in Mexico City, pretty competitive and solid at the front. Everything is going according to plan. Just made a couple of mistakes on the second run on the options, which definitely were quite a bit better, so expecting a little bit more out of the McDonald’s car tomorrow and hopefully we can stay on top and have a great weekend again.’

Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 2nd) – : “Today is almost a replay of last year [Mexico City 2006] where we nearly had the pole, but just missed it. I was doing everything I could and slid wide in a couple of corners and made a small mistake in Turn 6 and I think it cost me the pole, but we will try again tomorrow. When you start out front it’s much easier to focus on the job of winning. Hopefully the rest of the weekend will playout the same way and we can go out with a win. I really have to thank my team for preparing such a great car and to Mike Talbott, my race engineer, who has given me a another good car again this weekend and I think as the track gets more rubber down, the car will only get better and faster. As much as I want to win the race, I also know that I am still fighting for second place in the championship with Robert [Doornbos], so it’s important for me to focus on my job of collecting as many points as possible to secure second place.”

Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 3rd) –. “You're getting a lot out of the race car here. I believe you can gain anywhere between a half a second and a second with the Bridgestone Reds. We're looking pretty good for tomorrow. We didn't have a good first run so I wasn't confident enough to progress. I'm thinking it's better tomorrow when we can run two sets.”

Oriol Servia #22 Pay by Touch MegaSpirea Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 4th) – “Well it’s obviously not what the Pay By Touch PKV Racing team were hoping for, but we are up there with the contenders. We need to work hard, so today was good considering it is a track I don’t usually do well on and hopefully it will be even better tomorrow.”

Graham Rahal #2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 5th) – “The track is great; it’s really dirty and slick but a lot of fun. I think everything is going well for the Medi | Zone team. We still need to find a bit of speed in the car though. It was difficult to do that lap time. It’s always tough to find the last bit out of these cars but certainly today it was a little more difficult. A little bit of time makes a lot of difference here because if you can get a little more time through the esses, every one single corner adds up to quite a bit since there are five or six turns in a row. We should be able to get up there if we can improve the car a little bit.”

Simon Pagenaud #15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 6th) – “It was a good day overall. I think we need to improve the Aussie Vineyards car a bit. We are definitely headed in the right direction, but we still have some work left to do. I really enjoy this track, it’s very quick and fun to drive and very unusual in fact. I’ve never seen a track like this before, it’s cool, but a killer on the tires. I’m happy to be here in Mexico and I’m having a great time.”

David Martinez #7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 7th) – “It was a very good day, I'm very happy with how things went and it just feels great to be back in the car. We've been working really hard for over a week with all the promotion for this race and it definitely paid off because there were a lot of people here today. There is a great atmosphere here and I am really proud to be able to have Axtel and Tecate supporting me. I have been pushing every single lap and my I'm very happy with my qualifying result, but I know I can still go faster tomorrow. The car was great, one of the best cars I've driven, I really have to thank my engineer Brandon Fry and Tom Brown because they put a rocket under me. Tomorrow we'll keep pushing and we will keep making the car faster and hopefully finish even farther up the grid for final qualifying.”

Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 8th) – “I think it went all right. I mean, it was only myself, (Simon) Pagenaud and, I think, (Will) Power, that stayed on blacks (black-walled tires). Everybody else in front of us was on reds. The reds seemed to be worth about three-quarters of a second in lap time. I’m pretty happy with how it went, considering we have two shots at reds tomorrow. I think the track will definitely be faster tomorrow. I’m pretty happy. Today, if we would have been on reds, I think we would have been top five which would have been good.”

Neel Jani #21 Red Bull Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 9th) – “On my first set of blacks I was quite good, I think I was fourth at the end of the run and we still had time in my pocket, one or two tenths. Most of the guys went on reds for their second run, we decided to stay on blacks because tomorrow the track will be quicker and he used the second run as a test session. We tried a change to the car but that didn’t work out as well. I am only 9th on the charts but still I am happy because I know that the Red Bull PKV Racing team will be quicker tomorrow.”

Mario Dominguez #28 TECATE Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 10th) – “We made a lot of progress in the TECATE car today, but we definitely need to improve. We made several changes between the two sessions to find some grip and I think we went the right way. The fans here are so supportive, it is very rewarding. I am feeling better, I think with a good nights sleep I will be even better and strong for sure on Sunday. I gave Mr. Ricardo Salinas of TV Azteca a ride in the F1 2-seater today and that was a true honor.”

Bruno Junqueira #19 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 11th) – “It was a tough morning and afternoon for the #19 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q team. I think we will have the car setup figured out by tomorrow and get a top five car in second round qualifying. We made some adjustments to the gear ratios on the car after the morning session which did help improve the cars overall performance. I was just a couple tenths of a second away from a P7 in qualifying.”
Robert Doornbos #14 Team Minardi USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 12th) - “It’s obviously not where we wanted to be after the first day, but it is still early. We’re actually closer than it looks, the times are very tight, but we need to improve for tomorrow, and have some homework to do tonight. We saved our red tires to use tomorrow, and we know there is a lot to be gained with them, and hopefully we can move up the grid.”

Dan Clarke #4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 13th) - “It’s frustrating because we haven’t made any progress since we’ve arrived here. We had three stabs at it in qualifying, and we didn’t move forward, we fell back. We’ll work tonight to try and find out what it is that we’re missing - we know we’re better than this.”

Nelson Philippe #34 Juniper Soul Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 14th) – "I'm absolutely disappointed with my session today," said Nelson. "I'm struggling a lot for grip and seem to be drifting around the corners a lot. We will be working very hard tonight because I'm not too happy being two seconds off of the pace when I feel we could be doing better."


Alex Figge #29 PCM Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 15th) - “Driving a Champ Car here is just incredible. I drove here in the Grand Am car and wow..it is a whole lot faster now. My team is doing a great job and I think we have a whole lot left in the car for tomorrow. My car this weekend represents all of the great partners we’ve had this weekend and I going to be looking for a great result for them.”

Alex Tagliani #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 16th) – “There is not much that I can say, the #8 Rocketsports car is just not where we need it to be right now. We were off to a positive start this morning, finishing 6th overall, but things just didn’t work out as we planned for this afternoon. We will sit down and figure out where things went wrong with the goal going back out on track tomorrow with a better car.”

Katherine Legge #11 Dale Coyne Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 17th) – “I’m not sure why we just couldn’t find the right setting with the car today. I do know that I have a great team and they will find the right setup for me tomorrow. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and improving my starting position so we can finish the season on a high note,” Legge said. “We would love to get a top 10 starting position in qualifying tomorrow.”

Results

Pos Driver # Team Lap Time Mph Gap
1 S. Bourdais 1 Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing 1:24.698 117.906
2 J. Wilson 9 RuSPORTS 1:24.825 117.763 0.127s
3 W. Power 5 Team Australia 1:25.199 117.213 0.501
4 O. Servia 22 PKV Racing 1:25.436 116.887 0.738
5 S. Pagenaud 15 Team Australia 1:25.952 116.186 1.254
6 D. Martinez 7 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:26.056 116.045 1.358
7 P. Tracy 3 Forsythe Championship Racing 1:26.130 115.946 1.432
8 N. Jani 21 PKV Racing 1:26.156 115.911 1.458
9 G. Rahal 2 Newman/ Haas/ Lanigan Racing 1:26.156 115.911 1.458
10 M. Dominguez 28 Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:26.181 115.877 1.483
11 B. Junqueira 19 Dale Coyne Racing 1:26.190 115.865 1.492
12 R. Doornbos 14 Minardi Team USA 1:26.220 115.825 1.522
13 D. Clarke 4 Minardi Team USA 1:26.617 115.294 1.919
14 N. Philippe 34 Conquest Racing 1:26.964 114.834 2.266
15 A. Figge 29 Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:27.230 114.484 2.532
16 A. Tagliani 8 Rocketsports 1:27.277 114.422 2.579
17 K. Legge 11 Dale Coyne Racing 1:28.280 113.122 3.582

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