Friday, July 25, 2008

Transition Drivers Show Strong At Edmonton Quals.

KV Racing Technology's Oriol Servia inches his way into the third qualifying position on the grid. He nips season points leader, Scott Dixon by one ten-thousandth of a second to break up a lock on the first three positions by established team drivers over the first three places. Image Credit: Covy Moore (2008)

Transition Drivers Show Strong At Edmonton Quals.

If the equipment equation were a little more equalized or at least half of the venues were former CART/CCWS venues we believe the drivers edge would be with the ChampCar drivers having to be folded into the IRL.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone knows that Penske and Ganassi are the class of the established teams this transition year of 2008, but if the qualifying performance put on by the former ChampCar drivers with different equipment on a track they are exclusively familiar with is any indication, this would be a different looking season in the points chase at this point.

Six of the top ten qualifying positions on the grid for the Rexall Edmonton Indy are occupied by the T-Team Ten that have run most of this season. Actually, seven of the top eleven are looking to make a mark and move up in the standings.

"This didn't come easy." - Ryan Briscoe, after taking the pole for the IndyCar Series Rexall Edmonton Indy, Friday. "I did all I could just to get in (to the final session). Going in, I wasn't so confident! It was all I could just to stay in the game. If you would have told me 15 minutes ago that I would be on pole, I would have been dreaming." Image Credit: Covy Moore (2008)

This excerpted and edited from –

Briscoe flies to Edmonton pole

By Tony DiZinno - - Racing series, INDYCAR – Date: 2008-07-25

Ryan Briscoe was part lucky and part good in winning last week's IndyCar Series race at Mid-Ohio. The same description applied to the Australian's pole-winning effort for tomorrow's Rexall Edmonton Indy, marking his second pole of the season and Team Penske's fourth consecutive overall.

A water leak nearly derailed any chance of success in the final session, which Briscoe fought into with a last-ditch lap right at the end of Q2.
Briscoe's teammate Helio Castroneves completes a Penske front row sweep. Castroneves led the day's lone practice session as the first driver to cross the timing line in under 61 seconds. At day's end, the top four were all in the one-minute bracket.
After the Penske pairing, Oriol Servia, Scott Dixon and Will Power completed the top five. Servia and Power trap series points leader Dixon in a KV Racing Technologies sandwich coming to the green flag. Servia edged Dixon for third by the slimmest of margins, one ten-thousandth of a second.

The "Fast Six" group was trimmed to five beforehand as Justin Wilson suffered upper and lower left-side suspension damage to his Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing entry. The Briton swapped ends, caught his car the first time but contacted the barriers in the turn seven complex. He starts sixth.

"I just tried to push it too hard," Wilson said. "The second time I lost it, it bit me. The impact damaged the suspension. Our car's been quick and always gaining lap times, but it's been right on a knife's edge the whole weekend."
Completing the top ten are Bruno Junqueira, Graham Rahal, Dan Wheldon, and Mario Moraes.
Junqueira and Moraes give team owner Dale Coyne two top-ten starts, but despite their speed each of the team's drivers has given the crewmembers extended hours of labor after accidents. Junqueira's Thursday shunt saw the team go to a backup car, while in the waning moments of Q2, the rapidly- improving Moraes lost control out of turn seven and walloped the wall.

Tracy was bitterly disappointed to not advance having been in the top ten in each practice. He blamed his lack of speed on carrying extra fuel and its subsequent additional weight. A late full-course caution for Marty Roth's spin left drivers scrambling during Tracy's group's session. While Tracy notched a lap quick enough to advance, he started it after the checkers, nullifying any potential gain.

Reference Here>>

Conquest Racing's Enrique Bernoldi hangs in to place eleventh on the grid making 7 of the top 11 qualifying positions owned by the drivers of the T-Team Ten. Image Credit: Covy Moore (2008)

How the T-Team Ten (now Eleven counting Paul Tracy) Fared

SP/Car Driver Hometown Car Name Entrant Time Speed

3/5 Oriol Servia Pals, Spain KV Racing Technology KV Racing Technology 1:00.8584 116.710

5/8 R Will Power Toowoomba, Australia Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia KV Racing Technology 1:01.0154 116.410

6/02 R Justin Wilson Sheffield, England McDonald's Racing Team Newman Haas Lanigan Racing no time no speed

7/18 Bruno Junqueira Belo Horizonte, Brazil Z-Line Designs Dale Coyne Racing 1:01.2991 115.871

8/06 R Graham Rahal Columbus, Ohio Rexall-Oilers Newman Haas Lanigan Racing 1:01.4573 115.573

10/19 R Mario Moraes Sao Paulo, Brazil Sonny's Bar-B-Q Dale Coyne Racing 1:01.7552 115.015

11/36 R Enrique Bernoldi Curitiba, Brazil Sangari Conquest Racing Conquest Racing 1:02.0227 114.519

16/22 Paul Tracy Scarborough, Ontario Subway/Vision Vision Racing 1:02.2387 114.122

20/96 R Mario Dominguez Mexico City Visit Mexico City/PCM Racing Pacific Coast Motorsports 1:03.1359 112.500

21/33 R E.J. Viso Caracas, Venezuela PDVSA HVM Racing HVM Racing 1:02.9242 112.879

27/34 R Jaime Camara Goiania, Brazil Sangari Conquest Racing 1:03.8572 111.229
Reference Here>>

Let's just hope these guys can hold, and even advance position in the race tomorrow. Up for grabs will be Rookie-Of-The-Year points and it looks that Will Power will have a chance to gain on points leader Hideki Mutoh of the Andretti Green Racing stables.

... notes from The EDJE

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