Edmonton, AB Canada (Sports Network) - Three-time Champ Car Series champion Sebastien Bourdais won Friday's provisional qualifying session for the Rexall Grand Prix Edmonton on the Rexall Speedway. The No.1 Newman/Haas/Lanigan driver circled the 1.973-mile, 14-turn, temporary course in 58.709 seconds (120.983 m.p.h.).
The provisional pole win earned Bourdais one championship point and a guaranteed position on the front row.
Simon Pagenaud was second quickest at 58.974 seconds. Graham Rahal (59.112), Bruno Junqueira (59.127) and Will Power (59.155) completed the top-five.
Tristan Gommendy crashed with nine minutes left in the session, in turn seven, and the incident ended the session. He was taken from the track in an ambulance.
Rookie Robert Doornbos leads the series with 164 points and the former Minardi F1 driver has looked solid all season long.
Doornbos has one win (Mont Tremblant), six top-six finishes and only once (Long Beach) has he finished outside the top-10.
Behind Doornbos is Will Power (162) and three-time Champ Car Series champion Sebastien Bourdais (162). Power won the last time the series was on the track two weeks ago in Toronto when he was able to navigate the slippery streets of the Toronto course better than anyone else.
"I'm very happy for the team," said Power. "This is exactly what we needed points-wise, and also for Sebastien not to finish, that really helps us in the championship."
Behind the top-three drivers is Justin Wilson (138), who is attempting to bridge the gap and join the chase. Over the last four weeks he has cut the margin from 36 points to just 23.
The second qualifying session is set for Saturday at 4 p.m. (et) with the race scheduled to drop the green flag at 3 p.m.