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Bourdais grabs second pole win of year
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Three-time Champ Car Series champion Sebastien Bourdais topped the charts in Saturday's final qualifying session at the Burke Lakefront Airport road course. The No.1 Newman/Haas/Lanigan driver circled the 2.106-mile, temporary road course in 56.363 seconds (134.514 m.p.h.). The Frenchman won Friday's provisional session as well.
The pole win earned Bourdais another championship point, his second of the weekend and gives him a 13-point lead over Will Power (107-94) entering the race. The victory was his second of 2007 and 27th of his Champ Car career.
Since finishing 13th in the season opener in at Las Vegas, Bourdais has put together a string of three wins. He has done so in dominating fashion, leading 58 of 78 laps in Long Beach, 62 of 93 in Houston and 48 of 103 laps in Portland.
Last week, while most of the Champ Car Series was "back at the shop," Bourdais was entering and finishing second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He also made 142 laps testing for the Formula One Toro Rosso team. He will make a third test for the team in July.
Fellow Frenchman Simon Pagenaud will start on the front row with Bourdais after posted a second-best time of 56.388 seconds.
Power (56.473) and Graham Rahal (56.588) will make up row two.
Starting in the first two rows is important at Cleveland because it will give you a chance to avoid the first-lap crash that has occurred in six of the last seven years.
To try and keep that from happening again, officials will use a standing start. It was used successfully last week at Portland for the first time.
In addition, the race winner over the last five years has started in the first two rows. A.J. Allmendinger won last year from the pole as did Paul Tracy in 2005 and Bourdais in 2003. Bourdais also won from the third spot in 2004.
The race is set to drop the green flag on Sunday at 1 p.m. (et).
06/23 15:20:01 ET