Champ Car Series

Servia wins provisional pole in Australia

Surfers Paradise, Australia (Sports Network) - Oriol Servia captured the provisional pole for Sunday's Lexmark Indy 300 with a qualifying time of one minute, 30.862 seconds (110.739 m.p.h.).

The provisional pole win gives Servia one championship point and a guaranteed front row starting position.

Will Power (1:30.895), Justin Wilson (1:31.365), Paul Tracy (1:31.820) and Neel Jani (1:32.520) completed the top-five.

Sebastien Bourdais crashed at the 14-minute mark in turn one. The penalty was losing his fastest time and he qualified eighth quickest.

After not being on track since the first week in September, the Champ Car Series returns to the track at one of the drivers' favorite venues - the Australian Gold Coast.

"I only touched down in Brisbane this morning and I am already loving this place," said rookie Simon Pagenaud. "It's great, warm weather and the beaches are out of this world. I've been looking forward to coming down to this event all season."

When we last left the series, Wilson was winning the inaugural Bavarian Champ Car Grand Prix at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands. The No.9 RuSport driver crossed the finish line 7.226 seconds ahead of Jan Heylen for his first win of 2007.

The win pushed Wilson past Robert Doornbos and into second place in the championship behind three-time series champion Bourdais. However, Bourdais holds a commanding 58-point lead in his attempt for a fourth consecutive title as he leaves the series for Formula One in 2008.

Bourdais, who finished seventh at Assen, couldn't clinch the title, but crept a bit closer with his 10th top-10 of the season. But it seems inevitable that Bourdais and the Newman/Haas/Lanigan team will add the fourth notch this weekend.

The race is scheduled to drop the green flag on Sunday at 12 a.m. (et).

10/19 01:05:39 ET

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