Jimmy Vasser Qualifies 11th In Australia
Team Rahal driver Jimmy Vasser posted the 11th-fastest time during qualifying in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia, lapping the 2.795-mile temporary street circuit in 1 minute, 31.369 seconds. Newly crowned CART champion, Cristiano da Matta claimed pole position with his lap of 1 minute, 30.204 seconds, followed by provisional polesitter Bruno Junquiera, Tony Kanaan, Kenny Brack and Paul Tracy.
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford) –Qualified 11th – Will attempt to capture his seventh consecutive top-10 finish in as many races on the track where he made his CART debut in 1992 … has three career top-five finishes in Australia, including a win from the pole in 1996.
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford) – Qualified 12th – Having already established career-highs in championship points (102), top-five (five) and top-10 finishes (13), he’s vying to become the first driver to score points in every race of the season since Al Unser, Jr. did it in 1992 … is the only driver who has both finished and scored championship points in every race thus far this season.
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player’s/Indeck Ford) – Qualified 14th – Ford’s top finisher in Australia a year ago with a podium appearance (third), he has scored championship points in 11 of the last 12 races, highlighted by a second-place finish at Road America and a fifth-place finish in Toronto … has scored a career-best four top-five finishes this season.
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player’s/Indeck Ford) – Qualified 15th – Currently Ford’s highest driver in the standings with 115 points, good enough for fourth in the championship … after a mid-season streak that saw him post five straight top-10 finishes, including wins in Cleveland and at Mid-Ohio, he has scored points in just one of his last four races (Rockingham – third).
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford) – Qualified 18th – Struggling in his first appearance at Surfer’s Paradise where he will start from 18th on the grid … needs three points to assume the lead from Townsend Bell in the Rookie of the Year standings.