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de Silvestro takes Trois-Rivieres Atlantic pole.


It was a history-making day in qualifying for the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres as Atlantic Championship points leader Simona de Silvestro took pole position with the fastest-ever open wheel lap of the historic street circuit.

de Silvestro's time of 58.662secs in the #78 Team Stargate Worlds entry capped qualifying day at the 40th anniversary running of the event, and was quicker than 58.716secs effort posted by Cristiano da Matta in an Indy Lights machine in 1998 and was also quicker than Jonathan Bomarito's 2008 Atlantic record of 58.989secs.

As if those records weren't enough, the Swiss driver also became the first woman in the history of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres to qualify on the pole position for any class racing at the event. It was the fourth time this season that she has earned the $1000 Cooper Tire Pole Award, and she has gone on to win the three previous events she started from top spot this season. The pole-winning driver at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres has also gone on to win the last ten consecutive Atlantic races at the venue.

“I'm really happy to have pole again because the Newman Wachs boys, the last few weekends, were always a little bit quicker than me in qualifying, so I'm really happy,” de Silvestro said, “Team Stargate Worlds did a great job. We unloaded pretty fast and we tweaked it a little bit here and there and we always went a little bit quicker, so I'm really happy.

"The car feels really good and really consistent, so I hope for tomorrow we can do a good start and drive up front and stay there. The car is great. I really have to thank all the team and my engineer for giving me such a good car every weekend and everybody in the Atlantic series, Cosworth, Mazda and Cooper Tires. It's a great event here in Three Rivers. I'm really excited to be here. It's a little bit weird to come back to a street course because we didn't do any this year, so it was kind of weird, but it's a lot of fun and I really enjoy it.”

Taking second on the grid was John Edwards in the #36 Newman Wachs Racing car. It is the fourth consecutive front-row start for the 18-year old American, who heads into Sunday's race second in the championship standings, now trailing de Silvestro by 17 points.

"It's interesting being in the same team with Jonathan [Summerton],” Edwards said, “We've sort of had opposite weekends until now. I struggled when we came off the trailer and he was quick, and then we went in the right direction and I guess they made some changes in the wrong direction. I was quite happy to be fighting for pole there at the end.

"It's a bit disappointing, as always, when you don't grab pole, but I was really happy that the car was where it is and we've improved on that because, quite frankly, I was very disappointed with fourth this morning in practice. It was really good to fix that and move back up to the front row. It's going to be hard because the straights are very short here. It's going to be hard to pass Simona tomorrow. Hopefully, we just get a good start, settle in and then see if we can get quicker than her, but so far this weekend, she's been right on pace in every session. We'll analyse the car and see if we can make it better for tomorrow and, hopefully, get the win.”

Summerton took third on the grid in the #34 sister machine, the American F1 hopeful claiming an eighth top-three qualifying performance in nine races this season as he looks for a second consecutive victory after winning last time out at Mid-Ohio last weekend.

“It was definitely a hot session,” Summerton reported, “I really don't know where we went with the car. It definitely was not in the right direction. It's very disappointing, actually, to be where we are after being so strong in practice. The guys did a great job on the car, we just made a little bit of a mistake with the set-up. It's going to be a hard race tomorrow, a long race, and very warm, but we're going to do our best. We're going to go back there tonight and figure out what the problem was.”

Markus Niemela, the 2008 Atlantic champion, placed his #1 Jensen MotorSport car fourth on the grid, while rookie Frederic Vervisch completed the top five for Genoa Racing. It was the Belgian rookie's seventh top-five qualifying performance, but there was disappointment for Britain's James Winslow, who saw a top five practice performance translate into ninth on the grid.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Simona de Silvestro - Team Stargate Worlds    [pic credit: Atlantic Championship/Phil Sedgwick]
Simona de Silvestro and Justin Wilson on course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Thursday May 14 2015. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro sits in her car (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro in pit lane (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro`s car is returned to the team garage after catching fire. (Photo by: Mike Harding for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro discusses her incident during practice for the Indianapolis 500 (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan and Gil De Ferran during a press conference at IMS (Photo by: Tim Holle for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan and Gil De Ferran during a press conference at IMS (Photo by: Tim Holle for IndyCar Media)
Simona De Silvestro, driver of the #78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, celebrates her second place finish Saturday October 5, 2013 during the Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar Race 1 in Houston, Texas. It was De Silvestro’s first-career podium finish, and her IZOD IndyCar Series career-best finish. (Photo Credit: Perry Nelson for Chevy Racing)
Simona De Silvestro, driver of the #78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, celebrates her second place finish Saturday October 5, 2013 during the Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar Race 1 in Houston, Texas. It was De Silvestro’s first-career podium finish, and her IZOD IndyCar Series career-best finish. (Photo Credit: Perry Nelson for Chevy Racing)
Simona De Silvestro, driver of the #78 Nuclear Entergy Areva KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, celebrates her second place finish Saturday October 5, 2013 during the Grand Prix of Houston IndyCar Race 1 in Houston, Texas. It was De Silvestro’s first-career podium finish, and her IZOD IndyCar Series career-best finish. (Photo Credit: Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, Simona de Silvestro and Justin Wilson celebrate after race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston double-header on Saturday, October 5 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro celebrates after race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston double-header on Saturday, October 5 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro gets airborne in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT on Saturday, August 31 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
KV Racing duo Simona di Silvestro and Tony Kanaan at the Pocono Open Test - July 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Brett Kelley for IndyCar Media.)
The wrecked #78 KV Racing Technology car of Simona de Silvestro is removed after an early accident in the second race of the Detroit Belle Isle double-header - Sunday June 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for indyCar Media.)
Simona de Silvestro on the fourth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Tuesday May 14, 2013. (Picture Credit: Forrest Mellott for IndyCar Media)
Simona de Silvestro on the fourth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Tuesday May 14, 2013. (Picture Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)

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