Scattered rain showers and cooler temperatures made for a chaotic final qualifying session and left Team Rahal's Michel Jourdain Jr. tenth on the starting grid for Sunday's Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver.

Jourdain turned a best lap of 1:02.141secs in the Gigante/Centrix Financial sponsored Lola-Ford car during the final single car qualifying session around the 1.647-mile track, a two tenths of a second improvement over his provisional effort but not good enough to move him off the fifth row of the grid.

"Our qualifying time improved today, but so did everyone else so the end result is we are still tenth," said Jourdain, who also started tenth in last year's inaugural Centrix Financial GP. "The changing conditions made it very difficult today. When I went out for my laps there was still a bit of moisture on the track, but when I got out of the car the conditions were a lot dryer. The car was extremely loose. Maybe it was the track or maybe that changes we made for qualifying just weren't enough.

"The only thing that went our way is 'PT' [Paul Tracy] spun and will start right next to us on the fifth row. In the big picture of the championship Paul is whom we are racing against so we didn't lose ground to the championship leader."

The pole went to Newman-Haas driver Bruno Junqueira who won the provisional pole on Friday. When Junqueira was ready to make his final run he still held the pole position and did not want to chance his car in the rainy conditions, so he never ran a Saturday qualifying lap.

Subsequently Oriol Servia was quickest on the day and he claimed a spot in the outside of the front row with a Saturday-leading time of 1:01.477secs. Championship leader Tracy will start ninth, next to Jourdain, after spinning on his quickest lap.

 

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