Bourdais grabs pole for race 1 in Toronto doubleheader


The Sports Network

Toronto, ON ( - Sebastien Bourdais will start on the pole for the first race in the Honda Indy Toronto weekend doubleheader after topping the charts in Saturday morning's qualifying.

It's the first time Bourdais has won a pole for an open-wheel race in seven years. His most recent pole came on Sept. 2, 2007 in the Champ Car event in Assen, Netherlands. He won four straight Champ Car titles from 2004-07.

Bourdais, in his first season as driver of the No. 11 car for KVSH Racing, made a lap around this 1.75-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit at Toronto's Exhibition Place in 58.9479 seconds (107.179 mph) during the third and final qualifying round (the "Fast Six").

"The [car] was really strong in qualifying today," said Bourdais, who earned his 32nd career pole in open-wheel racing but his first in the IndyCar Series in 53 starts. "It's a bit of casino race here [on the streets of Toronto]. Anything can happen. But we keep on displaying pace and showing up at the front, so hopefully at some point, it's going to break and we're going to make it."

Bourdais has yet to win a race in IndyCar competition. He had 31 career victories in Champ Car, with his last win occurring on Nov. 11, 2007 in Mexico City. He started on the pole and won the 2004 Champ Car event in Toronto. Last year at this circuit, he finished second (race 1) and third (race 2) in the weekend doubleheader, driving for Dragon Racing at the time.

Bourdais became the 10th different pole winner in 13 IndyCar races this season.

Will Power qualified second with a lap in 59.1025 seconds, while his Team Penske teammate, Helio Castroneves, who is the current points leader, placed third (59.1499). Castroneves enters race 1 with a nine-point advantage over Power.

Ryan Hunter-Reay will start fourth in Saturday's 85-lap, 150-mile race, followed by Simon Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan, rookie Luca Filippi and Justin Wilson. Hunter-Reay won his third race of the season last weekend at Iowa.

James Hinchcliffe, the only Canadian competing in the Toronto doubleheader, qualified ninth, while Ryan Briscoe took the 10th spot.

Scott Dixon, the three-time and defending series champion, will start 12th. Dixon scored a weekend-sweep in Toronto last year.

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