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Defending Champ Justin Wilson Earns Pole For Grand Prix

Justin Wilson is the defending champion at the Molson Grand Prix of Toronto, and thanks to his efforts in Saturday’s qualifier, he’s in a very good position to repeat.

Wilson captured the pole position for Sunday’s race Saturday afternoon, securing a front-row spot alongside American A.J. Allmendinger, who took the provisional pole on Friday.

Each driver has a maximum of 15 laps over 30 minutes to get in the quickest lap.

In crystal clear conditions, the England native tore up the 1.755-mile street track with a time of 58.182 seconds and a top speed of 108.590 miles per hour on his 12th lap.

Sebastian Bourdais, who currently leads the Champ Car drivers’ standings, will start third in the grid and Toronto’s Paul Tracy, also known as The Thrill From West Hill, will start from fourth spot.

“We had a good time on the blacks but we still just can’t figure out why I’m slower on reds,” Tracy said.

“We went two-10ths of a second slower when we put the reds on from the black time. Everyone else picks up a half-second or more … so it’s just frustrating.”

Tracy and Allmendinger are racing for the first time in Toronto as teammates, adding an interesting dimension to a race where the former is a hometown favourite, the latter one of the favourites.

Either way, positioning will be a major factor in determining who wins the big race, especially considering three of the last four winners in Toronto have started from the pole.

“We’re fourth on the grid, which is a good starting position,” Tracy said.

“I think our race setup is good and the car is consistent.”