TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec – Alex Tagliani claimed the pole position for the JuliaWine.com 100 in NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 qualifying on Saturday at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.
Tagliani – a native of Lachenaie, Que. – got around the 1.53-mile street circuit in 67.080 seconds for an average speed of 82.111 mph. The time bettered the previous track record of 67.661 seconds (81.406 mph) set by Andrew Ranger in 2009 by over a half-second. It was the second pole win at the famed track for the IZOD IndyCar Series regular, having last earned the honor in 2009, and the fourth of his Canadian Tire Series career that will cover 16 starts. His last pole win in the series came in June 2011 at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Que.
Local Trois-Rivieres product Louis-Philippe Dumoulin – second in the series standings – was second fastest at 67.355 seconds (81.776 mph). He started from the pole at GP3R last season before finishing second to Ranger in the race.
Marc-Antoine Camirand earned the start in the Canadian Tire Series race by winning a Quebec Sportsman race on Friday night. The sports car-racing veteran with 20 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series starts to his credit recorded the third-best time in qualifying at 67.376 seconds (81.750 mph). Camirand will make his first series start in Sunday’s JuliaWine.com 100.
Former Formula One and IndyCar Series champion Jacques Villeneuve qualified fourth at 67.467 seconds (81.640 mph) followed by J.R. Fitzpatrick in fifth with a time of 67.576 seconds (81.508 mph).
Alex Labbe, Martin Roy, defending series champion D.J. Kennington, Kerry Micks and Alex Guenette rounded out the top 10.
Points leader Scott Steckly, who has won each of the last three series events, qualified 14th.
Each of the top-six qualifiers eclipsed Ranger’s track record as cooler than normal weather kept the track temperature down.