Assen, Netherlands:Three-time champion Sebastien Bourdais won the pole at the Champ Car's maiden Dutch Grand Prix on Saturday, edging rival Justin Wilson for the top starting spot.
Bourdais, hoping to become the first Champ Car driver to claim four straight titles ahead of his switch to Formula One next year, was timed at 1 minute 18.765 seconds around the 4.55-kilometer (2.83-mile) Assen track. Saturday's win was the Frenchman's sixth pole position of the season.
Wilson clocked 1:19.710 to take the second spot while rookie Tristan Gommendy qualified third in 1:19.025.
Robert Doornbos, a rookie who is second in the open-wheel championship's overall standings, must finish sixth or better in tomorrow's event to stop Bourdais from clinching his fourth title.
"The pressure is not to win the title but to get the points," said Bourdais.
Driving on his home turf, where he was continuously cheered by a small partisan crowd, Doornbos finished ninth in 1:19.612.
Posting a podium finish at Assen may boost Doornbos' slim chances of catching Bourdais after officials canceled the season-ending series at Phoenix on Dec 2.