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Forsythe 1-2 in Saturday practice

AJ Allmendinger and Paul Tracy staked their claim as pole position contenders when they headed this morning's free practice session at Surfers Paradise.

The Forsythe Championship Racing pair, who both crashed yesterday, stormed to first and second, Allmendinger getting a 0.078-seconds edge over his teammate to set a 1:32.929 lap, an average of 108.276mph.

The worry for Tracy (and indeed RuSPORT's Ryan Briscoe and PKV Racing's Katherine Legge) is that just as the session finished, a heavy shower soaked the circuit.

More is predicted for this afternoon, and so track conditions could be considerably slower than in first qualifying yesterday.

None of these three set a time in qualifying yesterday, so unless they can top this afternoon's final qualifying session, they're going to be starting the race from the back of the grid.

Newman/Haas Racing duo Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais were third and fourth fastest this morning, but the star of the show was unquestionably Antonio Pizzonia, who wrung the neck of the Rocketsports car to get within 0.2 seconds of Bourdais.

The car was frequently exiting corners at alarming angles, but he held it together and continues to impress everyone in the team.

Nelson Philippe pipped CTE Racing HVM teammate Dan Clarke in the dying seconds of the session to grab sixth, but Clarke - who is completely new to this circuit - was 0.03 seconds ahead of Rookie of the Year rival Will Power.

Team Australia driver Power banked a front-row grid slot by topping qualifying yesterday but his driving this morning gave no hint that he is going to coast through qualifying this afternoon, pipping his teammate Alex Tagliani by 0.038 seconds.

PKV Racing are curiously off the pace this weekend, Oriol Servia and Legge languishing in 12th and 16th places respectively.

Pos  Driver        Team                   Time
 1.  Allmendinger  Forsythe Championship  1:32.929
 2.  Tracy         Forsythe Championship  1:33.007 + 0.078
 3.  Junqueira     Newman/Haas            1:33.064 + 0.135
 4.  Bourdais      Newman/Haas            1:33.080 + 0.151
 5.  Pizzonia      Rocketsports           1:33.194 + 0.265
 6.  Philippe      CTE - HVM              1:33.905 + 0.976
 7.  Clarke        CTE - HVM              1:34.020 + 1.091
 8.  Power         Team Australia         1:34.051 + 1.122
 9.  Tagliani      Team Australia         1:34.089 + 1.160
10.  Briscoe       RuSPORT                1:34.115 + 1.186
11.  Dominguez     Rocketsports           1:34.415 + 1.486
12.  Servia        PKV                    1:34.570 + 1.641
13.  Heylen        Dale Coyne             1:34.626 + 1.697
14.  Ranger        Mi-Jack Conquest       1:34.747 + 1.818
15.  Zwolsman      Mi-Jack Conquest       1:34.864 + 1.935
16.  Legge         PKV                    1:35.415 + 2.486
17.  Wirth         Dale Coyne             1:38.218 + 5.289
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