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France's Sebastien Bourdais earned his third straight pole position at the Montreal Champ Car Grand Prix. ((Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press))

French driver Sebastien Bourdais captured the pole position at the Montreal Champ Car Grand Prix for the third straight year by winning Saturday's qualifying session.

Bourdais posted the quickest lap on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve track, crossing the finish line in one minute, 20.182 seconds. It is his seventh pole this season.

American A.J. Allmendinger earned the other front-row spot for Sunday's race by finishing second in 1:20.361.

England's Justin Wilson qualified third in 1:20.587, while Toronto's Paul Tracy placed fourth in 1:20.669.

Andrew Ranger of Roxton Pond, Que., was ninth in 1:21.561,and Alex Tagliani of Lachenaie, Que., was 12th at 1:21.926.

Bourdais was already assured of a spot in the front row after winning the provisional pole in Friday's qualifying session.

Despite earning three straight Montreal poles during his career, Bourdais has never won the event.

This year'sMontreal Champ Car Grand Prix has received a bit more buzz thanprevious yearsbecause of the war of words between Tracy and Bourdais.

Tracy has been heavily criticized by local media for his comments earlierthis month about French-speaking auto racers refusing to take off their helmets during fights.

Tracy made theremarks after he and Bourdais got into a heated exchange and shoving match following a collision at a Denver race two weeks ago. On Thursday, Bourdais said Montreal fans should voice their displeasure with Tracy.

With files from Canadian Press