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Alonso Takes French GP Pole


Spanish Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Renault has won the pole for Sunday's running of the French Grand Prix in Magny Cours, France.

Alonso completed the 4.411-kilometer circuit in a best time of 1:14.412 seconds or an average speed of 213 kilometers per hour. It was his third pole this season and the sixth of his career.

Italian Jarno Trulli of Toyota was second, a little more than 0:10 of one second back. Kimi Raikkonen of Finland had the third-fastest time in a McLaren-Mercedes (1:14.559). However, Raikkonen will be penalized 10 places on the grid because he changed his engine after it failed in practice Friday.

Raikkonen's penalty means that seven-time driving champion Michael Schumacher of Germany will start third on the grid after posting the fourth-fastest time in qualifying. BAR Honda's Takuma Sato had the fifth fastest time, but will start next to Schumacher on the second row.

Alonso leads the overall points standings with 59 points. Raikkonen is second with 37 points while Schumacher is third overall with 34 points.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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