London Champ Car Trophy Pre-Race Quoteboard PAUL TRACY ( ...
London Champ Car Trophy Pre-Race Quoteboard
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I'm excited about racing at Brands Hatch, not only as a driver but as a person who's interested in the history of motor-racing and Brands Hatch is certainly a name that one associates with this history. It strikes me as the type of track where you have to be aggressive, but at the same time, you've got to keep your wits about you. There are certainly plenty of rises, twists and tricky sections, so it's very challenging in that respect. I'm just going to try to draw on my driving experience to handle those challenges. From what I can tell, the passing windows are relatively small, but there are definitely a few places and opportunities for passing. Team Player's has done an absolutely phenomenal job right from the start of the season, and I couldn't be happy with the way things have clicked. Going to a new team, you're usually going to have a certain transition phase, but we were on the same wavelength from the get-go, and that's been a major reason for our success in the first three races. People keep asking me how long we can keep this winning streak alive, and I don't even think about it in terms of a streak. Everyone on Team Player's just focuses on the next race and what we can do to be in a position to in front at the end."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "When I raced in F3000 I used to live in England and I really enjoyed my time there. The only track that I really raced on in England was Silverstone because we raced with the Formula One series. I still have friends there so I am looking forward to racing in England again. I have never raced at Brands Hatch but I watched a friend race there. It's a pretty cool track that looks very fast especially Turn 1 and it has some other nice corners. It is a short course and we are going to lap very fast around the track. I'm anxious to go there and put in some fast laps. I think fans in the UK are road course fans. They are used to watching road course races like F1. When we race there on a road course, they're going to love it and because the track is just outside London it will be easy for them to get there. I really think they are going to love it! I think for sure that we are going to be the fastest cars that have raced there. I don't know how the race is going to go but I hope that the No. 1 PacifiCare car will be in front."
MICHEL JOURDAIN (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It is great for the Champ Car World Series to be going to a track with as great a tradition as Brands Hatch. I have never raced there, but several of the other drivers in the series have raced there since they began their racing careers in England. The British racing fans are some of the most knowledgeable in the world, so the atmosphere should be unbelievable. Anytime you go to a new track the engineers do a lot of simulation work ahead of time trying to get a basic setup. That gives us a basic starting point for when we go on track. We did a pretty good job at St. Pete of anticipating what our set-up should be so I feel confident heading into the race. I think the Gigante team showed everyone at Long Beach what we are capable of. Sure it still hurts a bit that we didn't get the win at Long Beach, but on the other hand I am very proud of what we did accomplish that weekend. We won the pole and we showed we could dominate a race. If we can dial in the car like we are capable then maybe when I come back from Europe I will finally have that first win."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am excited to go back to Brands Hatch because it is a track that I have taught so many people on as an instructor. This is basically where my dream started in terms of my international career and now, going back as an owner and a driver, is going to be very special. I love the track and I think it is going to be an exciting race that I am really looking forward to. It is also going to be a very physical race. The most exciting corner will be Paddock [Hill Bend - Turn One, which is a fast corner on the crest of a hill]. Obviously I have never taken it in these cars so it is going to be quite a new experience."
JIMMY VASSER (#31 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I ran at Brands Hatch back in the day in a Formula Ford and also on the big track in an F3000 car, it's certainly a special place with unique history. Anytime you have the opportunity to race at one of the world's most prestigious tracks it something you really look forward to. I think we are going to have an exciting event there, it will be tough, it will be physically demanding, but it should be a good race. I am really happy with the qualifying rules, single car qualifying will allow us to post our best possible lap, and it should be something special for the fans as well. We are coming off of strong results combined for the team at Long Beach and we need to keep that momentum going, if the momentum is there, results will be there as well."
ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Brands Hatch is one of the most famous tracks in England and when Formula 1 was racing there back in the early 80's, it was known around the world. Going there for me is great because it brings back lots of great moments in my first years of racing when I was building myself as a driver... it was a very important place in the beginning of my driving career. My very first time driving there I had the pole and finished first or second. And in 1980, I won the Formula Ford World Cup Festival there. The circuit is so exciting with the level changes and such. You must be very precise on this track with a car that turns in well the way Champ Cars do. But more than that, it's a beautiful place and the fans are very knowledgeable about racing. I'm excited to return there and I think it will be a great weekend for everyone."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I'm always keen to race on tracks that I haven't been on before, especially one with as much motor-racing history as the Brands Hatch Circuit. I've heard about it and read some things about it, and now I'm going to have the opportunity to experience it for myself. I guess I'd better prepare my stomach for Paddock Hill and some of the other elevations. It looks like the type of track that is going to keep everyone close to the pack throughout the race, so it's probably going to come down to strategy, execution and running as flawless a race as possible."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Brands Hatch will be an interesting race for the Champ Car World Series and a great racing "show" with many different types of cars participating. The BTCC (British Touring Car Championship) and the Porsche Cup will be like a new culture of racing for the Champ Car fans. The Brands Hatch race course is new to the majority of drivers and this will level the playing field for new and old teams because no one has the advantage of a long history racing there. Driving and engineering the car will be even more challenging because of Champ Cars' regulation that teams to use similar pieces and set-up packages for both European races. Tight passing and unpredictable weather will also add to the excitement of this new venue and race."
MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "It will be really nice to be back to Brands Hatch. It kind of is my home track, because I lived in England for eight years. It's the only track on the whole [Champ Car] calendar that I've been on. I had two pole positions in Formula 3000 at this track. It should suit our Reynards very well, so we are really looking forward to it."
DARREN MANNING (#15 Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "Firstly, it's going to be the closest thing to an oval that we've run on, as in road course, especially road course trim with braking, lots of gear changes and things. I mean, there's fast corners like Paddock Hill Bend and Surtees kink at the back, which are going to be very, very challenging. But I think the fact that it's so many right-handers, it's going to be very, very tough on the outside tires, especially in a long two-hour race. And overtaking? Well, I mean, like any circuit now where if you brake a meter too late, you're going to run wide. It's always difficult to overtake, even with long straights. But going into Paddock, you can maneuver a bit inside. You've got a little bit of room to collect a little bit of distance to collect the car before you come out of Paddock. You can get a mistake coming up on the exit of Paddock, as well. You can get a good run up into Druids, which is a bit hard-braking and down into second gear. I know the Formula 3 cars there are running at around 41 seconds, I think. Obviously, we don't have much space to stretch our legs over there, 220 horsepower little beauties. But I think we're probably going to be getting into the 37s, I would say. Pretty fast."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "England has so much history in motorsports... I always wanted to race there but never had the opportunity as I was coming up the ladder. Brands Hatch in particular has such a famous reputation - it's a name I've known since I was very young - so I'm really looking forward to racing there. My teammate Roberto Moreno has had a lot of experience racing there in the early part of his career so I'm sure that will be helpful to the team. And the 30-second laps should make it very interesting for both the drivers and the fans!"
TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "First of all it's great to come to Europe! It is really important for us European drivers to be able to satisfy our sponsors, and to provide an amazing American show to Europe. Then, Brands has a name of its own! I never raced there but heard a lot about it! It's one of the fastest races on earth (not including ovals) and I really think I should like it. It's small but smooth; I think it's going to be a great race. Anyway, I'm glad to be close to my sponsors, family and friends!"
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I ran at Brands Hatch back in the day in a Formula Ford and also on the big track in an F3000 car, it's certainly a special place with unique history. Anytime you have the opportunity to race at one of the world's most prestigious tracks it something you really look forward to. I think we are going to have an exciting event there, it will be tough, it will be physically demanding, but it should be a good race. I am really happy with the qualifying rules, single car qualifying will allow us to post our best possible lap, and it should be something special for the fans as well. We are coming off of strong results combined for the team at Long Beach and we need to keep that momentum going, if the momentum is there, results will be there as well."
PATRICK LEMARIE (#27 Scientific Atlanta Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am looking forward to returning to Brands Hatch. I last raced there for the Formula Ford Festival in 1991, and I was on pole. I am glad to be racing in Europe as well, because I am close to home and my friends and family can be there."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It will be fun to return to Europe to race. I don't know exactly how many family members and friends are coming to the race but it will be around 30. T his will be their best opportunity to see me race because most of the events are too far away from them so it will be exciting for me. I think the Brands Hatch course will produce tight racing because of the length of the track. It will be really nice for the fans because the can basically see the entire course. I don't think the top-speed will be very high but we can put on an exciting race for the fans. I think oval racing is still a bit hard to understand for the Europeans so I think they will enjoy having the Champ cars race on a road course. To have the race take place so close to London is good as well."
ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "The London Champ Car Trophy is an important race for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team. We have been very quick and in a position to score big points in the first three races of the season, but we just haven't had things go our way. Sometimes that happens in racing. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team just has to keep working hard and I am sure we will start scoring the points we feel we deserve. I am looking forward to racing at Brands Hatch. I drove the Formula One track in 1993 in a Formula Renault and even though we will not be racing on that circuit, to be competing at one of the most famous racing venues in the world will be very exciting. The track looks very challenging and I think it will be a good race for the fans. The London Champ Car Trophy race will be like a home race for me. I have a lot of friends coming from Barcelona and I need a lot of tickets."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I actually can't wait to get there and see the circuit for myself. I'm usually the one who can share information about the track layout to Darren, so this time he's had to tell me. It sounds like a fantastic, challenging track with a lot of hills and fast corners, but it's hard for me to imagine right now. We had a really good test in Portland last week and hopefully that will help us score some points in England."