CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Ford Racing qualifying quotes

CARPENTIER QUALIFIES A SEASON-BEST SECOND - Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier claimed outside pole position for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland, lapping the 2.106-mile temporary road course in 57.470 seconds. Carpentier will be making...

CARPENTIER QUALIFIES A SEASON-BEST SECOND - Team Player's driver Patrick Carpentier claimed outside pole position for the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland, lapping the 2.106-mile temporary road course in 57.470 seconds. Carpentier will be making his best start of the season (qualified third in Milwaukee) and is Ford-Cosworth's best qualifier since Team Rahal's Jimmy Vasser captured pole position in Long Beach. Cristiano da Matta won the pole position by more than four-tenths of a second (57.040), while Dario Franchitti qualified third with his effort of 57.482 seconds.

Quotes:

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Qualified 2nd

A TREMENDOUS RUN FOR HERE YOU TODAY.

"I'm very happy and I'm so pumped up for the guys. The team did a good job and all weekend improving the car, and Ford-Cosworth did an amazing job with the traction control. On the last run they said they're going to change the entire (traction control strategy) and my exit from (turn) one was so much better."

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A WEEK MAKES. LAST WEEK YOU WERE STRUGGLING IN TORONTO AND NOW YOU'RE STARTING ON THE FRONT ROW.

"It's great to be starting next to Cristiano (da Matta). It's really good for the guys because we needed a good result."

DID YOU THINK YOU'D BE STARTING TOMORROW'S RACE NEXT TO DA MATTA?

"I'm really, really happy because yesterday morning it didn't look like that. Ford-Cosworth has done a tremendous job with the traction control this weekend and I've had absolutely no problems. Just for the last run on the last tires we changed it again tremendously and I just said that I'd take the risk. So we switched it and it was much better again and the car was good."

TALK ABOUT YOUR HOT LAP.

"I thought I was going to go off in quite a few places. Exiting from (turn) four the car wouldn't turn, but I kept my foot in it and it turned so we got the lap. On the next lap it didn't turn and I went into the grass and they were telling me (on the radio) to try and save the lap, but it was really good."

YOUR ENGINEER (MICHAEL CANNON) SAID THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO FIX WHAT YOU DIDN'T LIKE. WHAT DID HE MEAN BY THAT?

"On the road courses, actually this is my best position and my best weekend, I just explained to them what I needed to go fast instead of trying to suggest the changes myself. I didn't make suggestions as to what we should change, but instead I just said what I needed and they read me really well this weekend."

WHAT DID YOU NEED?

"What I needed was front grip at first and then rear grip and we kept going from front to back. But really what I wanted was stability over the bumps; I think that's the key here and we succeeded doing that."

JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford) - Qualified 7th

"I'm really surprised and happy with how the engine is running and with the work that Ford-Cosworth has done this weekend. We've been spending a lot of time with their engineers trying to make it better and I think we took a step in the right direction."

YOU'VE QUALIFIED IN THIS POSITION BEFORE THIS SEASON, BUT WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE FIRST CORNER?

"I can't think about it too much and you have to react when you get down there. It is what it is and you just have to try and make it through there, pick up some spots and hope for the best."

MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Competition Ford) - Qualified 13th

"I'm very pleased with the improvements we made last night. Tom (Brown), Keith (Wiggins) and I worked hard overnight to improve our setup and I think we did a good job. We're still trying to improve the team's chemistry and understand each other and I think made definitely made some gains towards accomplishing that."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Qualified 14th

"We obviously don't have the car. Pat (Carpentier) has a good set up and if he's able to do that fast lap then we should've been able to do it as well. We need to change our set up and we need to find out what he's doing or something because we've been struggling all weekend. He's been a little bit quicker each session, not by far, but then the last session he came out with a much better lap time and his car obviously works much better."

DID YOU HAVE SOME POPOFF VALVE PROBLEMS TODAY?

"Yeah. It's a problem, but I wouldn't have gone as fast as Pat anyway. We just don't have the right set up to go fast."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford) - Qualified 16th

"I'm really disappointed. This morning we were very good and then we went out and the car was not very good. We made some changes and I think the car was better but I just couldn't get one good lap."

WHAT DID YOU LOSE FROM THIS MORNING?

"We lost some rear grip for sure, but I just couldn't manage to get a clear lap."

-Ford-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Cristiano da Matta