McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS ON PROVISIONAL POLE FOR THE CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF CLEVELAND; JUNQUEIRA FIFTH FASTEST Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Well, it was a great lap, but I wish I could have done it a...
McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS ON PROVISIONAL POLE FOR THE CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF CLEVELAND; JUNQUEIRA FIFTH FASTEST
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Well, it was a great lap, but I wish I could have done it a little earlier. I just talked about it with PT (Paul Tracy), and the first run, I don't know if he made a mistake or tried to get out of the way with Cristiano. I just ran into them on the last two corners, so I stopped that lap and the next one because it was the last corner, so I tried again but really didn't put another one after that. And the second run, a Rocketsports car spun in front of me, same thing, last corner and I said, boy, that's it, it's going to be really difficult from now on. And then I was able to re-collect a little bit myself and just try again. On the two last laps on the second run was my only opportunity.JThe last one was very clean, but the front tires starting to give up a little bit so I was very intent not to over drive it. It really feels like these Bridgestone tires this year are a little bit better; there is definitely more grip. I think the guys at the track did a good job to put these curbs on the last corner and in the last Chicane. That's definitely a good thing because it used to be a real mess. Now it's fair for everybody, the track is the same for ever lap and you don't have dirt on the track anymore. It's good, I am pretty happy with the McDonald's car right now."
- FAST FACTS: Will be his be his here. Started third, ran as high as second and finished fifth here last year due to the timing of the caution flag and his final pit stop. Started third, led 88 laps and won back-to-back races here in 2004 after having provisional pole taken away on Friday. Won from pole in his rookie race here in 2003 after having led 33 laps to earn his first win in the U.S. in the debut of having McDonald's on his race car...Currently leads the series point standings with 163 points to Justin Wilson's 132...Will attempt to become the first open wheel driver to win three consecutive championships since Ted Horn did so from 1946-1948.
Bruno Junqueira, No. 2 Hole in the Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I'm impressed with the lap that Sebastien did. Apart from that I feel we are pretty close with everybody else. The car was good. On the second set I had to slow down twice for slower traffic and didn't ever put together a perfect lap. We'll see if we can make some improvements for final qualifying and improve our starting position."
- FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth race here. Missed the 2005 event due to injury sustained in the Indy 500. Started sixth, dropped to 13th, came back to set the fastest race lap and finish second in 2004. Started fifth and finished third in 2003. Started eighth and finished 13th after mechanical failure in 2002. Started 16th and finished 23rd in rookie season here in 2001 after contact with C. Fittipaldi entering the pits...Is ranked 10th in the point standings after begin taken out of the race on Lap 1, Turn 1 in Long Beach, ran out of fuel due to miscalculation in Houston, was penalized for blocking in Monterrey and was taken out of the Milwaukee race on the first lap. He started from pole in Portland and finished fourth.
- NEWMAN/HAAS RACING FACTS: NHR has won FOUR races at this track (Bourdais 2004 & 2003; Michael Andretti 1991; Mario Andretti 1988) and FIVE poles (Bourdais 2003, da Matta 2002, Mi. Andretti 1989, Ma. Andretti 1984 & 1983). They have earned a total of 14 podium finishes (2nd -- Junqueira 2004, Mi. Andretti 1998, Mansell 1994, Mi. Andretti 1992, Ma. Andretti 1989; 3rd -- Servia 2005, Junqueira 2003, Mi. Andretti 1999, Mansell 1993, Ma. Andretti 1986). In 2005: Bourdais started third, ran as his as second and finished fifth due to timing of caution prior to his final stop. Servia started sixth, set the fastest race lap and finished third.
ON THE SCHEDULE TOMORROW: The morning practice will take place from 10:30-11:30 while final qualifying will take place from 2:00-3:00.