FINAL ROUND OF BRIDGESTONE POLE QUALIFYING A.J. Allmendinger ...
FINAL ROUND OF BRIDGESTONE POLE QUALIFYING
A.J. Allmendinger #7 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I think the whole Forsythe team today was quite amazing. In practice we were fairly close, but by everybody seeing the times, everybody was really close, and my engineer Mike Canon just kept fully working on the car as the practice went on. We kept getting it better as the practice went on. But we never got to really do a new tire run to see what the car was like so in qualifying, the car was really good on the blacks. I didn't get the lap that I needed on the blacks, even though it was fairly quick. Then in the reds the car was just about the same and a little more grip from the red tires, and it was just kind of a pretty stable lap and it was really good. I was nervous I knew Sebastien was out there, so I had one more lap to go. I was on a big quicker lap and I ran out of fuel, but fortunately enough, we were able to hold onto it and I really think the car is going to be pretty solid for tomorrow's race."
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I guess we lost our best lap for running too many laps. Ken called me on the radio that I was out of laps when I was already on the wrong side of the track coming into pit lane. I guess it really didn't change much of anything anyway, but I guess today we just missed it. The car was good, but not good enough, just a great job from A.J. and he just put a very strong lap together. We seem to be struggling a little bit in qualifying on the second day. Every year it's the same, we just -- we lose a little bit the balance on the car. We're trying to get rid of the understeer that we build up. We just don't seem to find a really good way, so the car is a little harder to drive and we just don't go as fast -- we don't make as big an improvement as the others. It's a little tough, but yeah, we're right there and we'll start from the first row tomorrow and hope to have a solid start without any incidents and if that's the case, then we'll go racing."
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I'm very pleased to be third-quickest today. I would have liked to have been quicker, but we've got a little bit more work to do to find some more speed. But it gives us a good starting position for tomorrow. We're around our main competitors, so hopefully, the CDW team can have a good, strong race and be on top of the podium tomorrow."
Oriol Servia #6 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I am very happy, very happy with the performance of the Gulfstream - PKV Racing car in final qualifying. Things are starting to look more the way we like it. The computer screens after the qualifying session today looked much better. This is what the team needed after last weekend, which was very difficult for us because we had the incidents and we didn't have the speed. Then we only had a week to put three cars together and the PKV Racing crew did a great job. I expected it from them, but I am also very proud of them. The biggest thing this weekend is that we are just working step by step, improving every session, which is the way we usually do things. We didn't get impatient and didn't let the expectations get to high. It is very competitive out there. It feels like everybody is pushing more than ever...all the team all the drivers are really picking it up and it is really hard to get into the top-six in any session. I am just very happy with the way things went today."
Paul Tracy #3 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "First of all I have to thank my crew guys because they did an amazing job. I hit the wall coming off the chicane and we had to go to the back up car, they really hustled and managed to have the car ready to go in a matter of minutes. It was really difficult once I got in the back up car, even though the cars were set up almost the same there's always differences. I'm very disappointed because we had a great car and we were never able to show our speed. We have a good set up tomorrow and I know that I'll be challenging for the win."
Nelson Philippe #4 CTE Racing -HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I am very pleased with the team as they have done an amazing job this weekend. It's good to be where we are in the top six as it is what we initially aimed for at the beginning of the season, but now we've got to the point where P6 isn't good enough anymore and we honestly think we had enough to be P4. We tried our best but it didn't fall perfectly for us this afternoon. Bruno spun in front of me so I had to back out of it, but overall we have had a good weekend and I know my car will be great. I'm ready to have some fun!"
Bruno Junqueira #2 Newman/Haas Racing Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola - "Maybe I could have picked up a couple of positions, maybe fourth or fifth fastest, but that is all we were capable of. I have never qualified well here. I'm good on Friday, not on Saturday but I always race well here. Traffic caught me out on the second run when I was behind A.J. and he slowed on my good lap but overall we didn't have enough speed. We'll try to put together a good race tomorrow and get some points."
Cristiano da Matta #10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "It was a difficult day, because I couldn't get the car to handle the way I wanted. Obviously, I'm disappointed for the whole team. We're scratching our heads and trying to find what's wrong, and what we need to do to be better. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. The track is good, and A.J.'s time is proof of that. We just need to sort out our problems and be better tomorrow."
Dan Clarke #14 CTE Racing -HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I was just piped to the tenth spot by Paul Tracy, but it's very close and I think if I'd had more track time this weekend, I could have been up higher. It's frustrating when you're learning the track and don't have all the time that you want. Every lap I was getting quicker and quicker, but with only 15 laps it's an intense qualifying session during which I have to analyze and improve each and every lap. From 11th place, we're going to be in the thick of the pack for the first corner, which I hear is fairly notorious for first lap incidents. I'll sit down with my engineers tonight to put together our race strategy. I'm happy that we have the car and the pace to have a good race tomorrow."
Katherine Legge #20 Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I was disappointed with qualifying because the Bell Micro - PKV Racing car is better than where we qualified. I think it was one of those situations where I never got track position. I would have the first four laps clear and then, when I should have been running my fastest laps, I would run into traffic. I thought we should easily be in the top-10 with the car we've got. It is just disappointing because I didn't get any clear laps at the end of my runs. I am also disappointed because the Bell Micro - PKV Racing crew did a great job getting the car back together after the misdemeanor earlier today. The car is a good race car, so I am confident that we can have a good race tomorrow."
Nicky Pastorelli #8 Curacao/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "Well we are not where we want to be again, but a lot can happen during the race because this track is so wide open. It is important to be fast here during the race because there are so many possible opportunities to pass and overtake to gain positions. I think that we are there, and that we will have an interesting race. On my last lap of qualifying today I lost it (the car) a bit and that threw off my lap time. Before the incident, I was on my way to posting my fastest time of the session, which would have seen us two spots higher on the starting grid. So it is a shame, but good to know that the #8 Curacao/Rocketsports car is quick and that we have the potential to improve our position tomorrow during the race."
Tonis Kasemets #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "This was a good session, maybe not the result, but the overall learning process for us. We made improvements on the car and we found the direction that we would like to go. So we will make some small changes tonight on the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports car, which should get a second off of our time from today in hopes of having a faster car tomorrow for the race."