CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF HOUSTON PRESENTED BY LASALLE BANK FINAL QUALIFYING QUOTES Sebastien Bourdais ...
CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF HOUSTON PRESENTED BY LASALLE BANK FINAL QUALIFYING QUOTES
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st)
"Last time we sat on the pole we went on to lead the race after a big fight with Paul. It brings us back four years back. It's a good feeling obviously. It's about the closest margin you can hope. I think the option tires are a little tougher to work. We struggled a little bit. In the first run we got some traffic also. It wasn't really the best run we could hope for, but the McDonald's car is very good. This session, as yesterday, only took place in the first half, and the second half was ruined by red flags and traffic. It's very typical of the racetrack. Unfortunately when it's a 56-second lap, it doesn't give you much distance between the 18, 17 cars we have on the track. That's the way it is. You've got to manage it. We did pretty good today. It's good time for the race of tomorrow."
Simon Pagenaud #15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 2nd)
"I think it's going to be quite spectacular. I'm just very proud about what Team Australia did today. We were struggling a little bit in the morning. Went back to the truck, worked quite hard with my engineer. I'm very happy because we had very good discussion, very good communication together. We went back on track this afternoon. The car was just perfect. Went back to pit lane and I said, That's the best car I ever had. We can do it. Put black tires on. Did quite a decent lap. Could have been a little bit better. But, you know, got some traffic. But I'm very happy about what we did. After that, we had the red flag. I put red tires on before. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to see what was doing the red tires. Looked like we could have gone quicker. We know we have a very good race car. I think we're going to be up there tomorrow. We're going to try to do a good strategy, save fuel. We'll see where we end up, but I'm sure we'll be up there."
Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 3rd)
"I think we're in a pretty good position for the race because, as you've seen in past years, there's a lot of mayhem. I had a look at last year's race. I count every single person, every driver in the whole field made a mistake, spun or ran off, got hit off, whatever. I think it's going to be pretty mixed up tomorrow. I think it will be a lot of fun for the fans."
Graham Rahal #2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 4th)
"It's finally starting to go our way. I think it was a good day for the Medi | Zone team. The car felt good but I certainly think we had enough to be on pole. Everybody else ran Bridgestone alternates right away and we didn't because yesterday we ran then and we were a little worried about performance and today they were definitely better. I'm happy about the performance of the Bridgestone primary tires but had we gone on the options on that run I'm pretty confident that we would have been on pole. As we all know it's a long day around Cleveland and its going to be a hot one I hear, upper 80s. It will be a hard day. It's always nice to come home and race and have some fans here that are backing you. They have always been supporters of dad so it's nice to have a second generation here. It's nice to be back."
Robert Doornbos #14 Team Minardi USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 5th)
"It was a tough start to the weekend, but the team has worked hard and we've adjusted the car to the track. I think we'll have a strong race car, as it felt good today during the longer stints. As for qualifying, you have two chances only, and although a second-row grid position was definitely on the cards, there just wasn't a chance to do the lap time on the second set of tires once that red flag came out with about three minutes to go in the session. The good news, though, is that we now have a fresh set of Bridgestone reds in hand for tomorrow."
"Speedy" Dan Clarke #4 Team Minardi USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 6th)
"We said yesterday that we didn't get a fair crack at the whip, and we were confident of a top-six qualifying performance, and we have been proven correct. We could have been quicker on the second set of Bridgestone soft tires if not for the red flag in the last couple of minutes of the session. Even so, I think we can be pleased that we have a good starting position for the race. We'll now just do what we normally do, and work on tire and fuel strategy. We nearly always have a good race car, so then it will be down to how the afternoon plays out."
Paul Tracy #3 INDECK Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 7th)
"It's strange because when we run on old tires we are super fast and consistent. But when we put the sticker Bridgestone Potenzas on we just can't seem to find those four or five tenths that you usually get with fresh rubber, for some reason the car just doesn't behave as well on new tires. But what that actually means is that we have a very good race car, just not a good qualifying car. I am very confident about tomorrow because if we can run at the pace that we've been running in practice with used tires we should be able to easily climb up through the field and get a podium finish. A good result here is very important to us, I want to get to Canada with good momentum and put on a good show there."
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 8th)
"We are obviously not very happy with our result today during final qualifying. I am not really sure what is going on with the #9 CDW car today, but we are going to work on it and see if we can not find where we are losing it. We have a lot of work to do, but this is a long race and you never know what can happen. So we will do the best we can to prepare for tomorrow's race and hopefully find exactly what we need to put the #9 CDW car back on the podium this weekend."
Alex Tagliani #8 RSPORTS Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 9th)
"I would be lying if I said that we were happy, because we are not. We are disappointed and a little concerned. There is going to be a lot of hard work in front of our boys tonight, but we are not throwing in the towel just yet. The Cleveland race is always a race that is filled with attrition and a lot can happen. Also, in the championship standings, everyone is getting closer and closer, so I am pretty sure that we are going to see a lot of little things happen in the race as everyone fights for valuable points. So far, I think we have not been in the window that we need to be. Justin (Wilson) and I are very close together in our lap times, and if we can improve a little bit, that would be very great. I am sure our engineers are going to scratch their heads tonight, try to improve, and come up with some options tomorrow to see if we can't find a solution for the race. Other then that, I am just going to race as hard as I can in the #8 RSPORTS car and see where we cross the finish line."
Oriol Servia #7 INDECK Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 10th)
"We improved the car a little bit from yesterday, we definitely picked up some speed but I just couldn't get a clear lap during the second stint, so we should've been a little better. I don't think we had enough for the top three but still we should've been higher up the grid. We have a very good race car, the car handles great on old tires so tomorrow I think we'll have a good race."
Alex Figge #29 PCM/Molecule Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 13th)
The car is getting better, we are definitely making progress. The biggest problem we had today is figuring the right strategy for the session. We've been playing it safe by going out early and trying to get a lap in. We may be playing it too safe because as we are our fastest the other guys are on their out-lap and off pace. I need to work on getting up to speed faster but we may also need to wait another minute or two. Strategy is a big part of the game for sure, but I am pleased and I think we are going in the right direction."
Ryan Dalziel #28 PCM Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 16th)
"The car is fine but I was blocked on all three sets of tires. I have never seen anything like that in my career. I am so disappointed and one of the Forsythe cars held up the whole lot on that last flyer after the red. It's a long race and one thing we've proven in our first four races is that we can hang in there and that is what I'll have to do tomorrow."
Jan Heylen #34 Champ Car Grand Prix of Belgium Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 17th)
"That was a difficult qualifying session. I'm disappointed with my performance because we have a fast car but that spinout cost me time up on the board. However, it is a long race and we plan on using all of our resources to make sure we are tough competitors and have a strong finish."