PAUL TRACY ( ...
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"The car was good but the track was dirty as people spun off at several spots. It's a good thing we did our quickest lap early in the second half of the session because at the end, the track was dirtier. I'm happy for Team Player's. We have a one-two, and it's the first time this season. We used a lot of Pat's set-ups from last year and we improved on it. It's good to get the point and it also locks up the front row for me. I think that qualifying will be quicker Friday because there will be more rubber on the track and it will also be cooler."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"I'm very happy. We had a good session and it turned out to be exciting at the end when I spun on a very quick lap. I pushed just a little bit too much. At that point, we were ahead, time wise, on our quickest lap of the session. Paul (Tracy) had a perfect lap and I didn't. This is the first time this year that using last year's Reynard set ups that we're successful. Team Player's will make some adjustments for tonight, as it will be a bit cooler on the track. Tonight's sessions will give us a very good idea on what to expect for tomorrow night's final qualifying and also good indications for the race."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 McDonald's/Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"I think it's a lot of fun on this track. You can push very hard. We saw a lot of guys going off of the track because basically you can go out of the line and still continue in the session. So it's a lot of fun, you can push hard, and it's interesting. The problem is basically when somebody goes off of the track, it carries some dust on the line, and when you arrive on that, most of the time you spin off, so you put even more dust on the track and it gets worse and worse. So it's fairly difficult to manage that. It's also very difficult to anticipate because you never know who did the mistake in front of you or not. So it's pretty tough. But it's the same for everybody."
ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team did a good job today in qualifying. Unfortunately, for provisional qualifying it is really pole or nothing. Pole means front row, the rest means nothing. Overall, fourth is nice. It means that we are closer to the top speed than we have been the last three races. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team had a very good test in Mid-Ohio earlier this weekend and the results showed today. We just need a little more speed. Fortunately, for us it is just a matter of fine tuning the car and getting ready for final qualifying tomorrow evening. I think the times will be quicker tomorrow night because the track will have more grip and it will be cooler. It should be exciting and fun to qualify at night on this circuit."
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"I am very, very disappointed with Paul [Tracy]. We were P1 and P2 on the first set of tires and he goes out on the next set just to block me. Every lap he backed out before the last chicane when I was coming. He didn't do a single fast lap on his second run. Then when he finished his run I had one timed lap left and he parked it in the first chicane. I didn't get to complete one fast lap on my second set of tires. It just kills me that nothing is being done about this. I saw Jimmy [Vasser] had the same problems with Patrick [Carpentier]. I am not sure what strategy Players is running, but they are out there blocking everyone. It is frustrating. It isn't like this is a new thing with them. Paul had exactly the same problem with a lot of drivers at Portland. We made some changes for the afternoon session and the Gigante car was much better than this morning. We were second quick on the first set of tires and we made a change that made the car feel even better. I had three laps that were faster than my fast lap from the first qualifying stint, but I couldn't finish a single one."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"The car is very competitive this weekend. I was on my second flyer, and on my second set of tires that were not up to temperature yet and lost pressure and they locked up. But I'm confident it's a top five car."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"We didn't do many laps this morning because the track was very green. We came out this afternoon for qualifying in basically the same position. The car is still not absorbing the bumps as I would like through the transitions and that's where you make the speed here. On my first run in qualifying, I made quite a few mistakes. The setup that we had was too aggressive for the track and it was just hard to stay on track. We made some changes and the car was better, but still we need to work more on the car to make it transition better."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):
"None of these guys out here have any courtesy. All of my best laps were ruined because of a lack of courtesy. The penalties need to be handed out if a driver doesn't look in his mirrors. The car was pretty good straight off the trailer. I just never got a clear lap. I'll have a better result tomorrow. "
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"Overall the session went okay, we've improved quite a bit. (My engineer) Brian Ma made some good changes to the car. We ended up having a better package for the last session but I was blocked by all of these guys, especially Adrian Fernandez. We would have improved quite a bit if we hadn't been blocked. The car was actually much better than what the time showed. We will be okay for tomorrow."
DARREN MANNING (#15 RAC/Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):
"(Mario) Haberfeld held me up at the end of my first qualifying run which cost me a couple of tenths and I didn't really have a good lap on my second run. We're struggling on the first day again with no real data to work with from last year. We'll do like we always do though and put our thinking caps on to try to improve the car for tomorrow. The advantage we have here is another couple of practice sessions, the first night sessions in Cleveland, to try to improve the #15 RAC Walker Racing Champ Car before final qualifying."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"At the end of the second timed lap the gearbox broke. It was a good lap that would have been a 0:58.00 which was probably second at the time and the tires weren't even up to temperature yet. The car was obviously good because we were P1 this morning and we were going to fight to put the PacifiCare car on pole, so it's a shame."
ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"I was down a half a second on my best lap of the first stint when I caught up with Bruno Junqueira on the last three corners; he was going really slowly and it just ruined my last timed lap of that stint. The second part of qualifying, we didn't get the tire pressures exactly the way we wanted them so we really just missed it there. I've got a quick car and my health is coming back so I'm not overly worried. We have a car to start much higher up the grid but we just didn't make it there because of the traffic. We'll just wait and see what tomorrow brings!"
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):
"The session was not bad considering my massive lack of front grip. We have a lot of work to do tonight to find that grip. We saved a set of tires, so we only used one set in qualifying and most everyone else used two. So that should give us an advantage for the race. "
TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):
"We're better than what it seems. We just need to get it right on the tire pressures. We really only get like 10 flying laps; 5 and 5 and it's just not enough to get the tire pressures where we want them. The car's not totally balanced, but the last 2 laps were better. It feels like 1 more lap; 2 more laps and we'd be there. We just need to find a way to get the tire pressure up faster. The track is very bumpy and we're still working on the balance. We'll work on it some more and get it right for tomorrow's qualifying session."
MAX PAPIS (#27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):
"It is a bit frustrating. We tested at Mid-Ohio before we came here, and we still have a lot to learn. We are making some progress, though. But I guess we are basically starting over. For this team, Portland was like our first test in January. Unfortunately, our results don't show the progress we are making."
MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):
"I think we had a very bad session this morning. We were far off of where we should be, but we're making improvements and we'll continue to make improvements. The team always comes through for me. I'm sure we'll be where we want to be tomorrow."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "Considering how limited we were this morning on laps run, I'm fairly pleased with how qualifying went. My first qualifying run went well, but I was hurt during my second run. Someone made contact with a tire barrier in the chicane putting tires right in the driving line on one of my hot laps. So far I've only run 20 laps on this circuit and I need every one to count. We're still battling oversteer through Turns 2, 3, 4 and 5. Luckily we have two more sessions this evening to work through this."