CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca: Newman/Haas Saturday report

Mcdonald's Driver Bourdais Earned his Seventh Pole of Season for The Bridgestone Grand Prix of Laguna Seca; Pacificare Driver Junqueira to Start Eighth Sebastien Bourdais, No. 2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It was definitely not...

Mcdonald's Driver Bourdais Earned his Seventh Pole of Season for The Bridgestone Grand Prix of Laguna Seca; Pacificare Driver Junqueira to Start Eighth

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It was definitely not easy. It took a lot of work for the McDonald's crew to make this happen. They have been working their butt's off. My first run was pretty good but I made a few small mistakes. I came in and we made some changes to the car. On my second run I couldn't get any lap times in because Michel was really struggling in front of me. He put his wheels off the track a couple of times and having a difficult time. Once I was clear of Michel I pushed hard because I though I only had one lap to do it. I locked my wheel and went off the track. I was sliding as much as I could to try to avoid contact. I had a pretty decent flatspot after that I figured that was the end of the session for me. I prayed it would hold and put more brake bias to the rear. I put two pretty decent laps up that I was pretty happy with. It was not the ideal situation but we are on pole and that's what matters. The alternate Bridgestone tire is definitely a huge advantage but consistency is a major factor. In the race you will probably see drivers having two good stints and one difficult one. These cars are pretty difficult to learn about. For me, it's the knowledge of the race car that has led to our improved results. I had a hard time last year, mainly on road courses. I won some poles but I was never really happy with the balance of the car. This year has been very productive and we have learned more about how to make the car comfortable for me."

* FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here...Started fourth in 2003 and was in third place when his pop-off valve broke at the end of the race and he finished 17th...Has won five races and seven poles in 11 events...By earning seven poles in 11 events so far this season, his average is a 64 percent...By earning his seventh pole this season, he matched former NHR driver Cristiano da Matta number from his 2002 championship-winning season...Set a Champ Car record as the first driver to start in the top three in the first 11 events to begin a season...Leads the point standings with 259.

Bruno Junqueira, No. 6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "After the first set of tires I was third fastest. The PacifiCare car was not perfect but it was okay and I was only 3/10ths (of a second) from pole at that time. I figured we would improve on the second set of tires but when we went out the car was not good. It's a long race here; let's see if we can get the car back and earn a good finish."

* FAST FACTS: Will be his fourth race here... Started and finished second in 2003. Started third and finished fourth in 2002. Started 12th and finished seventh in 2001...Finished in the top-four seven times in 10 races, including one win (Montreal) and four second-place finishes. Set the fastest race lap three times...Is second in the point standings with 224.

-nhr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Sébastien Bourdais , Cristiano da Matta