CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca: RuSPORT Saturday report

Gigante pilot Michel Jourdain Jr. turned in his best qualifying effort of the season as he and the ...

Gigante pilot Michel Jourdain Jr. turned in his best qualifying effort of the season as he and the #9 crew parlayed tight teamwork into a 5th-place starting position for tomorrow's Grand Prix of Monterrey. Jourdain's effort also helped deliver RuSPORT's best team qualifying result, as his teammate A.J. Allmendinger qualified just ahead in the 4th spot. His run today resulted in the best showing of the Mexican drivers. As Michel takes the green flag tomorrow he will capture a prestigious milestone, passing Bobby Rahal and Michael Andretti for the fifth-longest streak of consecutive Champ Car starts with 146.

Michel Jourdain Jr.

"Since the beginning of the season our major problem has been qualifying. For this weekend, we tried totally different approaches to our qualifying sessions and it worked. The other thing that helped us a lot was teammate work and communication, because in the end, we used A.J.'s set-up. So we're getting much better at running our qualifying days. I'm glad to be starting the race inside the top-five for the first time of the season and I enjoy driving here at Laguna Seca, so I will try to maximize that combination to drive the Gigante car to the podium for tomorrow's race."

Jeremy Dale, Team President

"Michel did a great job today despite having to play a little catch-up, in terms of car set-up. He just grabbed that Gigante car by the scruff of the neck and dragged it around the track. The RuSPORT team did a solid job in managing the qualifying session for Michel. We have had confidence in the ability of our race cars, but qualifying had always been a little weak for us. Today we made big strides there and delivered both cars in the top- five. I know we're capable of turning that into podium results tomorrow."

A.J. Allmendinger drove the #10 Western Union to his fourth top-five qualification of the season in today's final qualifying session for Sunday's Grand Prix of Monterey. A.J.'s best lap clocked in as the third- fastest time of the session and will place him 4th for tomorrow's starting grid. The Hollister, CA native turned in the best rookie qualifying effort as he just missed taking his second Champ Car front row start. As the 22 year-old takes the grid for his "home" race on Sunday, it will also mark his eighth top-ten start in just eleven races. Allmendinger's fourth position helped deliver RuSPORT's best team qualifying effort. A.J.'s teammate Michel Jourdain Jr. will start just behind him in 5th.

A.J. Allmendinger

"I'm really happy with the car; it was just amazing. My engineers Chris (Lerch) and David (Brown) and my whole crew just did an awesome job. Every lap today I just kept getting more and more out it. Third-quick for today is good, but the car had more to give me. I know I could've been second- fastest today, and I think I could have been a contender for the pole, but I got caught up by some slower traffic and my rhythm got disrupted. I know the car could've given it to me though. I'm ready for tomorrow's race, the car is ready, and I know this track so I'm going to shoot for the podium."

Jeremy Dale, Team President

"A.J. just put forth a great effort today. He got a little hung up with track position, but he certainly got a lot out of the Western Union car. RuSPORT has two cars starting in the top-five and I know we're capable of turning that into two cars on the podium. We've always had really strong race cars, but had trouble putting all the pieces together for strong qualifying results. Today showed a big step forward in that area and I think we're going to be able to really show what we've known our race cars can deliver."

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , A.J. Allmendinger , Michel Jourdain