MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. ( ...
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Well, it was a really weird day. Coming into the weekend, I mean, when we came here testing in January, and Newman/Haas was so fast. I really thought they were going to be so hard to beat. You know, Player's, they were very fast on the road courses last year, too. So I was expecting - to tell you the truth, for me qualifying fifth would have been like almost pole position. So yesterday when we were seventh, I thought we could maybe be a little bit faster. Suddenly when I made my time, I was quite amazed with the time. But I'm like, "Okay." I was just waiting for them to go out, and go out, and just see my name go down. I was just holding on, holding on, holding on. Then when the checkered came out, I couldn't believe it."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It was all right. We worked on race setup this morning, but the car is still really fast. You run old tires, two seconds faster. Just in the end, Sebastien ran stickers and he passed me. I was quite confident for the qualifying, but unfortunately when I started to qualify, there was a red flag. On the first set of tires, I couldn't get the proper run. I run like 9-8. I was quite amazed with Michel's time. I think at that time I was second fastest. But then I said I have to find something. We did a change on the car, and the car got really, even worse. Even if I got the clear laps, I wasn't able to improve much. The car was really loose, really difficult to drive. It's a shame because the PacifiCare car has been good all the weekend. Just when I needed it most, maybe I make a mistake when I asked for the change from the team."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It's a good spot to start the race. All I needed was four hundredths to get the pole but I went just a little bit off in corner 10 and it cost me. We saw Michel (Jourdain) do his first quick lap early in the session (lap 5) and Team Player's decided it was time to go, but so did everyone else who was watching him. We had a good car today but it did understeer a bit. We will have to make it better for the race. It's going to be a long race and we must stay focus and aggressive during the whole time."
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We are not even two tenths off and in fourth. It was a difficult session. The car was inconsistent. I would go into the fourth corner and the car would understeer. The next time by at the same spot it would oversteer. I did my best out there today. Team Player's can improve the car for the race. Tire wear will be very important. The key is to make a good start. I must overtake my teammate but I must also be smart because it's a long race and I need to score a lot of points."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I have no idea what happened but we had no power when we put the second set of tires on. On my first run we didn't get clear laps by the time I had already passed the top performance of my tires. I came in for my second set and went out right away to try to secure a time for our second run but we had an engine problem. We'll put a new one in for the race but we're starting P5 (position five) instead of further up."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We concentrated on full tank runs this morning and didn't really focus too much on qualifying. We thought we were going to be fine, better than what we were. We obviously didn't find the speed that Michel [Jourdain] found from yesterday. The car was too loose on our first two runs. We managed to fix it for the last run and had a better car but I was fighting with a brake vibration problem that developed at the start of the session. That took a lot of the energy from my arms and it was really tough to turn the steering wheel the last few laps coming down the hill. Apart from that, I am pretty happy with sixth place. I think everybody did a good job. We probably could have improved a little bit more but that's how it goes. I think it's a good starting position and if we finish tomorrow, we can have a good result."
MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We were not as competitive as we were yesterday, but I'm satisfied with our starting position. We're the top Reynard chassis. We still have issues with balance; over steer and under steer, which is not good as it's hard to fix both, but I'm confident that we'll be okay for the race."
DARREN MANNING (#15 RAC Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "That's where we should have been in this morning's practice session. The car was almost identical to what we ran this morning, but we broke the diff at some point during the morning session and had to stop early to repair it. I'm pretty pleased with a fourth row starting position. In the race it's a totally different matter. I needed to be in the top-ten to stand any chance of getting up on the podium. We know our race pace is always very good. The RAC Walker Racing crew consistently gives me great pit stops during the race and that will be an advantage for me tomorrow."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We had higher expectations, but we are happy to start in the top ten. The car is the best it has been not only this weekend but all year. We are definitely nibbling away at it, especially as a race car, I think I have a good car for tomorrow. It is just awesome to run here in front of my family and friends, I am looking forward to a good day tomorrow."
ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "First I want to thank my crew. They did a awesome job putting the car back together after the mistake I made this morning. I feel like we really gave it ten-tenths today; really got the maximum potential out of the car as it is now. We'll make some fine adjustments to it now to try to increase that potential for tomorrow. All in all, I felt it was a good run."
ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I had just done what I thought was a pretty good lap, but I knew I was still a second off the top speed at that time. I figured the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team needed some magic, so I was trying to put together one more very quick lap. The Visteon/Patrick Racing car was a little loose and I just lost it in Turn #4. It's a shame because the team worked very hard to give me a decent car for final qualifying. It is going to be a long race for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team tomorrow starting 11th. However, after the crew finishes fixing the damage I think we will have a good car for the race. Stranger things have happen here at Laguna Seca, so we can still have a chance to have a good race."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "To be honest, I'm not very happy with the result today. I thought we had a good car for qualifying but when I went out for the session, the whole balance of the car had changed - it was very hard to drive. I don't know what happened; why it's so different from this morning. We gave it our best shot but it just wasn't enough."
BRYAN HERTA (#27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I think we are all a little disappointed right now -- not that I thought I would show up for my first race with the team and put the car on pole. We're obviously struggling mightily with the car right now, so we will have to make a lot of changes overnight and see what happens tomorrow."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We have had fairly good results at every event up until now and even posted a 1:10.435 (lap time in seconds) during the January open tests here at Laguna. We have not had great results this weekend, but we have at each event up until now, so this is disappointing. We're down on shocks and have poor valves. We know what heights and springs to use, but we're struggling to get better grip. We'll look at our options and choose the best to help us gain some speed in tomorrow's race and hopefully move up the grid."
TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "It's really annoying; there's supposed to be respect between the drivers, but for some reason it seems like this weekend everyone is trying to piss each other off. There should especially be respect and cooperation between teammates. It's really sad; the car was better, the team was better and our result is not reflecting our true abilities. I was 1/2 second faster in the warm up, but because we're only allowed a certain number of laps, you can't always wait for a clear lap. I'm still optimistic that we can finish in the top 10 tomorrow."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "It was difficult to get a clean lap this afternoon, but the Corona car got better from the first outing (of qualifying) to the second outing. We'll try to have a consistent race tomorrow and climb positions. It's going to be a difficult race, but I've had a couple of top-ten finishes here in the past in Toyota Atlantics and it would be great to match that effort in my first Champ Car race at Laguna."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We were going in the right direction this morning, the car definitely felt better. We made some changes to the car that gave us the opposite result of what we were looking for. It will be a long day tomorrow, I am hoping for a clean start a good race and to earn some points at the end."