Champ Car Hurricane Relief 400 Pre-Race Quotes
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "The result last year in Las Vegas was definitely a big team effort. The engineering office definitely spent a lot of time thinking about what was going to be the best option especially for the race setup because it was pretty easy flat and everybody was able to make it easy around the place. It was about having the proper amount of downforce and being able to go through traffic with your foot on the floor and that's what we achieved and we had a really spectacular 1-2 with very exciting finish of the race. But I'm not too excited to try and do that again it's just really nerve racking. We'll see what happens but it was quite a race and hopefully it's going to be easier this year but I'm not quite sure about that really."
Oriol Servia #2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "In Las Vegas last year my previous team had a little issue in qualifying. We had a problem with the car and I couldn't even try to qualify so we started last but we had a very good start in the race. I passed nine or 10 cars in the first lap so it was actually quite spectacular. I had fun but I think this year being at Newman/Haas who finished one-two in Las Vegas so we should be in pretty good shape. Last year Newman/Haas was very strong in Las Vegas. The McDonald's and PacifiCare car had a close fight for the win. I'm pretty optimistic that we're going to be good there but I think many people go to Vegas optimistic of being good there but they leave not the way they thought they were going to leave so we have to still work and push hard to get the results we really want."
Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Las Vegas is a pretty special event. It's our only superspeedway race this year and it's at night, so that requires a pretty different approach to the weekend. Qualifying takes place during late in the afternoon during the heat of the day, so you have to spend the first practice session getting ready for that. The most important session of the weekend is really the last practice session on Friday night since that's the only chance to set up the car for race conditions on Saturday night. We dominated at the other oval on the schedule, Milwaukee back in June, so I'm optimistic, but the high banks and speed here are a lot different than the flat corners at Milwaukee so the setup we used there won't do us any good here. But I'm sure the Forsythe Team will put a competitive car on the track and we'll be going for the win."
Mario Dominguez #7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Of course Las Vegas is always a great place to visit. The track is state of the art and the town itself, well, it's Vegas, you know? I'm really looking forward to the race. One thing that's going to be very interesting is the Power-to-Pass button. We haven't had that on an oval before so it should be interesting. I'm guessing that everyone will save it for the last few laps so it should be a real shootout at the end. I know the Forsythe Team is going to have a good car there so I'm really looking forward to having a good result. Las Vegas would be a great place to celebrate!"
Alex Tagliani #15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I think we are for an exciting weekend. The new push to pass procedures are certainly going to add a lot to the race, because you are basically going to have cars passing other cars every time they use the button. That means we should have 18 cars at least doing six passes in the races so that's more than 100 passes before you think about anything else. You are definitely going to need some push to pass towards the end of the race, but it will also be important to stay with the leading group of cars who will be doing a lot of drafting. The big challenge will be trying to reduce the drag in the car and I know a lot of teams have been taking a different approach to this and our guys have been working very hard to try and give us an edge. The race has the makings of being one of the most exciting of the year and I think the Vegas fans are in for a real treat."
Jimmy Vasser #12 Gulfstream/PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "This will be my second hometown race of the season (Vasser resides in Las Vegas, NV, but was raised near San Jose, CA), so it give me another opportunity to race in front of my family and friends. That always adds something special to a race. In addition, I really enjoy racing on ovals and Las Vegas is one of two ovals we run on during the season, so I am looking forward to the race. The Gulfstream/PKV Racing team had some success earlier this year on the oval in Milwaukee. We took the pole and finished fifth, so hopefully we can do a little better in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a wide open track and the Champ Car Hurricane Relief 400 is going to be a wide open race. There is going to be a lot of passing and a lot of excitement for the fans. This is also a unique event because we race at night. It is actually a lot of fun. The lighting is so good at Las Vegas Motor Speedway that running at night is not a problem as far as racing and it is a lot more comfortable for gives the fans and drivers."
Timo Glock #8 DHL Global Mail Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "The Las Vegas event will be my second oval race not only this year, but in my entire racing career. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway oval will be a different experienced compared to my first oval race in Milwaukee. This oval's style is quicker and it will be a night race, so it should be an exciting event for me, and the fans. I hope we (Rocketsports) are well prepared for the race, but I can't predict just yet how the weekend will go for us. We will have to wait and see how it all goes, but one thing is for sure, we are heading into this event with some positive momentum after our podium finish in Montreal."
Cristiano Da Matta #21 Bell Micro/PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "The Champ Car Hurricane Relief 400 is going to be a wide open race. Every driver in the field has a chance to win this race. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is actually a very easy track to drive because you are flat (accelerator petal to the floorboards) all the way around. The biggest thing about this race is working with the draft. It is going to come down to who has the strongest team, gets the best pit stops and who works the draft the best. If you open the last lap in second place you are in good shape. This race will be decided on the last lap. The Bell Micro/PKV Racing team will be very strong in Las Vegas. The crew has done a great job in the pits all year and we had a good car at Milwaukee, the only other oval in our series."
Ronnie Bremer #19 American Medical Response/Dale Coyne Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I am sure we can do a good job. As far as the oval, I ran quite well on the oval in Milwaukee. I am looking forward to Las Vegas, especially a big speedway. I love fast tracks and this is probably our fastest, so I am sure it will be enjoyable especially with a good car. We need a good result for the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year battle which is very, very important to me and would be a great reward for my team and sponsor AMR. It has been a challenging month for a large part of the United States since Hurricane Katrina and it is a pleasure and an honor for me as an athlete to race in honor of the people who have lost so much."
Ryan Hunter-Reay #31 Red Paw Systems Inc. /Rocketsports Ford-
Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I'm really looking forward to our first night race of the year in Las Vegas. This event is a completely different style of racing than anything we have seen this year. The cars will also have completely different packages when it comes to aerodynamics, so it will be interesting to see what tricks are pulled out of the bag by what teams. The key to being fast in Las Vegas is minimizing drag as it's completely flat out all the way around. You can have a good oval car here, but if your aero package isn't spot on you could find yourself struggling. It'll be an interesting weekend to say the least."
Nelson Philippe #34 Wellbox Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I can't wait for this oval race to start, Las Vegas is a great city to be racing in and I love the rush of the high banks of the track and the wheel-to-wheel action at +200mph. This weekend, friends and family are coming so I have extra motivation to do good! Last year MJCR had a good car here so we feel confident with our package. For sure it will be tough but we are all up to the challenge and we want to prove to the racing community that MJCR has what it takes to be up front. Being away from the car for more than 3 weeks, I am desperate to race again. I don't know how I will survive the winter with no races... probably gonna have to go race go-karts with daMatta and Servia!!"
Marcus Marshall #5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "This is an absolutely new circuit for me and my second every attempt at an oval in any sort of car. While saying that I do have the experience from Milwaukee earlier in the year under my belt and I am confident we can put together a solid result. I have been at the workshop each day since returning back from Australia last week and the guys have done a hell of a lot of work in preparation for the Vegas event. We are going to the track with no data from the Lola chassis, but the team has done everything it can to reduce some of those differences. With the effort that has gone in from this end, it would be disappointing if we did not make something of it."
Rodolfo Lavin #55 HVM Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I am happy because it is going to be the first oval for me of the season and I am looking forward to it, especially because I ran in the top-four throughout the race last year and finished fourth. The track is a lot of fun, I know it very well and I believe we are going to have a very good car because a lot the race last year, I was fighting with Hunter-Reay and Dominguez so I know HVM was competitive and has a good set-up. It is a flat-out track, you can be flat easily by yourself, but as soon as you get into the draft, it can be tricky and you have to concentrate, there are more factors with the drafting zones. It is a lot of fun though, it is fast. Last but not least, I love Las Vegas, it is a great place to visit and I am very proud to be racing for the Hurricane Relief fund."