CART Champ Car Saturday Quoteboard SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS ( ...
CART Champ Car Saturday Quoteboard
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "You know, I think we had a very strong car since the beginning of this event. It was a big surprise, especially in qualifying, because we were so quick in Brands so we thought we didn't trim enough of the car because you all know that we had to keep the same configuration for this event about the choices on the downforce you know. We set the best lap times this morning and we knew that it was possible to do it for qualifying. It was because of my job because as Michel said, it was flat all the way around and it's going to be a very interesting race because in traffic, the car is difficult to drive. We just have to wait until to tomorrow to see if we did a good enough job to prepare for the race."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I don't know, last year I should be on the pole, especially on the ovals. It's frustrating, although I am second and that's not a bad position but I am two-tenths off the pole that's a lot of difference for an oval."
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am happy although it is such a long race tomorrow that qualifying doesn't matter so much, but it is better to be in the front than in the back. We knew we had a good car even this morning and I know that Team Rahal always has a great car on superspeedways so I went out and just got a feel for the car early and within a few laps we were flat out."
MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We had a very good result after a difficult day. This morning, we had an engine problem and had to switch to the backup car. We lost about an hour of practice. When we got back out, we had to change our plan and work on qualifying setup. That didn't go well -- first oversteer, then understeer. I have to credit my engineer, Andy Borme, for very good between the sessions. He made a lot of changes for qualifying and it worked out well. And my guys did a great job getting the car ready for the qualifying run. So we are pretty satisfied, overall, to start fourth. It will be my first oval race and I am sure it will be different for me and the other rookies. We plan to work on our race set up, finally, tomorrow in the warmup, and hope to have a good race."
DARREN MANNING (#15 RAC/Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I was suffering with a really big push all morning, so we made some changes going into qualifying. We made the car a bit better, but with such little testing time, it's difficult to make the car one hundred percent. We've got some good things we can try in the morning session tomorrow. It's great to be in the top-five though. The RAC Walker Racing crew has been improving with each race, so we'll see how we go tomorrow."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We had a good run in qualifying today - I think we got everything out of the car that it had. I am a bit surprised at how fast people are going overall but we were flat out and gave it our best shot. I think the race will be very busy with the traffic and will be very interesting to watch. Everybody on the Herdez team is working really hard and we've been hunting good results all year. At Brands Hatch we had a good race strategy and great pit stops and it resulted in our first podium. I really feel that we are on our way up as a team. We are right in there every weekend, consistently fighting with the leaders. That's what it's all about."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "It's fantastic that we're going to start the Corona car in the top-ten for tomorrow's race. The Walker Racing crew has been working very hard to get the car right for this race and hopefully we can take this qualifying effort and post a similar finish. I'm very happy to be making my first Champ Car oval start here in Germany; it's a great facility. The fan turnout over the last couple of days has been impressive and I'm sure we'll give them a good race tomorrow."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We qualified ninth this afternoon and that's a little disappointing because we expected to do a little better than that. The EuroSpeedway is awesome and I'm running flat all the way on the track. The car is smooth, but we're looking for more speed. We're restricted to how the car is set so we need to work on slight details which will reduce drag and make us quicker. For the race tomorrow, I predict there will be a lot of pack driving, so we must all respect each other, stick to the oval rules. We must pay attention to the two-stage speed limit, where slower cars stay lower. It'll be intense."
PATRICK LEMARIE (#27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It was our first experience here. We had a very good balance for qualifying, but we were a bit slower than we had expected because of the aero package. We have a strong race car and are happy to be in the top 10 in qualifying for the first time. We are definitely expecting to have a good race tomorrow."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We had too much drag. We will race hard tomorrow, there are a lot of pit stops, so I will have to have very strong in and out laps. We can't seem to get the car settled, the guys have really been working at it, but it's not happening. We are here to win, we won't give up, there are always bumps in the road, we've hit a few on this European tour, but we'll get through it."
ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "The car is actually a bit too hooked up at the moment - more like a race car than a qualifying car. While that might hurt us a little bit today, it's actually good for tomorrow. But we really didn't want to take many chances with the set up. The car was pushing a lot this morning but now it's very well balanced. So far this season, the team's Chief Engineer Tom Brown has been overseeing both my race engineer Chris Gorne and Brian Ma who is with Mario. For this race, Tom has taken the lead because Chris is a 'rookie' in engineering a Champ Car for an oval and we really appreciate his experience and input. As I said, we had much more grip than we needed for qualifying. We'll make a couple of little changes for the race and we'll be right there."
TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "It's very frustrating right now. We don't understand what the reason is for us not having more speed. We were slower at top speed in Brands Hatch and here it is the same. We have basically the same set up as Mario (Haberfeld), but there is a big difference in the performance of the two cars. Now we are going to analyze everything and see if we can get more
speed for tomorrow. Qualifying is not as important on an oval, but it's still frustrating. The worst part is that we don't understand why. Otherwise, I'm enjoying the ovals; I enjoyed Las Vegas during our test and now I'm enjoying myself here."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We're struggling for sure. This morning was my first time in a Champ Car on the oval, I enjoyed it. I would imagine it is a lot of fun when the car handles properly. We did not test on the oval, so we are playing catch up. We had a very busy practice session this morning. We tried a ton of changes, we didn't cure our problem, but we did learn a lot."
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "This is not very good obviously. The car has too much drag. I was running flat out all the way around. I did not even have to steer. I did not think it would be this critical. We went to Brands Hatch with too much downforce and since we could take only one aerodynamic configuration package for this European trip, it turns out that it's hurting us both ways since we had to retire from the race at Brands. Today, I gave it everything, but the car is not responding. I wanted to take the seat out of the car for qualifying so that I could sit lower in the car and improve the aerodynamics but they told me it was illegal."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We have too much downforce. I wanted to shorten the track by driving through the pits to reduce my times but I figured this may not be a good idea. When you look back, we did not get that much of an advantage at Brands Hatch. Team Player's opted for bigger wings for this trip, but we can't even get close to the rear of the preceding car on this track. We tested on the oval at Homestead (Florida) prior to this trip, but the temperature was hotter than here and that produces more downforce. In traffic, we now have too much drag. There is not enough downforce to be comfortable. The car is like a parachute. I suppose that Paul and I will have a good race. Seriously, for the race, we will work as a team to move up the field because this is probably the only way we are going to be competitive."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am very disappointed. Engineering-wise, we missed the mark big time on the aerodynamics and the rules that applied to here and Brands Hatch. We are very slow -- basically 11 mph slower than the fast guys. I feel really bad for our sponsors because there is basically nothing we can do. The new aero rules mean we have to race here with what we qualified in England. The downforce package that we chose to use is not right. We are way, way, way too slow. It's a shame. We were in a good position in the championship and this is a very bad mistake. We are going to lose some points. The only way we can improve in the race is by people dropping out. I'm very disappointed right now. Tomorrow is another day and we always keep our hopes up. Hopefully we will be able to take away a few points."