CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach: Newman/Haas Racing Friday report

McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS ON PROVISIONAL POLE FOR TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH; JUNQUEIRA SECOND FASTEST Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It's pretty unusual for me to be in the first spot on the ...

McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS ON PROVISIONAL POLE FOR TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH; JUNQUEIRA SECOND FASTEST

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It's pretty unusual for me to be in the first spot on the first practice of first qualifying session in Long Beach. It proves the McDonald's team had a good off-season. The team worked extremely hard to keep an edge on people. The track may have been as good as it's ever been here and the Bridgestone Potenzas worked very well for me today."

- FAST FACTS: Will be his fourth race here. Started fourth and won in 2005 after he led 37 laps. Started second and finished third in 2004. Started fifth in 2003, led three laps and was in fifth place when his engine failed after 70/90 laps which resulted in a 16th place finish...Will attempt to become the first open wheel driver to win three consecutive championships since Ted Horn did so from 1946-1948.

Bruno Junqueira, No. 2 Hole in the Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Just myself and God knows how hard I worked to be back. It's been almost a year without competition. I love Champ Cars. All I have done is racing the last 19 years. I'm really lucky that Paul and Carl are super nice and kept me on the team. Every one of the mechanics and team members supported me all the time through my recovery and I am thankful. It feels great to be back here and to have found some speed on the first day. It feels really good for the last three years for it to be Sebastien, Paul (Tracy) and myself always up here. The Newman/Haas car is very good. Myself and Seb worked hard over the winter in testing and so did the team. The changes to Turn One made the corner a lot faster but it may have taken a passing opportunity away because the braking zone is a bit shorter now. But the track is good and I really love racing here."

- FAST FACTS: Will be his sixth race here. Started second and led eight laps but finished third here last year. Won the pole in 2004 but finished second after running a conservative race strategy. He started 4th and finished 3rd in 2003; started 3rd in 2002 and ran the fastest race lap but contact ended his day in 17th place; started 28th in his rookie season in 2001 and finished 9th...Finished second to the champion in three of the four full seasons he has competed in. Finished second to Cristiano da Matta in 2002; second to Paul Tracy in 2003 and second to Bourdais in 2004. Was leading the '05 championship when he sustained a season-ending injury after the second race of the year.

-nhr

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Series INDYCAR