CHAMP CAR DRIVER PRE-RACE QUOTES -- LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX Sebastien Bourdais ...
CHAMP CAR DRIVER PRE-RACE QUOTES -- LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I think it is quite easy to realize that being able to stay at the top in three consecutive seasons is extremely difficult. The real thing that saves us is that we all realize that you can drop off very easily. If we want to say that we want to win the championship again, we our going to have to dedicate ourselves to doing whatever it takes. The Mexico City race just illustrated that point for everyone because it showed what can happen and what other teams are capable of doing. To be able to make history with a third consecutive championship for the McDonald's team is a big motivation but I don't need that to go at it and work hard. I think realistically the team has been doing a fantastic job for two years in a row now and when you get to the top the only thing you want to do is stay there so we don't need extra motivation but I guess it would be nice to end up in the history books. It is hard to believe sometimes that after only three seasons, we have been able to accomplish everything that we have done with Newman/Haas Racing."
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola -- "Long Beach is a great race to start off the season, and it is important to obtain a good result here to kick off the 2006 season the right way. Last year, in my first race with RuSPORT, I managed to finish 4th at Long Beach and I am looking to improve on that. I think we have made progress over the off-season, and I think RuSPORT has a lot of potential for this season. Last year, each time we were sponsored by CDW, we had a strong showing and good results. Hopefully, that's a good omen for this season, as they are our new primary sponsor and partner!"
Paul Tracy #3 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola - "I am very excited about the 2006 season. My only focus is to win the championship. Testing has been good, the team has worked hard and we have a very good car for this year. Off-season has been busy and productive for me; I've driven a lot and have prepared myself well. It will be a tough season; competition is at its peak. I'm ready for the challenge and I like starting the season here in Long Beach where I've found the winning combination before."
A.J Allmendinger #10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola - "I am really excited for the new year to be here. I think RuSPORT as a team has improved a lot since last season, and I feel that we should be better prepared all around as we head into Long Beach. I'm also excited to have Red Bull back on my helmet as well as the rear wing. My goal heading into Long Beach is to qualify in the top 5 and be on the podium and I think if we can accomplish that it will be a good weekend."
Mario Dominguez #7 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola -"I'm ready to go! It's so much different than last year. It's great to get some testing in during the off-season as opposed to jumping in the car the Friday of the first race like last season. The atmosphere around the team is very positive, communication has been great and I'm very confident that we'll improve tremendously this year. I'm prepared and ready to fight race after race. My goal is to be very consistent and to win races!"
Alex Tagliani #5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I feel very excited to get back in the car. It's been a long time since we were racing in Mexico City last November. 2006 is going to be more competitive and with two new engineers, Mike Pawlowski and Brandon Fry, and coming back, Brendon Cleave, they are three very smart people who will hopefully make my job easier. The Teams second year with the Lola chassis, we understand more about the car and are more prepared that this time last year. We were quick at times last year, but not consistent enough. Focusing on a top five finish in the championship, even top three, we're here to win races."
Andrew Ranger #27 Tide/Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: - "It has been five long months since my last race, so I am very anxious to get to Long Beach and get back into the car under racing conditions. We had a good test last week in Fontana which helped regain my racing form. I'm really confident heading to California, I know the car better, I know the track and I know the team. Conquest Racing has also worked hard during the off season to develop the car and make it faster, everything is in place to succeed."
Bruno Junqueira #2 Newman/Haas Racing Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola -- "It's going to be a special race for me since it's the first time I'll be back in a Champ Car after the Indy 500 crash. It is almost one year without racing. I remember very well my last Champ Car race -- the one I won in Monterrey. Long Beach is a track that I like a lot. I've been on the podium the last three years so I have had some success there and I hope I can have another strong finish there. I hope to have a good weekend with strong qualifying, strong race, good pit stops and can get a great result in my first race back in Champ Car. My goal this year is to enjoy myself and to have great races. This year I'm not thinking about the championship -- I'm thinking about driving my best. I know that if I drive my best I can grab wins and maybe win the championship but I'm not focusing on that in particular."
Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I'm feeling very confident and excited this year and especially going into Long Beach this weekend, it's a new track for me and with the changes from last year I am really looking forward to getting to Long Beach and start racing again."
Charles Zwolsman #34 Tide/Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: - "I am really excited about competing in my first race with Mi-Jack Conquest Racing. There is still a lot that I have to learn about the car and the team but I feel that MJCR represents the best opportunity for me to gain that valuable experience. I had a good race here last year in Atlantics and I am hoping to have the same kind of performance in a Champ Car and start recording points toward the Rookie of the year title."
Antonio Pizzonia #8 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I am very excited to start racing again. I have been a test driver for the last couple of years, which has been a great experience, but I did not get enough time to race. I am a racing driver, ultimately I wanted to get back competing in races again and that is why I am here making my move into Champ Car. Rocketsports is a great team; I am very excited to be driving for them this weekend in Long Beach. I really don't know what to expect, but to say the least it is going to be exciting. From what I have seen and been told, this is an excellent race, from the driving aspect to the festivities. I will be making my Champ Car debut this weekend; therefore I have never raced on this circuit. I am really looking forward to rolling out there on Friday morning and getting to know my way around it. It looks like a very interesting track. I feel that together (the team and I) we have the potential to have a good results throughout the weekend."