Herdez Dominates the Third Row for Sunday's Grid, Ever-Changing Weather Dominates the Day in Long Beach It has been a cold and chilly day in Long Beach as was predicted for the final practice and qualifying of the 30th running of the Long Beach...
Herdez Dominates the Third Row for Sunday's Grid, Ever-Changing Weather Dominates the Day in Long Beach
It has been a cold and chilly day in Long Beach as was predicted for the final practice and qualifying of the 30th running of the Long Beach Grand Prix. The Herdez Competition duo of Mario Dominguez and Ryan Hunter-Reay tested their set-ups on a wet track this morning. By the time the green flag dropped for qualifying, the rain had stopped and the sun popped through with ten minutes remaining, creating much better conditions for final qualifying. Dominguez ran early in the session and returned to the track with fresh "soft" tires for his final run. Hunter-Reay held out, waiting to set his best time in the final ten minutes, also on the soft compound. Unfortunately, a car stalled on course, causing a red flag. Drivers had just two minutes to set their time.
Mario Dominguez set the fastest time of the session early on and was bumped at the fall of the checker by Sebastian Bourdais and finished third. The red flag destroyed Hunter-Reay's strategy and he completed just two laps, setting the 12th fastest time.
As a result of their fast times during the provisional qualifying on Saturday, the Herdez Drivers will start fifth and sixth, dominating the third row for Sunday's race grid.
Mario Dominguez, #55 Herdez/Lola/ Ford-Cosworth
Mario on Qualifying: "I am pretty happy with our result today. My guys worked hard and my new engineer Mike Cannon did a good job of getting the car sorted for me. We had the pole for a while but just at the end there Sebastian got me by four thousandths of a second. My Bridgestone tires were perfect and we have a good racecar for tomorrow. Today both session were a bit strange with the weather, but my car is good in the wet and the dry so no matter what tomorrow brings I am confident."
Ryan on Qualifying: "I am pretty bummed out with my result. It has been crazy weather wise today; I have only done a handful of laps. We knew there was more in the car yesterday, but I am not positive we have found it because of the changing weather conditions today. We were holding out for the track to be at its best this afternoon and then two laps after we went out there was another red flag and that destroyed our strategy. We are all working together and I am sure the Herdez Team will have a great race strategy so we will fight for the front tomorrow for sure."