CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Saturday qualifying quoteboard

Justin Wilson ...

Justin Wilson #9 Intel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "There's been times when we really struggled and there's been times when we just happened to get it right and be quick. Fortunately, it's always at the end of the sessions where it counts. First of all, I went out quite early. The car was feeling pretty good. We didn't change too much in between the runs. Didn't seem to really get up on the second run on the red Bridgestone tires. It came together. Every time going through the axis, I kept leaning on the car. It felt great. We were very pleased that we might turn it around. We're having a good weekend so far. "

AJ Allmendinger #10 Intel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It's been a struggle today. We seemed to have a great car, but, you know, we're right about on the edge of having a car that's magnificent. Kind of just battled back and forth today trying to get a good baseline setup. A little bit frustrated overall, but it's great for the team. Justin did a great job starting on the front row again together. Hopefully we won't give it to Sebastien this time like we did last time. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. "

Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: Well, it's just been a weird day for us. We had a great car this morning. I really thought we were going to have a shot at the pole. We put a new set of tires at the end. Something must have happened on the car. We just got it all wrong because ever since that point we never really got the car underneath us. Just couldn't pull it off. It's a little bit disappointing because obviously last year we had a pretty dominant performance. That proves that basically every year's different and you need to stay on top of your game. It doesn't seem like today we got it. "

Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "We made a little change that didn't work out as well as we would have liked. I was pressing pretty hard on my last stint but got caught up in some traffic when the tires were at their optimum. The Bridgestones, both the standard blacks and the alternate reds, have good grip and durability but it seems like there's a little two lap window where they're just outstanding. If you don't nail it on those two laps there's not much you can do. But we're on the second row and it's going to be a tough race so we'll be looking to end the season on a high note."

Cristiano Da Matta #21 Bell Micro/PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I am very happy with the result of the Bell Micro/PKV Racing team's qualifying today. We really picked up the pace from yesterday to today's qualifying. Yesterday we had a couple of different problems, but today everything went very well. I want to thank the Bell Micro/PKV Racing crew and the PKV Racing engineering staff for all their hard work. It really paid off today. Now we just have to do some work on our race setup because I think it will be different from qualifying."

Mario Dominguez #7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It's my hometown race so I really wanted to do well today after I was third fastest yesterday, but I guess it just wasn't to be. We tried a bit of alternate strategy and went out early in the session so there wasn't much traffic. The car had a little too much understeer so we made a change for the last stint but we went too far and the balance just wasn't good enough to put up a really good time. I'm going to have my work cut out starting from the fourth row, but it's a long race on a difficult circuit and I think we'll be in the hunt at the end."

Oriol Servia #2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: ""Qualifying went really bad for the PacifiCare team. Honestly I am happy with the car; it felt very good. I put in my fastest lap on my first run and I thought we could do much better because I was only happy with my performance on the last three corners. I thought I didn't do the best job on the other part of the lap so I was hopeful on my second run but I got caught by the red flag. When I got back out I felt I had already got the peak performance from the Bridgestone red alternate tires and couldn't improve my time from the first run which was never great to begin with. We are not in the best position to start the last race of the season but the most important part is where you finish and we are going to try to move the PacifiCare car to the front. Turn 1 is a good place to pass and Ford's Push to Pass makes a big different. The PacifiCare guys always do good pit stops so that is another way to move up. I came from last to fifth in Australia so theoretically this should be easier."

Nelson Philippe #34 Wellbox Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It is very rewarding to get well into the top ten on my last qualifying lap of the season," said Philippe. "Going down the back straight I was telling myself 'this is for my guys,' and I was really happy to reward all their hard work with a good position on the grid. It is going to be a long and physical race, so I just want to get through the first lap with my nose clean and then work on getting towards the front. We have some improvements we will make to the car tonight, and we should be quick in the race tomorrow."

Rodolfo Lavin #55 CTE-HVM Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I am very happy to be starting the Corona car in the top-ten tomorrow. The team did a fantastic job today, we worked really hard to get this position. Practice this morning was challenging, the car was not where we needed it to be and I had a lot of understeer. I sat down with Mike Cannon (race engineer) and Rob Ridgely (assistant engineer) and we went through everything. I am really proud of them because they made some very good changes to the car and I am proud of myself because we were able to get a good lap time out of it at the end there. It was absolutely incredible how much grip came from the Bridgestone Option red tires. There I s more in the car with those tires but unfortunately I couldn't find it on the last lap with all of the traffic, but I can't wait to get back on those tomorrow."

Jimmy Vasser #12 Gulfstream/PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I blew. I just blew it. On my last lap I spun off and lost what was going to be a quick time. I don't know how quick it was going to be but, I sure I will find out. It is too bad...I just blew it. The good thing is that the PKV Racing cars are good and getting better. I know my car is quick and now Cristiano (teammate Crisitano da Matta) appears to be much faster. I am confident that the improvement to our cars will pay off in the race tomorrow."

Alex Tagliani #15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I am a little bit disappointed, the balance of the car is pretty good but we have a bit of understeer and when we take that out the rear gets pretty nervous. We have to work on the overall grip to try to get a bit quicker. We know what to do to gain some grip in the front but as soon as we do that, the rear doesn't take it. Trying to get a better balance and grip overall at both ends is what we are looking for. The Team Australia guys will look over the data tonight and see if we can try some more changes in the warmup. At the end of today's session I was on a pretty good lap and Jimmy Vasser spun off and came back on the track right in front of me which blocked me pretty badly. I don't think he did it on purpose. He copped a penalty of losing his fastest lap but that wasn't enough to move me up a spot."

Timo Glock #8 DHL Global Mail Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It is a shame our final result today in qualifying because we had a better car that that (finishing 12th). We had a top-five car, for sure a top-ten car all weekend, thus far. We had a radio miscommunication at the end of my first stint, and I ran out of fuel, which cost us a lap and that was misfortunate. We made some changes to the car during the session, but never really got a handle on things this afternoon to post the time that we were looking for."

Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "At the end we just came out at the wrong time and got the red flag when Charles had a spin -- I wasn't able get the most out of the tires then. My last lap was going to be the one but I hit the rev limiter coming onto the straight and didn't quite change gear in time and that affected my speed all the way down the straight. Tomorrow I just want to finish my first race for the Aussie Vineyards team -- that is my aim. These Champ Car races are longer than what I am used to in the World Series by Renault Championship in Europe -- those races are only 45 minutes. Getting a race finish will be an important learning step for me in preparation for next year."

Michael McDowell #31 Commercial Defeasance Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "We made a lot of changes today during qualifying and the #31 Rocketsports car was easier to drive. I was trying very hard on my last lap of the day that I pushed too much and overshot Turn 15. That cost us three or four positions. But now qualifying is over and we will be starting 16th, but that is ok. We will work on developing a good race strategy tonight; focus on finding just the perfect setup for the race tomorrow. I am confident in my team, I know they will give me good pit stops, so I will have to do all that I can out there tomorrow afternoon to try to finish the Rocketsports car in the top ten for the team."

Andrew Ranger #27 Tide/Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I am disappointed to be starting from so far back after the problems that we had in qualifying, but it is a long race and anything can happen. We will work on the car tonight to try and find a little bit more speed so we can make some passes in the race and try to move back up and get some good points."

Charles Zwolsman #25 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I have now completed my first Champ Car qualifying and also had my first ever spin in these cars -- that wasn't the way I wanted to finish the session. But at least I now know where the limit is. I am learning a lot this weekend and hopefully tomorrow I can continue that education. The lap I spun was going to be quicker and maybe I could have move up a couple of spots but I am still looking forward to fighting it out tomorrow. I won't be starting up front but I will be taking a close look at what is happening at the first corner. Tomorrow will be a big challenge, I haven't been in a race car for two months and I am in at the deep end here, but I have no other option but to fight as hard as I can."

Homero Richards #50 NEXTEL Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Well, I think we had a decent day today. Obviously I would have liked to have qualified the NEXTEL car a little further up the grid, but I am still learning so much every time I get in the car. The Bridgestone Red option tires gave me a lot more grip today, they were very good."

-ccws-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Jimmy Vasser , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Mario Dominguez , Michael McDowell , Sébastien Bourdais , Rodolfo Lavin , Nelson Philippe , Andrew Ranger , Charles Zwolsman , Timo Glock , Will Power , Homero Richards