CHAMPCAR/CART: Miami: Newman/Haas Racing qualifying report

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, ...

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"It feels great to put the PacifiCare car on provisional pole and get the point for the championship. We need to get another one in final qualifying and have a good race on Sunday. It was one of my best qualifying efforts because I knew we had to be up front and being the fourth qualifier made our job more difficult because the track can improve at the end. I really pushed hard and was 1.3-seconds faster than second place after I went. I wasn't expecting to get pole. I just thought I would be in the top-five so I am very happy. The track was still a little damp when I went out and I had to get my Bridgestone tires up to temperature as quick as possible. The course is much, much better than last year. The main problem now is the big bump in the fast chicane. Your car gets airborne. I hit it so hard in qualifying that I thought I broke my car in half. That's where I crashed this morning in the wet after I hit the bump and unsettled my car. The PacifiCare team did a great job - first to fix my car for qualifying and second to also get a good set-up for the dry. "

NOTES:

Resided here...Will be his second race here...In his only other race in Miami last year, he started 10th, led 16 laps and finished fifth but lost the Championship to NHR's da Matta who won the event...He is currently ranked second in the point standings with 187 to Tracy's 204 (-17).

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 McDonald's / Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"I wish I could have been on pole but obviously this is a tough track and it's my first time here. Bruno did a good job. It looks like he (Mika Salo, second fastest) got three attempts. We got three laps to discover the track in the dry and he got nine so it doesn't seem fair. We thought qualifying was over and we were second fastest but then Mika went out again and set the second fastest time."

NOTES:

Will be his first race here...He earned four poles (3-road course; 1-oval) and three wins in 14 events so far. (He started in second place in England and fifth in Long Beach.) Has won a total of six bonus points this season (Friday & Saturday in St. Pete; Saturday in Monterrey, Saturday and Sunday in Germany; Friday in Cleveland)...He is currently ranked 4th in the point standings with 142 points.

TEAM NOTES:

In total the team has earned ONE WIN (da Matta 2002), TWO POLES (Ma. Andretti 1987, 1995) and TWO podium finishes here (2nd Fittipaldi 2002). (The track configuration was different in 1987 and 1995 than the 2002 one.) LAST YEAR IN MIAMI: NHR's da Matta clinched the championship with his seventh victory of the season here last year while Fittipaldi completed a 1-2 finish for the team with second place.JCurrent driver Junqueira led 16 laps here last year while driving for Ganassi Racing but finished fifth due to a strategical error.

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:

The practice session will take place from 9:55-11:10 AM and single-car, final qualifying will begin at 3:00 p.m. SPEED will televise qualifying on a tape delayed basis beginning at 8:00 p.m. All times Eastern.

-nhr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mika Salo
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing