Players/Indeck Driver Alex Tagliani Will Start Third In The Tecate Telmex Grand Prix
PROVISIONAL GRID DOES NOT CHANGE DUE TO RAIN - Friday's provisional grid is the way they will start tomorrow's Tecate Telmex Grand Prix after rain all but washed out qualifying. Although a handful of drivers managed to turn a few laps, they were not at full speed due to the rainy conditions. CART red-flagged the session for a considerable time due to standing water, however no drivers managed to improve their starting position. Adrian Fernandez will lead the field to the green flag and Dario Franchitti will start alongside him, while Alex Tagliani will start third. Tomorrow's race is special for Sigma Autosport's Max Papis, who will be making his 100th career Champ Car start.
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth) - Will start 3rd
WHAT CAUSED YOUR SPIN ALONG THE FRONT STRAIGHTAWAY? "It was very slippery and the track had a lot of puddles. The water was just everywhere and the only way to drive it is to try and drive around them as much as you can, which is pretty difficult. The team did a good job yesterday and we put a good time in, which is good, because you never know what the next day will bring. We were third yesterday and it rained today, so I think we're in a pretty good position to start the race tomorrow."
DO YOU THINK THE TEAM WAS PLEASED THAT YOU DIDN'T WRECK THE CAR ON YOUR SPIN? "I hope so. I just hit a big puddle and had no more grip. But I had a lot of room outside of Turn One, so I tried to keep it on the track and keep it straight. I practiced that in go-karts when I was younger so it helped me out a little bit."
DID YOU LEARN SOME THINGS IN CASE IT RAINS TOMORROW? "Obviously with the traction control it's a little bit difficult. When you have too much help the car doesn't move and we need to tune that a little bit more for wet conditions. But we'll see. If it rains tomorrow we still have the morning warm-up to fix the traction control, but if it doesn't we'll have a good car for the dry."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth) - Will start 6th - "We're off to a very good start to the season, we're in a good position to start the race and I'm very happy. We were close to getting the pole position yesterday and I think we had a very good car to fight for the pole today. The team is doing a great job and I think we'll have a good car for the first race of the season tomorrow."
ARE YOU DISAPPOINTED THAT YOU DIDN'T GET TO QUALIFY TODAY BECAUSE OF THE RAIN? "I think we had a very good car today and were in a position to challenge for the pole so yes, in a way it is disappointing. But sixth is good and we know we are very fast. It's a very long season, this is just the first race and we know we have a car good enough to win with tomorrow if everything goes our way. I'm very motivated and I think we're having a very good first weekend."
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Will start 10th - "The rain was unfortunate for us because we were second-fastest this morning and the car felt really good. Actually, the car has felt great all weekend and we had a great winter testing program. We have a good understanding of the car and qualifying just didn't come our way. We had some laps on Friday that were much quicker but we didn't get them because of red flags and some other things. We were set for a good run today, but we'll start the race in 10th and work our way through the field. I really think we can make some hay in the race with this car."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#16 Herdez Ford-Cosworth) - Will start 12th -
DISAPPOINTED THAT YOU DIDN'T GET TO QUALIFY IN YOUR FIRST CHAMP CAR RACE? "A little bit because I thought we improved the car quite a bit from what we had yesterday and I thought we could improve our starting position. But I think we have a good starting position which is not bad for my first time out. Tomorrow we're just going to try and get the best result possible, give it our best and put on a good show for our sponsors and the fans."
WHAT DID YOU LEARN OUT THERE TODAY? "One of the most important things we were doing was working with Ford and Cosworth to make changes and learn more about the traction control. We've been modifying it constantly and I think that's going to be a key to the season. Whomever can get the best out of their traction control is going to be very fast on the road and street courses."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth) - Will start 18th - "We went out and tried a couple of things and I had my first spin. We made some changes and went back out but I spun again. We'll be ready for the race tomorrow, but it's a shame that we really didn't get to qualify today. I think we'll have a pretty decent car, but the key will be to stay on the track. If it rains again it'll be important to try and get to the front."
MAX PAPIS (#22 Rockwell First Point Ford-Cosworth) - Will start 19th - "Qualifying was pretty frustrating because we improved the car a lot since Friday morning. This morning we were consistently running in the top 10 and making more progress. We were a day too late, but next time we'll be more prepared and work even harder."