CHAMPCAR/CART: Montreal: Top-three finishers press conference

Top three finishers press conference from the Molson Indy Montreal with Michel Jourdain, Jr., Oriol Servia and Patrick Carpentier. Eric Mauk: We'll go ahead and get started, our top three finishers press conference from today's Molson Indy ...

Top three finishers press conference from the Molson Indy Montreal
with Michel Jourdain, Jr., Oriol Servia and Patrick Carpentier.

Eric Mauk: We'll go ahead and get started, our top three finishers press conference from today's Molson Indy Montreal. This is the same podium we had from Milwaukee earlier in the year. Third place today, Patrick Carpentier, driver of the #32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone. Pat takes his first podium finish in his native Canada since finishing second in Vancouver in 1999. He also earns his fourth podium of the season, 17th of his career and moves up to fourth place in the standings with the finish. Pat, one of those days where you were just consistent and pretty much in there all day and things seemed to fall your way.

Patrick Carpentier: Yeah, after the weekend we had, we missed qualifying on Friday, then we had a problem, made a mistake, crashed the wall, lost part of the practice. We had a problem this morning again. So that was good because we got them all out of the way. For the race, I had a great car. The car was fast. I had gearbox issues during the race, it would skip gears sometimes. Every time I would stop for a pit stop, I had brake problems for about six, seven laps, and I had to be patient. I was hoping Paul was not going to get by me because I knew once the car would get better, we were a little bit faster. But I had to save the brakes for a few laps and just coast through the corners.

At the end, after the last pit, we had a good stop and I just really saved the brakes and saved the brakes. They were perfect for the end. So I think here braking makes all the difference. The car was excellent, and I could brake pretty deep. So I was hoping Oriol was going to make a mistake. I wanted to get better than third place there. I could see the crowd were cheering and cheering and cheering. But he did a good job. Never got off line, made a mistake. A little bit sad for Tag. I think he had one of the fast cars and was right ahead up there. So really sad for him. But I'm pretty happy. Third place is pretty good. Move up to fourth, like you said, in the championship. So to be in Montreal, to get some points, after the weekend we had, it's fantastic.

Eric Mauk: Turn right around, head to Denver next week. Carry this momentum in there, you hope?

Patrick Carpentier: Yeah, I'm hoping to carry that the last three races. Been great for us. Seem we have a good race car. Always seems to come to us towards the end of the race. Seems to be good. We need to step up our qualifying a little bit.

Eric Mauk: Thank you, congratulations. Our second place finisher, Oriol Servia, driver of the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone matches a career high with a second-place run today. Oriol earns his second podium finish of the year, the third of his career, and vaults to sixth in the championship standings after 14 races with the runner-up finish. Obviously, you wanted one more, but satisfied with the way things went today?

Oriol Servia: In a way, yes. I'm not as happy as I was in Milwaukee because, you know, today I had really expectations. We were up front out here all weekend. Visteon car was really quick from day one, from session one. Obviously, you want to win when you have a car like that.

But obviously during the race Tag was a little bit quicker than even Michel and me, I don't know how much. He was pulling away every lap, every lap. The first stint, I was okay because I was in a way trying to save a little bit of fuel just to make sure that I was going farther than him in the first stint, because I knew it was going to be tight. And it worked out because he had to pit actually one or two laps sooner than us. That was perfect for us. But later I said, "Okay, now I'm going to go quick." And he was still pulling away a little. He definitely had a quick car out there. And then, you know, with Michel, it's a little bit, you know, I don't really know what to say, he obviously did a good job. But with the new rule that you cannot move, I saw him behind, we were running through the chicane, he just did a banzai braking move. I had to go straight or we're not going to make the corner. I went straight, he was able to make the corner.

Under the rule, he's fine, and he got to stay up front. But was a little bit frustrating. I don't know what really could I have done apart from going quicker so he was not closer, as close to me, as before. But, you know, it's just that it's frustrating. Only one can win, and he did, and we didn't. That's why I'm like this. But I'm happy for Visteon people. I mean, we had a very good seven top-six finishes, the last three were a disaster. I crashed in three of them. Some of them maybe my fault, some of them didn't. So I'm just happy to finish second here and give them a good result again, especially there was a lot of people from Visteon here today, and I think it's important. I like Montreal from last year, and I'm happy to finish here in the podium, just give us a little bit of push for this last races this hopefully I'm going to get one win.

Eric Mauk: Congratulations. Great weekend for you and your team. The winner of the Molson Indy Montreal, Michel Jourdain, Jr., driver of the #9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone who takes his second victory of the year and the second of his career. Michel led 15 laps on the day en route to the win, which moves him to within 35 points of the series lead. It is the 16th victory for Team Rahal since their creation in 1992. Michel, congratulations. How does it feel to be up on top of the podium again?

Michel Jourdain, Jr.: Well, thank you. I'm going to speak a little bit English and then Patrick is going to do the translation, okay (laughter)?

Patrick Carpentier: Je suis tres content.

Michel Jourdain, Jr.: No, I'm very happy today. I mean, I think we were very fast. Everything went just perfect for me today. You know, Bruno spun when we came out of the first or second pit stop. Some guys had run a different strategy. I think Adrian or somebody passed him very late, so that's why he had to slow down and make him go slow or something. He had to stay in one chicane on the outside or something. I think that's why I could pass him. Like he said, I mean, in the past, he would have gone inside and it would have been impossible for me to got him.

With Alex, I mean, we saved a lot of fuel at the beginning - not a lot, a little, so we were able to make it to Lap 20. And then I think, I mean, he was able to make the 20 laps at the end, but he still had to pit two laps first. I mean, as long as we stayed close to him, we were able to stay in front of him. But still, I mean, as everybody well knows from the past, you don't win until the checkered flag comes out. We still have a pit stop to go, like 15 laps to go. Oriol was very fast, and Patrick, too. So we just needed to make no mistakes. I think that was the important thing today.

Eric Mauk: Talk about the pit crew. On that second stop you made, you go in, 4.8 seconds back, you come out, 2 and a half back, then the blistering stop at the end. Guys really put you in good position today.

Michel Jourdain, Jr.: Yeah, the pit stops were fantastic. Like I said, everything just went very, very good for me. The car was, I think it was very, very good. We were very fast. That was important, too, because sometimes -- I mean, I think at the beginning of the run, Oriol was faster than me. We would come out of the pits and he would catch me. Maybe in the last laps, maybe I think I could open a lead up. It's when I was trying the most to make sure I could go fast without making mistakes.

Oriol Servia: You don't think that much. (laughter)

Michel Jourdain, Jr.: I mean, everybody was very fast. But Alex, I feel very bad for him because I know -- especially because it's here, you know. I know from Long Beach, how bad it hurts to not win a race that you dominate. But I'm sure he'll win many, many races in his career because he started driving fantastic, and also his team is doing a great job.

Eric Mauk: Nice birthday present for your father tomorrow.

Michel Jourdain, Jr.:  It's his birthday tomorrow.  You're making me stay
here tonight and tomorrow, so I won't be able to see him now.  It's your
fault.  It's going to cost a lot of money.

Eric Mauk: Hey, you could have blipped the throttle on the straight, let Oriol go by and you could be on the plane (laugher), your call. The top five in points after 14 races, Paul Tracy is the leader with 192, Bruno Junqueira with 164, Michel 157, Patrick moves to fourth with 128, Sebastien Bourdais is fifth with 126. Our next race takes place next weekend takes place on the temporary street course in downtown Denver. We'll now take questions from the media.

Q: Patrick, you mentioned the brake problems you had all weekend long. I was hanging around pit lane, Team Player's, they said you radioed them and told them you also had gearbox problems. Is that correct?

Patrick Carpentier: Yeah, for some reason once in a while between second and third gear, it would skip to neutral, then it would go into third gear. I was afraid I was going to break the locks, then I was going to lose the gearbox. It didn't happen. The gearbox stayed together again. But once in a while, every five, ten laps, coming out of corner two or three, the right-hander, it would skip a gear, either go to third or come back to second gear. Then I would lose some time, try to catch back up. I don't know, maybe I was not pulling off hard enough. But once it just skipped by itself.

Q: Michel, would you say the key to the race was the yellow on Lap 51 that allowed you to take advantage of Tagliani's pit stop?

Michel Jourdain, Jr.: I think I have many keys. You know, when Bruno spun, traffic on Oriol, Alex having to pit earlier. Yeah, also the yellows. I don't know if it was Lap 51 or whatever. I think he had improved to a seven-second lead on me. But he would have been able to come in front of -- out in front of us. So it was really tough to beat him. So everything had to go right from Lap 1. Everything put me in a position to take advantage of that yellow.

Q: Michel, going into that last stop, who was it who calculated how long you needed to run the radio? Ray (Leto)? How did you calculate the short fill?

Michel Jourdain, Jr.: I have no idea. I guess Ray.

Patrick Carpentier: Explain, explain (laughter).

Michel Jourdain, Jr.: I mean between Ray and Todd. I guess they just put -- I mean, we put fuel the first two stops, so/ I guess they put a little fuel, enough fuel so we could finish the race. You cannot short fuel. I mean, there's no reason to go out in front if you're not going to finish the race. You need enough fuel to finish the race.

Q: Pat, with Paul's problem were you at all concerned if you had enough fuel to finish?

Patrick Carpentier:  No, I never really thought about it.  I thought about
it quite a bit before the race started.  We tried to do that.  After that,
we had no problems with fuel.  But with the brake problems I was having
actually I ended up saving quite a bit of fuel.  Instead of braking, I was
lifting earlier.  I guess it worked out pretty well for us.

Q: Pat, how far does this go to erase the bad memory you had here last year?

Patrick Carpentier: It's pretty good. Even the memories we have of this weekend, starting Friday without running in the afternoon. It's good. I'm very happy. The car was good, and everything lasted all the way to the end. With the gearbox at one point, I was not sure what was going to happen. I was trying to be smooth with it so it doesn't break. But, no, it's great. Last year was a little bit tough, like Michel says, you know, at Long Beach when it's in your hometown, it's always pretty tough. So I can feel what Tag feels today a little bit. It was fun. I enjoyed it. For me, winning is a good thing, but having some good battles is the best thing. I think we had good battles today and I really enjoyed that.

Q: Michel, you said you kind of had a quiet weekend. For obvious reasons, the focus was on Tag and Team Player's, you were just sort of there all weekend. Once you win your first race, the second one maybe comes a little easier. I wouldn't suggest this one was easy, but, as you said, everything sort of came to you. Do you feel like that, today is sort of a demonstration of that?

Michel Jourdain, Jr.:  I think we were fast.  The first part we were second
behind Oriol.  Pretty much the fastest all weekend was Oriol.  I think in
pace, Oriol made everybody look bad.  Obviously, Alex did a fantastic job in
qualifying.  In TV and the newspapers, this guy made the rest of us look
terrible. So, yes, but, I mean, I felt confident, you know.  I don't know
what else.  I mean, at the end, I think we were able to take the
opportunities.  When Bruno spun, passing.  But when Oriol had the problem, I
was fast.  The same with Alex, you know.

Patrick Carpentier: I think teamwork becomes very important because at any point during the race, one point Tag was by far the fastest, then one point Oriol was fast, then one point Michel was fast, one point I was fast. I think the team strategy, what also plays out in the pit, plays a big part of it, too.

Eric Mauk: That will wrap it up. Thank you all for attending. Congratulations, gentlemen.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Sébastien Bourdais , Michel Jourdain