Driver Stats SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, ...
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: - IN PORTLAND: Will be his second race here. Started fourth here last year but his tire pressure dropped early in the race and he was forced to pit and return to the event in 18th place. He charged back into third place only to have the mount on his rear wing fail late in the race. Finished 14th.
- FOURTH IN 2004 POINT STANDINGS: Earned one point for being fastest in final qualifying in Long Beach although he started second to his teammate Junqueira, who set the fastest overall time in qualifying. Ran the fastest lap of the race and finished third...Won the Monterrey, Mexico race from his second consecutive pole at the track as well as set a new track record for his fastest race lap and took over the points lead for the first time in his CCWS career...Started second in Milwaukee but crashed on 50/250 laps and dropped to fourth place in standings with 62 points...Bruno Junqueira leads the standings with 76 points over Patrick Carpentier, 75, Ryan Hunter-Reay, 66, and Bourdais, 62.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: - IN PORTLAND: Will be his fourth race here. Drove to a fourth place finish after a disappointing start from 11th place in 2003. Started third in 2001, set the fastest race lap and finished second. Started sixth in 2001 but retired in 23rd place after contact.
- LEADS 2004 POINT STANDINGS: Started on pole, led one lap and finished second in Long Beach...Drove to a second place finish after starting fourth in Monterrey, Mexico...Qualified 10th and finished 5th on the only oval race on the schedule in Milwaukee but moved into the lead of the standings with his finish...Junqueira leads the standings with 76 points over Patrick Carpentier, 75, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, 66.
What They're Saying About...
Sebastien Bourdais, #2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Last year's race (in Portland) was a roller coaster ride. More than anything it was a really disappointing race because we had a pretty good car and went to the back, came back to third and then fell down again. It was just after the Laguna race where I had a mechanical failure while third then we had the rear wing failure in Portland and missed the second podium in a row. At that time I was feeling pretty down.
"At the test in Portland we worked with the new Bridgestone tire which was pretty good. It was a softer tire and you have to work hard to take care of the them in order to have a good race. The new Push to Pass (P2P) button is going to work well in Portland. The straight is long enough that you can already pass without the P2P, but it's just going to help to bring the show to another level. Its been working well so far. The longer the straight is the bigger the effect and the straight in Portland is pretty long. It's extra 50 HP or more, which is not too dramatic since we already have 750 so the percentage increase is pretty small but it can help give you an extra push to get around someone.
"The beginning of this season is going much better than last year. We ended the season strong last year and have been able to carry it over to the start of this season. I think we now have a strong background and some experience to rely on. I'm feeling much more confident and I know what challenges we will face at each event. Also we've been a more lucky than the first races last year, it's all a package. Apart from Milwaukee, which we knew would be a challenge, the season is looking pretty good so far for the McDonald's car and we need to try to get our second win this season in Portland."
Bruno Junqueira, #6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"Last year in Portland I had a problem in qualifying and started 11th. I made up some spots in the race and finished fourth. We had a good race but a bad qualifying performance but I'm sure, this year, we're going to do better. We had a test in Portland a few months ago and I was the fastest so I'm really confident that the PacifiCare car can fight for the win this weekend. At the test, we ran a whole day and the Bridgestone tires ran very well -- they were really fast and we actually lapped faster than last year's pole. I'm really confident in the tires and the set up on the car.
"I like the race in Portland a lot, I think it's very important to the Championship. It's a proper road course and very challenging. It's a pretty nice race, there will be some passing and it will be at a time in the Championship where it will be important to get some good points. Portland is a race track with high speed corners that make it pretty challenging. I like it - especially the last chicane where there is a left and right turn in fifth gear at 170 mph -- that's pretty cool. There are also third, fourth gear corners at 130 - 140 mph that you have to keep the level of concentration pretty high. One of the special corners in Portland is Turn 1 where you run 180-190 mph in sixth gear. It's very tight corner especially at the start of the race because it's very wide then it gets very narrow once you get into the corner. There are a lot of accidents there so I hope we can get through there at the start. This year we have the Push to Pass button which will help get through there.
"My strategy in Portland is to start on the pole and win the race. Any time you lead the championship is nice but it is too early in the season to let your guard down. We weren't the strongest team at the last race in Milwaukee but we hung in there and were able to finish in the top-five and take the lead. We should be competitive in Portland so we need to make the most of the situation and try to win the event."