CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Newman/Haas Racing preview

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA ...

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
- IN PORTLAND: It will be his third race here. Started third and finished second (to NHR driver da Matta) in 2002 as well as set the fastest race lap. Started sixth and retired in 23rd place due to contact in 2001.

- SECOND IN STANDINGS WITH 83 POINTS:
Was second fastest in provisional qualifying in St. Pete but his fastest qualifying lap in final qualifying (potentially third) was disallowed because he brought out a red flag when he spun and stopped on course. More red flags during the session prevented him from running faster than the time he set on Friday and he started seventh. Dropped to 14th in race due to losing many positions on his first of three pit stops when the air hose of the inside rear tire changer's air gun disengaged. Charged to a 3rd place finish...More problems in qualifying led to a seventh place start in Mexico despite being fastest in both pre-qualifying practice sessions as he also did in St. Pete. Ran as high as third in the race but spun and dropped to ninth. Many on-track passes enabled him to finish fifth...Started fourth in Long Beach and finished third...Set second fastest qualifying time in England but started third due to Bourdais earning the second-place, front row start by setting the fastest time in final qualifying. Finished second...Started second in Germany and finished fourth after he led 23 laps and ran in top three most of the event...Started eighth in Milwaukee (based on combined practice times due to rain in qualifying) but crashed on the first racing lap in Milwaukee and from a two-way tie for first place in the points to third with 66...Earned his first bonus point of the season with provisional pole in Laguna Seca. Started and finished second to take sole possession of second place in standings with 83 points.

- ON ROAD/STREET COURSE:
Finished in the top-five in all five road/street course races so far this season including FOUR podiums. Two of his three wins came on this type of course ('01 Elkhart Lake road course, '02 Denver street course).

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
- IN PORTLAND: Will be his first race here.

- TOP ROOKIE IN POINT STANDINGS IN FIFTH:
By earning the pole position in his Champ car debut in St. Pete, Bourdais became the first driver to accomplish the feat since Nigel Mansell won the pole for the '93 Australian event - also while driving for NHR...Bourdais led 30 laps in St. Pete and became the first driver in the 25 year history of series to lead the first laps of his inaugural Champ car race...He also set the fastest race lap...Won his second pole in the series in Monterrey as well as set a track record. He led the first 16 laps but a faulty radio led to a missed pit stop. Also had a troubled pit stop and later brushed the wall entering the pits which ultimately led to retire from the race in 17th place...Started fifth in Long Beach, led three laps in the race and retired in 16th place due to engine failure after he completed 70 of 90 laps...Earned his first Champ Car victory in only his fourth event at Brands Hatch after starting second and leading 95 laps...First driver in series history to win from pole in his oval racing debut in Germany after he led 74 laps in the closest finish (0.08) since 2000 Michigan race...Started 13th in Milwaukee (based on combined practice times due to qualifying being rained out) and finished ninth despite an overheating engine in the early stages of the race...Probable third place finish ended when his pop-off valve failed while fourth and he retired after 77 of 87 laps in Laguna Seca...He is currently ranked 5th in the point standings with 53 points.

- FIVE BONUS POINTS: (St. Pete - Fri. & Sat. qual; Mexico - Sat. qual.; Germany - qual. & leading most laps).

- RANKED THIRD IN LAPS LED -- 218: Led 30 - St. Pete., 16 - Monterrey, 3 - Long Beach, 95 - England (victory) and 74 - Germany (victory). Ranked third behind Michel Jourdain (282) and Paul Tracy (227) for most laps led so far in 2003.

What They're Saying About...

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

"For sure the Newman/Haas car ran strong last year in Portland and I ran strong too so I think we can carry it over to this season. I have a lot of confidence in the PacifiCare guys. They have done a great job so far this season to put us in second place in the Championship. I am new at the team but with each race we are working together better and better and hopefully our first win will come soon. I like racing in Portland a lot. It's a road course that is one of the best tracks of the year with a very fast chicane - I love it!

"I qualified sixth in 2001 which wasn't bad especially with the package that we had that year at Ganassi. I was in fourth place in the race but Paul Tracy took me out in the pits and it was kind of frustrating since we could have had a top-five result. Last year I qualified third, set the fastest race lap and finished second and was putting a lot of pressure on Cristiano - again a Newman/Haas car in front of me. Now I am really happy to return to the track with Newman/Haas and I hope I have a car as good as Cristiano did and have that little extra to win the race. We weren't as competitive as we thought we would be (at the last race) in Laguna Seca. We were able to challenge for the win and finish second but we were a little behind where we thought we would be. Other teams had caught up to us but hopefully that won't be the case in Portland."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"The past two races have been a little difficult for the Lilly team so it would be good to get a good result in Portland. The team has been strong at the track historically so we hope to continue that result. A third place finish slipped from our hands in Laguna Seca but that is behind us and we are concentrating on running well in Portland. We are also going to make sure we know the reason for the problems that we had on Saturday and Sunday in Laguna Seca and make sure they are fixed and don't come back in other races. We are still fifth in the Championship and a good result will keep us in the hunt. We will just take it one race at a time and do the best job possible."

-nhr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Nigel Mansell , Michel Jourdain