CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America: Friday driver quotes

RYAN HUNTER-REAY ( ...

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"This feels great. The best is to get a front row start for the race on Sunday. We really struggled this morning during practice. We had a lot of in and out laps, running into different problems all session, and didn't get much time on the track. We took the time to make sure the car was good to go. At first, during the practice segment of qualifying I had huge understeer. We made some changes for the qualifying segment; the first run was good, but I still had understeer problems, the second run the car was much better. I could feel the car was going faster and faster, and we would have posted a faster time if the red didn't come out. The Herdez team did a good job today. I look forward to tomorrow."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"The car feels good. We had made changed the car dramatically from practice. The car was really sliding a lot, but we were able to improve that so that the car was good for qualifying. I was hoping to keep the pole, but the red flag did not come out soon enough for us. We have a good car for tomorrow."

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"It was difficult, we were really struggling with problems in my gearbox. On the first set of tires I was trying to down shift, and it was not working correctly for me. I went off in the grass and continued. On the second set, I was still having problems down shifting, I was pushing really hard and just spun. It is frustrating to lose my fastest lap, and it was a shame that I spun because I think that lap was going to be even faster. We have to improve the car, it doesn't feel as good as it did last year. The PacifiCare team

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"It was a non-day for the McDonald's team, but we're going to work hard tomorrow to get back up front. We had an engine problem this morning, which set us back. We didn't get as many laps as we wanted in qualifying,; the red flags hurt us. The car was good enough to be on pole but today things didn't go our way. The car is good. We will try again for pole tomorrow."

JIMMY VASSER (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"I was up about a half second on my time when I spun out [while in third], so it's a little disappointing. But I think we found something in our shock program. I can feel the difference, so my guys must have come up with something between races. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come. P5 is about as good as we've been all season in qualifying. But sometimes motorsports is like a golf swing -- just when you think you've got it figured out, it can change on you."

A.J. ALLMENDINGER (#10 BG Products/Red Bull Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"I'm pleased with today without a doubt. Every lap we progressed and if I hadn't thrown it off on my last lap on the last turn, we probably could've been third or fourth. I've got a good car as far as handling, so if we can tweak it a little more, you can gain a lot of time on a track like this. But I'm happy with sixth, especially since this is my first time at Road America in a Champ Car."

JUSTIN WILSON (#34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"I guess I should consider myself lucky for being able to get at least one good lap in. The red flags were very untimely for me, and I was not able to qualify as well as I was expecting. The Mi-Jack Conquest Racing crew and myself still have some work to do tonight, and I am looking forward to being much more competitive in tomorrow's session."

RODOLFO LAVIN (#3 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"We are happy because we were able to improve a lot from this morning. The Corona/Forsythe car is getting much better. This is one of my favorite tracks and I really enjoy coming here every year, the combination of high, mid, and slow speed turns make this track very interesting. There is still a lot of speed left in the car, tomorrow we will work on it during the practice session and hopefully by qualifying we'll be able to put the Corona/Forsythe car on the front row like we did at the last race in Vancouver."

MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"From this morning's session until now, we've improved the problem we were having with the brakes, but still we've got a few problems with the front of the car causing some oversteer. We still have time though before tomorrow's qualifying to fix those problems and hopefully move up the grid. Considering the improvement we've had so far this season from our first qualifying to Saturday qualifying, I'm sure tomorrow will be much better for us."

MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"Well we were working towards getting the car better and then we had a technical issued that forced us to end our session early. So who knows what would have been. At least Ryan's on pole so that is really good for our team. We'll just work hard for tomorrow and make sure the car is ok."

ROBERTO GONZALEZ (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"We made a huge change in the car in terms of the roll center, which really seemed to help us out in qualifying. I just wish we would have done it earlier in practice this morning, and maybe we would have been further along in the balance. The change really made the car quicker and easier to drive. I was on a flyer with just two or three turns before the timing line when the final Red Flag came out and ruined our lap. [PKV Racing teammate] Jimmy [Vasser] found something in the 12 car so hopefully we can translate that information into our setup and improve tomorrow."

ALEX SPERAFICO (#14 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"I am pleased with the car Mi-Jack Conquest Racing gave me. We were conservative with the tires in this qualifying session, and that should work to our advantage tomorrow. My fastest lap came when the tires were already fairly worn, which makes us feel good about the continuous improvement of the car throughout the session. I hope we continue to improve throughout the weekend."

GUY SMITH (#17 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"My plan is to moving forward, keep learning and keep improving my times with each session. I need to get more laps under my belt and make moderate changes to the car as we progress. There's a lot of excitement on this first weekend with the Rocketsports team and in a Champ Car. The Cosworth powered car is as fast as I thought it would be -- much faster than a sportscar. One of the most impressive things about Champ Cars is the power and the amount of torque coming from the Ford-Cosworth engines. They just keep pulling and pulling. The sound of the engine revving at 11000 RPMs as you're driving is amazing. And you need this strength in this series, where the competition is so close and intense. Each driver needs to keep pushing to keep up with the field and challenge each other. Road America is a dream to drive and challenge foe my first weekend. Nothing compares to it -- it's gorgeous. The Rocketsports team has been very good. There's a steep learning curve coming from sportscars and the team has made it an easy transition. It's a great benefit to work with Robin Hill. He has worked with many drivers and rookies, and knows how to get the best out of a driver. He's ideal to have on the radio in a session and I'm learning a great deal from him.

ALEX TAGLIANI (#8 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)

"I had a good car in practice -- easily a top-four car. I feel bad that we didn't get to qualify this afternoon. It was my mistake. I put a wheel off the track in Turn Seven, spun and damaged the car when I went into the tire-wall. The Johnson Controls crew worked straight through to rebuild the car and I feel badly for doubling their work load too. We were about 20 minutes short to make the qualifying session today, but we'll be out there and ready with a good set-up tomorrow. I plan to push hard tomorrow in my only opportunity to qualify and make it count!"

-ccws-

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Series IndyCar
Teams Conquest Racing