CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America: Newman/Haas Racing Saturday report

McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS GAINED POINT FOR SETTING FASTEST TIME IN WET FINAL QUALIFYING FOR THE CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF ROAD AMERICA AND WILL START SECOND; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER JUNQUEIRA 10TH OVERALL: Although the lap times were...

McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS GAINED POINT FOR SETTING FASTEST TIME IN WET FINAL QUALIFYING FOR THE CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF ROAD AMERICA AND WILL START SECOND; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER JUNQUEIRA 10TH

OVERALL: Although the lap times were much slower today due to intermittent sprinkles that alternated with light rain during final qualifying, Bourdais jumped from his fifth place rank from Friday's session to a second place start because he set the fastest time in today's session and thus earned a guaranteed front row start. Based on weather data, the team expected the conditions to improve but instead the rain began to increase. Bourdais went out early in the session to gauge the conditions and set the lap time that would stand as the fastest of the day while Junqueira and company waited for the expected improvement that, unfortunately, never materialized enough to lessen the water on the track.

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It is a shame the weather was the way it was because the McDonald's car was awesome in the dry but these conditions were really nerve-wracking. The whole team was just monitoring radar and everything to see when it was going to be optimal to run. It was extremely unclear. We elected to go right off with the used tires that we had yesterday. We could only afford to use one set of new tires, rain tires, otherwise if tomorrow it's raining we're going to run out. It was a little complicated. We just happened to be on the track at the right time. It was a pretty quick lap, which ended up being good enough. That was quite a hell of a session. I'm just glad it turned out this way because yesterday was pretty frustrating. We had probably the fastest car in the morning session (yesterday). It was wet. We were fairly happy. We parked it. Then it dried all the way. Just hats off to these guys (Clarke and Charles Zwolsman on Friday). They decided it was going to be good enough on dries. I didn't really think it was going to be. On the last lap they got us.

"We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. It surely feels good to start from the first row. The (championship) point is also very important. We'll see how it shakes out tomorrow. The truth is we're really going to try and win the race, see where our opponents are going to end up. If we get our job done, we'll need a little bit of help from whatever happens, wherever the other guys are finishing. We're going to need to be a little lucky tomorrow. We start in a better starting position than they do. Hopefully it plays well for us."

Bruno Junqueira, No. 2 Hole in the Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "We felt the track was much wetter than yesterday so we didn't run. It's a shame because Sebastien and I were P1 and two this morning. Maybe we could have fought to set the fastest time in the session and guarantee a front row but Sebastien set his time early when the track was dryer. We watched the forecast and waited a little bit for it to get dryer but it never did. It will be tough to start in tenth place but we will try to make the most of every situation and get to the front."

-credit: newman/haas racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Sébastien Bourdais , Charles Zwolsman