Pacificare driver Junqueira won first pole of season for Mario Andretti GP of Road America as well as back-to-back here; Lilly driver Bourdais second. OVERALL: Bruno Junqueira shaved two tenths of a second off of his provisional qualifying time...
Pacificare driver Junqueira won first pole of season for Mario Andretti GP of Road America as well as back-to-back here; Lilly driver Bourdais second.
OVERALL: Bruno Junqueira shaved two tenths of a second off of his provisional qualifying time to earn his first pole of the season today as well as back-to-back here. It was his sixth career pole in the series in his 51st start as well as his first since he started on pole in the 2002 season-finale race in Mexico City. It was the 12th pole in the past 27 CART Champ Car events for the team and NHR's sixth here.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It feels great to win my first pole of the season. This year we have been on pole a lot on Friday but not on Saturday and we have finished second many times so hopefully we can change that tomorrow too. I hope this track brings me luck. The PacifiCare car has been great all weekend. This track is very long and very difficult with a lot of high speed corners. You have to keep your concentration. Hopefully, for the fans and the drivers, it won't rain. It can rain very hard for 10 minutes then stop. The weather is very unpredictable here and it can have a big impact on the outcome of the race. This year the race will be even harder because of the mandatory pit windows. Last year I was running lean but not this year - it will be all out. It is good for Sebastien and good for Newman/Haas to be on the front row. I hope we can keep it 1-2 at the end of the race."
* NOTES: It will be his third race here...Earned his first Champ Car victory at this track in rookie season in 2001 after starting 10th. Qualified on pole in 2002 and finished third despite slow second pit stop. Also set the fastest race lap...He has now earned FIVE bonus points this season (Friday/Monterey, Friday/Toronto, Friday/Vanc. & Friday & TODAY/Road America)...Is currently in second place in the point standings with 143 and is 18 behind leader Tracy who has 161.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "This place is amazing and incredibly fast. The Lilly crew did a great job today and we were able to close the gap a little on Bruno. It was hard to put a lap together today. I had two good runs but unfortunately I didn't put either of my best laps completely together. I made small mistakes on both of them. The lap is so long here that it is very difficult to put together a completely perfect lap. It is a demanding track and it is very easy to make a small mistake because the speeds are very high. I don't know about the weather but I am expecting it to be consistent because if it is not, the race will be dictated by who has the best strategy. Bruno has been very close to winning races. I should be able to follow but it will be hard to pass him because he is very The race won't be about saving tires or anything - it will be flat out. Sixth laps on this track without any trouble is already a performance. This is a very difficult track and the pace is going to be very quick in the race."
* NOTES: Will be his first race here... Ran the second fastest unofficial time to Junqueira in pre-race testing in July...He earned his sixth front row start here in 12 races...He earned four poles (3-road course; 1-oval) and three wins in 11 events so far. (He started in second place in England and fifth in Long Beach.) Has won a total of six bonus points this season (Friday & Saturday in St. Pete; Saturday in Monterrey, Saturday and Sunday in Germany; Friday in Cleveland)...He is currently ranked 4th in the point standings with 100 points.
* TEAM NOTES: In total the team has won EIGHT races (da Matta 2002, Fittipaldi 1999, Mi. Andretti 1996, 1991, 1990, Ma. Andretti 1987, 1984, 1983), FIVE poles (Mi. Andretti 1999, 1998, Ma. Andretti 1987, 1984, 1983*) and 15 podiums here (2nd - Mi. Andretti 1999, Tracy 1995, Mansell 1993; 3rd - Fittipaldi 1998, Ma. Andretti 1991, 1988, Jones 1985). Mario Andretti drove to victory from pole there in 1983 and earned the team the first of their 71 wins. NHR has won more races on this track than any other on the CART schedule. At the mid-season test here Junqueira ran the fastest lap while Bourdais ran the second fastest lap. (*was NHR's first win as well as first win from pole in their 6th event.) LAST YEAR IN ELKHART LAKE: NHR's da Matta won the race from a second place start last season and Fittipaldi finished sixth after a slow last stop.
ON TAP FOR TOMORROW: The 30 minute warm-up will begin at 10 AM CT and the Mario Andretti Grand Prix of Road America will begin at 2:00 PM CT. All practice as well as qualifying and race action can be seen live on HDNet in the United States while the race can also be seen on FOX Sports en Espanol. Live audio of the Mario Andretti Grand Prix of Road America will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET, on the official web site of the CART Champ Car World Series.