Top three press conference from second day of Spring Training: A conversation with Bruno Junqueira, Sebastien Bourdais, and Oriol Servia Eric Mauk: Thank you for joining us today for the end of the second day of Champ Car Spring Training as we...
Top three press conference from second day of Spring Training:
A conversation with Bruno Junqueira, Sebastien Bourdais, and Oriol Servia
Eric Mauk: Thank you for joining us today for the end of the second day of Champ Car Spring Training as we are joined by the three-fasters testers of the day.
First is Bruno Junqueira, who turned the third-best lap of the day, with an effort of 51.045 seconds (117.708mph) in the #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone. After yesterday you said you were going to make some major changes. How did those changes work out for you today?
Bruno Junqueira: We did a lot of changes on the car and it felt much better today. On my first outing with new tires I went three-tenths quicker than yesterday and then we started to change some other little things and I think we improved the car a lot. The track got a little bit hotter and a little slower. Then when I went to new tires, unfortunately I ran into some traffic on one lap and then we went red so I could not build any momentum.
I tried to go out again but within two laps we had a red flag again. That's all right. It doesn't matter if it's a test or qualifying or practice or playing with my friends, when you put new tires on, you want to see how fast you can go. It was frustrating just because I thought the car was really fast and was the fastest of the session by three-tenths, but we made good progress on the car.
Mauk: You started off this session with fairly heavy cloud cover, then it cleared up and got hot again. Are you finding this car to be very sensitive to changes in temperatures or not as much.
Junqueira: For sure the temperatures make a big difference in any race car, especially on the Champ Car where downforce is such a big part of it. When it gets out, you start to lose a little bit of the density of the air and you lose the downforce, then you go a little bit slower, but it is like that for everybody that was running with me.
Mauk: Now we are joined by Sebastien Bourdais who posted the second-fastest lap of the day in the #2 Newman/Haas Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, with a best effort of 50.953 seconds (117.920mph), becoming the only driver to run in the 50-second range in each of the first two days of Spring Training. Sebastien, tell us a little bit about how things went for you today?
Sebastien Bourdais: Yesterday's baseline was pretty good so we just tried to improve a little bit during the day. We are working on it. We found some small things that are improving the car and when you find something that gives you more grip on the front or the rear, you then have to balance the car and for the moment you have just succeeded to improve one point on the car and that's all right. We are just here to test and we don't care about the times, we just want to work on the car.
Mauk: You have just spent your first two days as a full-on Champ Car driver with being on track for three hours and then coming over to shoot photos all day. Are you looking forward to just getting into the car tomorrow and not have to worry about the rest of it?
Bourdais: It is part of the job, you have to do a lot of things in and out of the car. It's fine, it is not a problem to do it. We would like to spend a bit more time with the engineers obviously, but it is something we need to do.
Q: How do you assess your first few outings with Newman/Haas? What do you see as their strengths?
Junqueira: The best thing at the team is that everyone has been there a long time and every body knows each other and they know what to do. The team rolls quite smoothly. The one thing that maybe the team needed was somebody needed was someone to bring some new ideas to work with the older people that were really smart and knew a lot. They took a big step forward last year and they have a very good car. That helps. They care about everything on the car from the small things to the big ones and that is really important.
Bourdais: To me it's really like a family and that's important. I really felt well integrated and it's important to the driver to feel that comfort level. Of course the car is really good, and the baseline is really good.
Q: Do you feel any pressure coming into this year as the favorite?
Junqueira: I don't consider myself the favorite. I just want to win the championship and I finished second last year and the guy that won it last year is out, so I have a big chance here to get points.
Mauk: We are now joined by Oriol Servia who put up the best lap of the week in the #20 Visteon Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone with a lap of 50.940 seconds (117.951mph) a time that is the fastest of Spring Training so far. Oriol tell us a little bit about your day.
Oriol Servia: I'm just happy. Obviously happy to be quickest but really happy to have a quick car. It was very nice. The car has gotten better and better with Steve Challis as the engineer and we are looking for great things this year.