FRIDAY QUALIFYING QUOTES
Oriol Servia #22 Pay by Touch / PKV Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st) -- "I am really happy to be on pole, really happy to give a good result to PKV, after the season I have had, I am very happy how it has turned out in the end. It's a great start for the weekend, I thought the car was already good in the morning but it was all fine, it was all about putting the lap together and there was a lot of drama everywhere. There was a red flag every time I was out there so I couldn't do a lap. It must have been the most drama in a qualifying, it was like a one lap shoot out in the end for everybody and we were just able to do a fast lap because the car was good. We need to finish like this on Sunday afternoon, I have been on pole before and I know it all counts on the last lap so that is what I am going to be working on. I would like to thank Kevin Kalkhoven, Jimmy Vasser and Mark Johnson for having the faith and believing in me for this race, and of course the crew for all their hard work. We couldn't have a better chance going in to the start of this weekend."
Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 2nd) -- "Unfortunately we were in a pretty bad pit position so we had a lot of cars in front. We decided to wait. My last lap, I still got traffic. I was surprised that Oriol was able to get a time-out there. Yeah, we had the car speed. We were plenty quick enough. We just had a mixed session. The first run, it was a reasonable lap time. Obviously on my last lap of that run, I was a 10th up. So, yeah, nothing we can do about it. We'll come back tomorrow and have a shot at pole."
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 3rd) -- "This morning went very well. The #9 CDW car was working good. I was feeling very comfortable. The session right before qualifying, we went out and did a time that came pretty easily, so I was very confident. When it came down to the real deal in qualifying, I just wasn't feeling quite as good. We couldn't get into a rhythm. It's the same routine. You just need to get a good clean run on the first one and you'll feel much better. That didn't happen. And then the second one, it was crazy for everyone. You know, disappointed we didn't get pole, but pleased with the performance so far today. We've got chances to do it again tomorrow."
Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 4th) -- "It's a lot better than we've run, so it's great to be fourth. I was a little disappointed I only got one qualifying lap. I got traffic on the first run and after that it was spread and there was a lot of traffic and the session became very fragmented. That was frustrating because I felt that we could have been right there with Will Power and the other guys, but they were on reds and I was on blacks. We're right where we need to be and we're back in the game. It feels good. It could have been better but we're still happy with where we ended up."
Neel Jani #21 Red Bull-Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 5th) -- "It's not too bad for my 1st qualifying, I did not put the red tires on and I think the reds will help me quite a bit on lap times. The car is okay, not perfect yet and I think we can still find something. I am quite happy to have finished 5th on my first qualifying."
Robert Doornbos #14 Team Minardi USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 6th) -- "I am happy to be back in the office that is my Champ Car, and what a great place to visit after the break. All around, this event is very exciting, and it is a challenging circuit that is enjoyable to drive. We are working very hard to find the right set-up, and we're making improvements. Being in the top six today is not too bad, not the worst or the best way to start, but we'll have another chance tomorrow."
Bruno Junqueira #19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 7th) -- "I think we had a top-five car today, but weren't able to show it because of all the red flags in qualifying. I had to slow down in the last two turns due to the last red flag. If I didn't have to slow down I'm pretty positive that I would have qualified in the top five today. All we can do now is to get better tomorrow."
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 8th) -- "I'm feeling good, no problems. Just seems like it's my corner over there. I've crashed three times already in five years. Kind of getting used to it. Actually the less amount of walking you can make when you crash a car, so it's not that bad. No, seriously, I feel bad for the guys. The McDonald's car was pretty good. It's just unfortunate. It's pretty hard in the chicane. Just got the tire on the left side and it grabbed the whole suspension and that was that. We'll give it another try. At least Justin didn't get the pole point. You know, congrats to Oriol. Give it another shot tomorrow."
Simon Pagenaud #15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 9th) -- "Well it's a tough track to be honest. We had a good set-up and the Aussie Vineyards car was great. It really is a tough track, I've never seen anything like it before, so I just need to get used to it. There were two places where we lost time but we will sleep on it and try to go for it tomorrow. Tomorrow I will have a day of running under my belt, so hopefully Will and I can both give Craig Gore something to smile about back at his home."
Nelson Philippe #34 Juniper Soul Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 10th) -- "I have a few mixed feelings about today's qualifying session. On one hand, I'm quite happy I was able to get up to speed quickly today and on the other hand, I'm sure everyone will say this, our rhythm was hurt by the red flags. It was tough getting back in the car today and seeing all those concrete walls because it has been a while since being on a street track but we had a top ten showing which is good to see and our times are competitive so I'm quite confident that we can go a lot faster tomorrow."
Dan Clarke #4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 11th) - "It seems it was this way last year at Surfer's, there are always going to be red flags during the sessions. It happened to us today, as we were just getting our tires up to temperature, and then there was a red. On our second outing there was a red. On our final run we had only one lap, and I had a good first segment, then something let go in the gearbox. It's unfortunate, but the cards just didn't fall in our favor today. The guys did a good job, though, and the car is improving. We just haven't been able to show our potential yet. We need to be able to finish a quick lap, and hopefully tomorrow we'll get that chance."
Katherine Legge #11 Dale Coyne Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 12th) -- "All the traffic and red flags really hurt our time today. We were running in the top ten, but after the last red flag we decided not to go out and risk anything happening to the car. In doing so we ended up allowing a couple drivers to overtake me. We have a little work to do to the car, but overall the car preformed great today. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and improving some positions."
Graham Rahal #2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 13th) -- "The Medi | Zone car was good throughout the session. We had one lap that was going to be significantly quicker. After Turn 7 the lap time was up nine-tenths but it was the lap that Sebastien crashed so I didn't get to complete it. Right after I got out of Turn 7 it went red. From there on out it was just frustrating because, that was our first run and literally from then on out we had red flags or traffic. I was behind Neel Jani and he held Katherine and me up. The first one was going to be the good one but unfortunately when Seb hit it ruined our session. I enjoy the course. It's fun; Turn 7 is awesome as it the fast chicane. I really do think we had a Top Ten car."
David Martinez #7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 14th) -- "It was a difficult day as expected. We had some problems that kept us from getting as many laps as we hoped. In the morning my headrest fell off in the middle of a lap which caused a red flag, we got an eight minute penalty right at the end of the session when the track was at its best. For qualifying we made huge improvements but still we had a limited amount of laps and I just havent had the chance to 'really learn the track and go faster. Mario hit me from behind at the end of the session, although it really didn't make a difference since it was already the last lap. In general it was a good day, I just need to get more laps, every time I go out I pick up a lot of time but this is a very tricky place. I think tomorrow after the first practice I will be a lot closer."
Alex Figge #29 PCM Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 15th) -- "Wow, the circuit here is awesome and the event is non-stop. It's unfortunate our qualifying session was wasted with the constant red flags. Neither Mario nor I got a lap in and we both feel we are off to a decent start, so it would have been nice to test that in qualifying. This is my first time here in Australia, it is a beautiful place and the fans here are outrageous! It is exciting to be a Champ Car driver in Surfers Paradise, that's for sure!"
Alex Tagliani #8 PBS Equities Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 16th) -- "It was not a very good day for us during our first on-track day in Surfers Paradise. This morning, with this new rule of having to do a certain number of laps during the first forty-minutes of practice and those laps would become the number laps that we are allowed to do during qualifying this afternoon ultimately hurt us. As soon as I tapped the wall during the morning practice, we only had completed seven laps, so we had very few laps allotted in qualifying. Then there was a red flag just before we were going to head out for our run in the provisional qualifying segment, which pushed everyone to go out at the same time towards the end of the session. Knowing there was going to be a lot of traffic, we were worried that we were not going to have the chance to get in a good lap, so I pushed a little bit too hard and did not have the time to get the car fully sorted out. So, I lost it over the curb in the same chicane that I lost it in this morning. I didn't damage anything, but we didn't get a good lap recorded this afternoon. So we will start from scratch tomorrow and hopefully have a better day and more time on-track."
Mario Dominguez #28 PCM Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 17th) -- "First of all, I am incredibly proud to carry the Tecate name on my race car and I am so happy to be driving for Pacific Coast Motorsports. The day started on a high note, we ran in the top-six in both practice sessions and I know I have a fast car for tomorrow. We rolled the car out this morning with just a few handling issues but we fixed them early in the first session and ran very competitively. Good job to my engineers and my team, they have done their homework and I can't wait to get back behind the car tomorrow to continue to run toward the front. As far as qualifying, it was obviously very disappointing. We waited to start our laps until later in the session when the track would be at its best. Sure enough, as soon as I went out, the red flags started and we never got a lap at speed. After the final red flag for Tagliani, I was coming up behind David (Martinez) and he braked a little early and I was charging pretty hard behind him and hit him. It was my mistake, I am sorry for David but we'll move on and have a good day tomorrow."