DRIVER PRE-RACE QUOTES AUSTRALIA Sebastien Bourdais ...
DRIVER PRE-RACE QUOTES AUSTRALIA
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (1st, 301 points) - "Obviously the McDonald's team has had some great races and not so great races in Surfers Paradise. We've won once (2005) but last year was a bit of a disaster, a bit of a shame. But historically we've been very fast as a team and I've been feeling good there so we're looking for a nice weekend again under the Surfers Paradise sunshine.
"Last year we were trying to go one lap further than Will (Power) and at some point when A.J. (Allmendinger) made a mistake and was out of contention for the title I knew the championship was in the pocket and we could get a little more racy. I tried to pass Will and the maneuver didn't go right and we touched. It was a real shame for both of us. These things happen when you try to pass someone. It doesn't always go right. The race is always very intense. It's a big strategy race and in the meantime it's super easy to make a mistake because the track is pretty bumpy and the chicanes are unforgiving. The slightest mistake will take you out of the race so it's always tense. You end the race with your nerves quite worn out.
"Obviously it will be my last race in Surfers Paradise but not my last race in Australia. I'll just try to enjoy myself as much as possible and give the McDonald's team the best result possible. They really deserve it. "
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (2nd, 243 points) -- "Surfers is a very challenging track and it always produces some interesting racing as the track is very demanding and unforgiving. I hope that we can have a good weekend and make up for the disappointment from last year when I broke my wrist in practice, which took me out of the car for the weekend. My wrist has fully healed now and I have been told there will not be any tires on the Apex of the corners. This year we have been very competitive on street circuits and I hope that will stay true for Surfers."
Robert Doornbos #14 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (3rd, 238 points) -- "I can't wait to get back to my Minardi Team USA Champ Car office and go racing on the other side of the world! What I've seen on video footage it looks like a very challenging circuit in Surfers Paradise with no room for error as the walls are very close. It should be fun. There was a big gap between races which is difficult for teams and drivers but I've been keeping busy with some testing both with Minardi Team USA and for Red Bull Racing in F1 and also doing PR activities. I feel 110% ready for the final stint of this year's championship and looking to finish on a high."
Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (4th, 228 points) - "This is our biggest race of the year and one that Team Australia has been waiting for. It's great to be racing in front of my home crowd and this year I'm back and want revenge. The Aussie Vineyards car has been fast all year but we've had some mechanical issues, but we have put that behind us for Surfers. We had a great test in Sebring and I headed back to Australia early to train and get ready to try and win this year. Hopefully it will be third time lucky for me. Last year it was awesome to take pole position but after the race it was so disappointing to have come away empty handed when we knew we could have won. There's unfinished business and we're coming here with one goal and that's to win."
Graham Rahal #2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (5th, 209 points) - "I'm looking forward to getting back to Surfers Paradise. I went in either 1997 or 1998, one of the last years my dad was racing. It is a great place; absolutely beautiful! I was only 9 or 10 so I missed the best part which is the girls. I wasn't paying attention to them then. My dad was knocked out right away so I didn't see much of the race. I went back to the hotel and jumped in the pool. I'm looking forward to seeing the entire race from the cockpit of my Medi | Zone car this year though.
"It will be a tough race for me. I hope not but I think it will. I've never been a guy that has been fast over curbs and chicanes and half of the Surfers layout is hitting curbs and chicanes as hard as you can. I hope the Medi | Zone team can be competitive and we can keep the string of new winners going there but it will be a tough weekend.
"I'm pretty lucky with jetlag being young. Some people say the older you get, the harder it is to deal with jetlag. For me it has never been an issue. I can make myself fall asleep when I need to and I can wake up whenever so I'm pretty lucky that way."
Simon Pagenaud #15 Aussie Vineyards Coworth/DP01/Bridgestone (8th, 192 points) -- "I can't wait to go to Australia, honestly. This will be my first time to the country and to the race, so I really look forward to it. I'm very confident going into our most important race of the year. With looking at videos of the track and the successful test we had in Sebring, I'm more than ready to get back in the car and race. With the result Will had last year, I feel our Aussie Vineyards cars can do it again this year. I expect lots of fans to come and see us. I can't wait to jump in the car and rev the engine."
Alex Tagliani #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (10th, 180 points) -- "I always look forward to going back to Australia. The race weekend is exciting: the track is fun but challenging for the drivers, the people and atmosphere are great, and the promoters do an excellent job putting this event together. This place is very special to me because it is where I met my wife, Bronte. So, it is like my second home and I enjoy racing in front of all the Aussies. The track at Surfers Paradise is the longest street course that we race on in the Champ Car World Series. It is a very physical track and I have been training extra hard for this event. There is a lot of shifting on this track, a lot of hard braking into the corners, and it is a rough ride because there are a lot of curbs that you hit when you are trying to record quick lap times. It has been nice to have a few weeks off to recuperate after a busy summer, but I am ready to get back into the cockpit of the #8 Rocketsports car and hopefully get some positive results so that we can move up in the championship standings. It would be nice to have a podium finish, for my team that has worked very hard all season and for our partners."
Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Coworth/DP01/Bridgestone (12th, 137 points) --"It's been a bit of a break but that is probably a good thing for the Forsythe team. We had time to test at Sebring and I think we found out a lot about the car. We were very competitive at Sebring and it looks like things are coming together for us. I also kept sharp running in a couple of off-road races. Those trucks are fun. I just have to remember I can't use the chrome-horn in Australia, like I did in those events."
Dan Clarke #4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (13h, 121 points) -- "I'm definitely looking forward to going back to Australia again, and hopefully the team can repeat as race winner. We were quick here last year, and after our testing in Sebring, we should be ready to go. I really enjoy this event; it's a great atmosphere and a great circuit. I'm ready to get back in the car and race after the break, but I have kept busy training and I joined David (Higdon) in Laguna when they announced their schedule. All in all, these last two events will be our time to shine, and this Black Sheep is looking to tear it up!"
Alex Figge #29 PCM Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (17th, 77 points) - "I am looking forward to turning things around a little bit with a good finish down under. We've had decent pace the last few weekends but have not been able to turn that into a good race finish, so my main priority is to stay focused and get a good finish in the race. I've never been to Australia before and I am really excited to go. I've heard the track is incredible and I like street courses a lot so I am looking forward to getting back to business!"
Mario Dominguez #28 PCM Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (18th, 53 points) -- "I am really excited to be going back to Australia and can't wait to drive the #28 Pacific Coast Motorsports car there. With three podiums including my first win there in the last five years, the Surfers Paradise track has quickly become the most successful track of my racing career. I enjoy the race very much, it's a tough circuit that takes a lot of focus. The atmosphere of the race and the Australian people are so much fun, they really know how to enjoy a racing event! Other than my home race in Mexico City, Australia is definitely my favorite race of the year. I am really hoping I can get a very good result for PCM and that Alex Figge my teammate has a good result there as well."
David Martinez #7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone -- "I'm really excited after the test in Sebring, it was great to be back with the Forsythe Team. I really feel like we picked up the chemistry that we put together last year, we are all very excited about these next couple of races. I've never been to Australia so it's going to be a steep learning curve but I'm confident that we can get up to speed quite quickly. My goal is to get the most amount of track time as possible and just get comfortable. I've seen a lot of videos of the track, it is a really fast and tricky street course and I really can't wait to get out there. The Australia weekend should be great preparation for me and for the rest of the team so that when we get to Mexico we can achieve a great result."
Nelson Philippe #34 Juniper Group Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone -- "I am very happy to be racing again, especially in my adopted hometown of Surfers Paradise! I have been here for the past two months looking at the track being built and it is an awesome feeling to be back to defend my title. We had a productive test day in Putnam Park last week and I immediately felt comfortable in the car. I had forgotten how fast these things went! It will be tough for me to catch up to all the other drivers since I haven't done any races in the DP01 but I am very determined to get back to the top. It is great to be back with Conquest, they are a very professional team that knows how to have fun and I know we will be successful!"