CHAMPCAR/CART: Toronto: Pre-event quoteboard

CHAMP CAR PRE-RACE QUOTES MOLSON GRAND PRIX OF TORONTO Sebastien Bourdais ...

CHAMP CAR PRE-RACE QUOTES MOLSON GRAND PRIX OF TORONTO

Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "Toronto is a place we've had a really good balance the last two years with the McDonald's car so I'm pretty happy to come back. It's a great race for Champ Car. Molson has been doing a great job to promote the race over the years and even though they have a new role as sponsor not promoter also, I'm sure they'll do just as much. I'm sure we'll have as many fans as we usually have and have a great race. The fans are really knowledgeable. The race has been going on for a while and obviously they have a local driver to root for so it makes a very different atmosphere. The allow lots of parties on the streets like IceFest. It's a race that drivers like, but not only drivers. There are a lot of fans that look forward to the annual event. It's a cool week. The Toronto track is pretty bumpy and it is getting rougher and rougher every year although the track guys are trying to smooth it out and get rid of the bumps that appeared over the winter. The winters are pretty rough there and it takes it toll on the track so you have to get the balance right, get the car as low as you can but obviously the big bumps stop you from doing so and that's the biggest challenge. To get the ride height right and the balance good is a big challenge in Toronto."

Justin Wilson #9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "My first Champ Car win came in Toronto last year for CDW and RuSPORT, so I've got fond memories of the event. It's one of the toughest races on the calendar in terms of set-up, because of the mix of fast flowing corners and tight bumpy turns as well as the different track surfaces. The balance of the car changes all the time as the track rubbers in, and that also keeps everyone on their toes. We've shown a lot of potential over the first six races of the season, but haven't been able to convert that into a win yet. It won't be easy, but we'll be working hard to try and repeat last year's result."

Andrew Ranger #27 Tide Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone -- "It's a track I like very much, and what makes it even more special are the fans. They really cheer you on. One of my best memories from last year was the greeting that the fans gave me in Toronto. After what happened last year at the end of the race (mechanical failure with three laps left when he was running sixth), I really want to do well, not just because I will be racing in front of the Canadian crowd but also because all my family will be there, my sponsor Procter & Gamble is also based in Toronto and my friends will also be there to support me. I hope I can put in a good performance and finish the weekend as the top-Canadian in the standings once again."

Alex Tagliani #15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone -- "I feel really good going into the race weekend. It was really nice to leave Cleveland with a positive result. Our goal for Toronto is to get into the top three and we see that it is in our grasp after Cleveland. Team Australia finished on the podium there last year. The Toronto course is very challenging, which is what I love about it. It's always exciting the first time we go to Canada. As a driver it's great to compete in front of an energetic crowd like that. I look forward to the weekend and hopefully bringing home a podium finish."

Nelson Philippe #4 CTE Racing-HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone -- "We were all very disappointed after the heartbreak at Cleveland, especially after being so competitive. On the upside, it gives us a huge amount of confidence to take to Toronto. It felt amazing leading some laps again and it has now become an addiction. My engineer Will and I have been developing our setups these last few races so I know we will be fast again and I am pumped to be street racing again. I am also excited to go back to Toronto, as I really enjoy the city. The layout of the track is unique and fun to drive-- the weekend is one of the best on our schedule. We have been very close the last couple of races and we can all smell the Champagne!"

Bruno Junqueira #2 Newman/Haas Racing Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola -- Toronto was the first race I was fit enough to travel to last year and I was really looking forward to it after the accident in Indianapolis. I had just taken the cast off my left ankle the day before and I couldn't walk very well and I still had a little bit of pain but I really wanted to be with the Newman/Haas team and see the race. Paul Tracy and his friends organized a Sunday night party for me and it was pretty nice. It was called "Party Till You Break Your Back" which was pretty funny, I enjoyed it a lot. Unfortunately I couldn't be at the party very long but it was very nice what they did for me. My last race in Toronto two years ago was not good. We qualified third and I was hoping for a big fight between me Sebastien and (Paul) Tracy but on the first lap, in the first turn Mario Dominguez hit me and took me out of the race. It was the only DNF (did not finish) I had in 2004 and it was a shame. Toronto is a hard track, very narrow and fast so you need to be up there. Turn 3 is 185 mph and then you are braking, downshifting to first gear so it's quite exciting and there is a lot of action. It's an exciting track that is very technical and physical because it's often hot there. The best thing is the crowd though; it's a great crowd and its one of my favorite races of the season."

Cristiano da Matta #10 RuSPORT Ford Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone - "I'm looking forward to the race in Toronto, especially after a difficult weekend in Cleveland. The team and I plan to work hard towards putting in a good result in Toronto and moving up in the points standings, because our result in Cleveland was so disappointing. I have always enjoyed racing in Toronto...it's always a big event with lots of people attending and having a good time. Hopefully, we'll be able to put on a good show for all of the fans in Toronto."

Dan Clarke #14 CTE Racing-HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone -- "Toronto is going to be another new Champ Car experience for me. Although I've now driven on street circuits, each one has its own unique characteristics, and I'm sure this one will be similar in this respect. I'll need to learn it as quickly as possible, but I think I've shown in Cleveland that I have the capability to get up to speed with the more experienced drivers and race with them. We showed there that we have the pace to be up with the front-runners, and I hope I can prove this again in Canada. After being close to a podium finish in Cleveland, everyone at CTE-HVM is fired up and they know that I'm a fighter and won't give up, so I'll be chasing down that podium spot again, and aim to stay at the top of the rookie chart.

Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "This will be my first time to the Toronto circuit, so I look very forward to that. We should have a good car for Toronto, because based on the tapes I've seen, it's a similar circuit to Long Beach and we ran really well there. Toronto looks very challenging. I'm really motivated to do well this weekend because I haven't really been converting my qualifying into good race results. I'm training hard, and continuing my normal preparation to bring the team a positive result in Toronto."

Charles Zwolsman #34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "The track was really good to me last year in Atlantics, I qualified first in both sessions, I had the fastest lap in the race and I was leading until my engine blew. I hope that this year in a Champ Car it will be as good to me but that I will be able to finish the race with a satisfying result. The track in Toronto is really nice and also very interesting, especially with the concrete patches. The starts also make it exciting because you never know what will happen going into the first two corners as well as going into turn three. You go into that corner at such a high speed and then you brake nearly to a stop, it's what makes the track fun to race on."

Nicky Pastorelli #8 Bavaria City Racing/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I am looking forward to the race because we are going to be back on a street-course layout, and I really like those kinds of venues. I have heard a lot about this event; that the event and track is very nice and the city of Toronto is great, so I look forward to making my first visit to Canada this weekend. Hopefully we will have a little bit better luck than we have had in the last couple of races and improve our overall finishing position. So we will just have to wait and see how things go when we get there with the #8 Bavaria City Racing/Rocketsports car."

Tonis Kasemets #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I am looking forward to a new experience. This will be the first time that I take the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Champ Car out onto the street, so it will be something different and a new challenge that I am excited about. We will continue working on the car and I will continue to work on my driving. I hope that it is a lot of fun and that we have some good results."

-ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Mario Dominguez , Sébastien Bourdais , Nelson Philippe , Andrew Ranger , Charles Zwolsman , Will Power , Tonis Kasemets , Nicky Pastorelli , Cristiano da Matta , Dan Clarke