VANCOUVER (July 24, 2004) -- PKV Racing pilots Jimmy Vasser ( ...
VANCOUVER (July 24, 2004) -- PKV Racing pilots Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) and Roberto Gonzalez (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) walked away from final qualifying this afternoon somewhat perplexed, but will look to climb the 85-lap mountain that awaits them in the Molson Indy Vancouver tomorrow from their 15th and 16th starting positions, respectively, when the Green Flag drops at 1:00 pm PT in British Columbia, Canada.
The 1996 Champ Car World Series titlewinner summed it up best after his qualifying run on the 1.781-mile Concord Pacific Place street venue, in very succinct fashion.
"Terrible, terrible, terrible," said California native son Vasser who clocked in at 1:01.936 (103.520 mph) on his 10th and final qualifying lap.
Vasser's PKV rookie teammate Gonzalez had nearly the same luck north of the border this afternoon, but remained optimistic about the race in a series where anything is possible.
"I think the Nextel car is at least three tenths quicker than what we showed because of all the red flags and incidents that slowed things down," said Gonzalez, who improved on Friday's time with a 1:02.163 (103.142 mph) on his 13th and final lap. "Still, that's not good enough. The positive thing to take from this is that we're moving in the right direction now and the car has been reacting to the changes we've made. Our goal is to run in the top seven like we were able to do in Toronto, since these tracks are so similar."
Both PKV drivers improved on their Friday qualifying times, and Vasser will be looking to mimic the run he had just two weeks ago in Toronto that saw him charge from 11th on the grid to the second step of the victory podium when the roar from 18 750hp Ford-Cosworth XFE powerplants had subsided. Gonzalez will also be looking to move up in the same fashion he displayed in Exhibition Place when he ran as high as seventh before being taken out of the race with contact.
Watch Vasser and Gonzalez tomorrow, July 25th on Spike TV (4:00 pm ET/PT) in the Molson Indy Vancouver, the second leg of the Canadian tri-vecta in the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford.