Junqueira Position One Well Deserved But Short Lived Watkins Glen, NY (July 5, 2008) - Bruno Junqueira posted the fastest speed (133.876 mph) taking P1 in the first qualifying session Saturday afternoon. After this stellar performance,...
Junqueira Position One Well Deserved But Short Lived
Watkins Glen, NY (July 5, 2008) - Bruno Junqueira posted the fastest speed (133.876 mph) taking P1 in the first qualifying session Saturday afternoon. After this stellar performance, Junqueira moved into the second qualifying stage as one of the favorites. A decision to wait for better track conditions turned out to cost the team the ability to move into the Firestone Fast Six group of qualifying and a run for the overall pole. He was on his way to another great lap time when Will Power spun and brought out a full course yellow just as Junqueira's tires were peaking.
The Brazilian will start 11th for the Camping World IndyCar Grand Prix on the 3.37-mile Watkins Glen International road course Sunday afternoon.
"It was a very good day for the #18 Z-Line Designs car," said a very excited Junqueira. "We were the fastest car in the first group of 13 cars to qualify. We should be starting in the top six, but we waited to go out in the second session, which hurt us because we were not able to get many laps in before Will Power crashed and brought out the caution. We had time to run only one lap after the crash, which was not enough."
Junqueira's car has been fast since the team rolled it off the hauler on Friday. The 31-year-old speeds have been in the top-10 in all the practice sessions.
"The crew has done a terrific job," Junqueira said. "We have a fast car and hopefully with some good race strategy we can be in contention at the end of the race tomorrow."
Rookie Mario Moraes came up two-tenths of a second from joining Junqueira in the second round of qualifying. The talented rookie impressed many by outpacing several veterans during his first permanent road course-qualifying attempt and will start 13th in the 26-car field.
"Unfortunately, we did not make into the second round of qualifying today," said Moraes. "The #19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q car just missed making it into the second round, but the good thing was our qualifying speed was very competitive."
This is the 19-year-old rookie's best starting position so far this season. He smashed his previous best of 19th set back in Long Beach in April.
"The crew has done a fantastic job giving me a fast car this weekend," Moraes said. "This is a great track to race on. Last year I think there were only seven laps run under caution, so this is going to be a pit strategy race. We are starting up towards the front of the field tomorrow and with some good pit stops hopefully we can get a top-10 finish."