Imola: Friday practice quotes

Driver Quotes Friday, September 3, 2004 Free Practice sessions Matteo Bobbi - nr 1 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "It was a good time I set this morning - particularly since it was when there was the oil on the track. So I could...

Driver Quotes
Friday, September 3, 2004
Free Practice sessions

Matteo Bobbi - nr 1 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "It was a good time I set this morning - particularly since it was when there was the oil on the track. So I could have been even quicker. I think I lost maybe a second in the last two corners. The car is good. It's early now, but I'm confident that we're not bad this weekend. The nr. 2 car has a lot of weight on board, and I hope this will be our chance to catch up in the championship."

Fabrizio Gollin - nr 2 BMS Scuderia Ferrari 550 Maranello : "We have a lot of penalty weight on board. We're carrying the 100 kilos for the fourth race now! That's a lot, and it makes it a bit difficult to find a good set-up. Also, the track is not completely even, and the corners are elevated. But I think we will have a good car for the race. It's not the fastest car out there, but it's consistent. The most important thing for us is to finish the race. We're leading the championship at the moment - and if it's up to us, we want to stay in the lead until the end of the season."

Walter Lechner Jr - nr 4 Konrad Motorsport Saleen S7 : "The car was good. It was the first time we haven't had any problems in the first free practice. We had a roll-out in Oschersleben last week, just some laps to check the car, because we had repaired everything that was damaged by the fire in Spa. I'm happy, though. I only did four laps, but they were good, and I think we can even improve tomorrow. We are working on the car, trying a few different things about the set-up to get even better lap times for tomorrow. But to be honest, I think the Maserati are just playing at the moment and definitely not giving their best. They will only start pushing their limits tomorrow. But in comparison to the other cars, the BMS Scuderia and the JMB Ferraris, I think we're competitive here. For tomorrow, I'm sure we will be in the top four with both cars. The Maseratis might be in front of us, but we will fight very very hard. And then we'll see for the race."

Uwe Alzen - nr 5 Vitaphone Racing Team Saleen S7 : "I'm rather happy, even though the car isn't easy to drive. We had a few problems this morning, but the car is better now. It's still not perfect, though. The car becomes too nervous because the track is rather bumpy and we have to cut a lot of the chicanes. It's not easy to drive at the limit in this conditions. - It's boiling hot! But of course, everyone else is having the same problem, there's nothing we can do about that."

Michael Bartels - nr 5 Vitaphone Racing Team Saleen S7 : "The balance of the car isn't as good as it usually is. As Uwe said, the track is very bumpy, and we're struggling a bit with that. I'm not sure if it's just us of if everyone has this problem. Either way, it's going to be a tough qualifying session tomorrow."

Chris Goodwin - nr 8 RML Saleen S7 : "It was a very productive day! We have quite a fast car in race trim, though it might be slower in qualifying trim. As for me, this is my first visit to Imola, and I love driving here in Italy. It's an interesting track, very different in character than the other tracks, with all its bumps and chicanes and the elevation. But I like it! It would be quite boring if all race tracks were the same."

Christophe Bouchut - nr 10 Zwaan's Racing Chrysler Viper : "It is very satisfying to set times like that (6th in the first session, 2nd in the second) especially with the Chrysler Viper. The team has done some excellent work, and mechanically the car is very good. The car's advantage on this circuit is that you really have to go up on the kerbs in order to get a good time, and the Viper is very good over the kerbs. So that is one of the reasons I am so competitive with the car; I also have plenty of Imola experience from the Porsche Supercup. I only did four laps in the morning with race tyres. I am really satisfied. "

Emanuele Naspetti - nr 13 GPC Giesse Squadra Corse Ferrari 575 M Maranello ; "It didn't go well today, because we had problems with the cooling system of the engine. The water was too hot, so we could run only two or three laps, before we had to stop. We tested some new kind of brake pads, and it wasn't working so well. But it was nothing dramatic, and I think we will have solved all the problems in time for the second session. The only problem is that we're having some problems with the kerbs. The car is jumping a lot. We have to find a solution for that. I'm in the lighter car this weekend, though. The other car has a lot more weight to carry, and I expect that to make quite a difference."

Andrea Piccini - nr 24 Dams Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT : "It was the first session in the car. I don't think it's too bad. We are two and a half seconds off the pace and we are quite close to the 575 cars. We are a way behind the Saleens but we have 60 kilos on board. On this track, that's maybe one second. So there's going to be a big gap. The car is not really easy to drive at the moment. It looked easier during testing, but with the temperatures here, it's not easy at all. We still have to work, but I think we can do a good job. The heat is a bit of a problem for us, because the air flow in the car is minimal, and we have to open something in the roof to get some fresh air at least. It's all new, so we have to work a bit on the car."

Andrea Bertolini - nr 33 AF Corse Maserati MC12 : "Everything has gone OK. We have worked on the tyres, as that is very important for the race. The Imola circuit is hard on braking and tyres, and with this sunshine, it will be difficult. But this is the first real test for the Maserati MC 12 alongside other cars. The best test will always be the actual race, and I hope this is the start of a good weekend. We have a lot of penalty weight, which is hard at this circuit, and the weight has an unbelievable effect on the braking points. The car is very nice to drive, very easy. But after nine months testing I am ready to race it. With the return to competition, this is a very big weekend for Maserati. I am so happy to be back - this is my championship. I love the atmosphere on and off the track; I have so many friends here, it's like my family."

Christian Pescatori - nr 62 GPC Giesse Squadra Corse Ferrari 360 Modena : "We tested the car well today, after the repairs following the accident which put us out of the Spa race. We were fast partly because we have very little penalty weight. Imola is up and down, and our main rivals have 50 or 75 kg. A good result is important to us, as we are on home ground in Italy, with plenty of sponsors and fans watching us. My new team-mate is very fast and he knows the car well."

Nikolaj Fomenko - nr 77 Freisinger Yukos Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS : "I'm driving only in qualifying tomorrow, as I am busy with the film. Everything is going very well, though. We had some problem on the engine, but it was an old one and we were going to change it anyway, so no problems there."

Sascha Maassen - nr 99 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS : "The crash was my own fault. I'm physically okay, but it weighs me down mentally. The car is worse off than me, though. They're working on it now, but it doesn't look good. We don't know yet if we can get it to work in the qualifying tomorrow, or even if we can take part in the race."

-fia-

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Andrea Piccini , Fabrizio Gollin , Christian Pescatori , Chris Goodwin , Sascha Maassen , Uwe Alzen , Michael Bartels , Matteo Bobbi , Christophe Bouchut , Emanuele Naspetti , Andrea Bertolini
Teams AF Corse