Pergusa: Saturday notes and quotes

NOTES AND QUOTES Jean-Marc Gounon - nr 2 Konrad Motorsport Saleen S7-R : "I am very happy as I first drove the car in Magny Cours, and as we have three drivers, we do not have much time in the car. We had problems with the set-up to start with,...

NOTES AND QUOTES

Jean-Marc Gounon - nr 2 Konrad Motorsport Saleen S7-R : "I am very happy as I first drove the car in Magny Cours, and as we have three drivers, we do not have much time in the car. We had problems with the set-up to start with, but after changing all the settings, and using my experience from this circuit in F3000, it went very well. I was pleased with my lap, and don't think I could have gone much faster. I am having a great time. However, the car has had some problems when I have not been in it, with a crash with a Porsche yesterday, and then losing a wheel in the second session this afternoon. But the race will be tough tomorrow - they always are."

Anthony Kumpen - nr 5 Force One Festina Chrysler Viper GTS-R : "Things are going well and the car is very, very good. We have an excellent tyre for the race, and things are very consistent. We did some long runs in the second session as we were not chasing for a time, and it is really good. I think we have a good chance for tomorrow's race - if we manage to do three hours, we will be at the front, I am sure. It's going to be a tough race, though, as this track is very aggressive on the cars and I think that not many will finish. I think the time improvements since last September are partly due to the fact that Pirelli, Dunlop and Michelin have all worked very hard, and that the general level of the Championship has improved, with everyone pushing that bit harder."

Bobby Verdon-Roe - nr 6 Creation Autosportif Lister Storm : "We are slightly disappointed as we thought we could have qualified on the first couple of rows. But we will be OK tomorrow - the car has the pace. I had a small spin this morning, but it did not do any damage. Marco Zadra is getting there - his times are coming down and I think we have a good overall package for the race."

Thomas Erdos - nr 7 Graham Nash Motorsport Saleen S7-R : "The car is not in a very good state at the moment. It was a very unfortunate accident. We were playing catch-up today after losing a lot of time yesterday, and so we did not have a good set-up. I went out for three or four laps; the car was not ideal but I had done a good time and was placed third. I was intending to come in on the next lap, but then the car went over the kerb, and the compression pitched the car. I don't know if something broke when it came back down, but I hit the barriers very hard. It was very unfortunate, as the team has put great effort into being here. The damage is less bad than it initially looked, but we are not yet able to tell whether we will be on the grid for tomorrow's race. We are working on it."

Gordon Davies - Team Manager, Graham Nash Motorsport : "From a safety point of view, we have decided to pull out the car nr 7, and to take it back to the UK to make sure. Regretfully, the car is too fast, too big and there are a lot of other people out there, so we cannot take the risk. But the second car managed to finish 5th starting from 30th in Magny-Cours - so they are halfway there already. We'll fight on !"

Henrik Roos - nr 11 Roos Optima Racing Team Chrysler Viper : "It's going better and better, and we improved in that session, but we are always too late. But we're getting there. We have no data logging , so we spend a lot of time testing everything."

Laurence Pearce - team manager, Lister Racing : "Jamie did the best he could under the circumstances. I wouldn't let him push any further, so this was the best he could do on this track. I don't think the grid position matters for this race - it will all be about strategy and tactics - and I've got some ideas^Å"

Andrea Piccini - nr 15 Lister Storm : "The engine is fine now, but we lost most of both sessions running it in. I just did a few laps at the end, when the conditions were not as good, but I did the best I could. However, the traffic was bad, and there were a lot of pieces of bodywork everywhere. We' re 14th on the grid, but the race is long and we showed in Magny Cours that we could get a good result from a poor qualifying position."

Klaus Abbelen - nr 18 Zwaan's Racing Chrysler Viper : "The car is going well. We tested some new wheels, which are very good, and worked on getting more fresh air in the car, which will be important for tomorrow. It will be a long hot race, but we will be sensible."

Fabrizio Gollin - nr 22 BMS Scuderia Italia Ferrari 550 Modena : "I am happy with my time and position. I only used one set of tyres, as I prefer to start the race on new rubber. In 2002 I was on pole position, but I finished second in the race, so I hope that by qualifying second, I will manage to get first place in tomorrow's race. Last year, the set-up for the Ferrari 550 was not right for this track, but this year everything is OK."

Gabriele Gardel - nr 51 Freisinger Motorsport Porsche 996 GT3-RS : " Bert Longin qualified the car, and did a good job. He did not do many laps, as we are saving this engine for tomorrow, because this is a hard track. I am quietly confident for tomorrow's race - we will just take care of the car, and take care with the kerbs, and hopefully it will be good."

Andrea Bertolini - nr 52 JMB Racing Ferrari 360 Modena : "The car is very quick over the kerbs, and the balance of the car is very consistent for the race. I really hope for a good race tomorrow. We are faster than we were last year, and I think that is mainly because the tyres are better than they were in 2002."

Tomas Enge - nr 57 MENX Ferrari 360 Modena : "I have been taking it carefully today, after having problems with the chicanes yesterday, and getting a black flag. But the car is going well and we have no problems."

Autopalace - nr 58 Ferrari 360 Modena - Although the team continued to have engine problems today, and the car did not set a qualifying time, they have been given permission, by the stewards, to start from the back of the grid.

Jamie Davies - nr 88 TMC Ferrari 360 Modena : "It was quite frustrating this morning, trying to find a clear lap, but at the end of the session I managed to get a clear track and set pole. In the second session, we had nothing to gain and everything to lose. I was scrubbing tyres at the end, and it was unfortunate that JMB managed to grab pole position on the last lap. But we are in good shape for tomorrow's race. The extra ballast is definitely a penalty - we are slower on the straights that others, but I accept that; it' s how it is supposed to work. We have to work on the car to go faster still. I raced at this circuit in F3000, and won here - but it's a completely different circuit in a GT car. For example, the Schumacher chicane is taken in first gear in a F3000 car, and you can't go over the kerbs in the same way, but it does give an insight to the track, and so that experience helps."

Darren Turner - nr 89 TMC Ferrari 360 Modena : "I took it easy today, only doing five laps in the morning, and my co-driver Kelvin Burt took the car out this afternoon to get to know the circuit better. I was sitting in the sun all afternoon. I'm not quite sure what to expect tomorrow ^Åobviously, we would like to win - and to keep this one !"

-fia-

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Andrea Piccini , Tomas Enge , Fabrizio Gollin , Darren Turner , Jamie Davies , Anthony Kumpen , Kelvin Burt , Thomas Erdos , Jean-Marc Gounon , Andrea Bertolini , Gabriele Gardel , Bobby Verdon-Roe , Henrik Roos , Klaus Abbelen