CHAMPCAR/CART: Brands Hatch: Newman/Haas Racing preview

LOCAL CONNECTION: General Manager Brian Lisles is a native of London and has been with the team for 15 years....Davey Evans, a native of Sunbury on Thames, is responsible for maintaining the engines and has been with the team for 18 years...Shop...

LOCAL CONNECTION: General Manager Brian Lisles is a native of London and has been with the team for 15 years....Davey Evans, a native of Sunbury on Thames, is responsible for maintaining the engines and has been with the team for 18 years...Shop Manager Colin Duff is a native of Perth, Scotland and has been with the team 18 years.

Driver Stats and Quotes:

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA , #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

- IN EUROPE: Although it will be his first event at Brands Hatch, Junqueira has competed extensively in Europe. He is the 2000 FIA F3000 Champion and competed in the series from 1998-2000.

- 26 POINTS OUT OF FIRST IN STANDINGS: Was second fastest in provisional qualifying in St. Pete but his fastest qualifying lap in final qualifying (potentially third) was disallowed because he brought out a red flag when he spun and stopped on course. More red flags during the session prevented him from running faster than the time he set on Friday and he started seventh. Dropped to 14th in race due to losing many positions on his first of three pit stops when the air hose of the inside rear tire changer's air gun disengaged. Charged to a 3rd place finish...More problems in qualifying led to a seventh place start in Mexico despite being fastest in both pre-qualifying practice sessions as he also did in St. Pete. Ran as high as third in the race but spun and dropped to ninth. Many on-track passes enabled him to finish fifth...Started fourth in Long Beach and finished third...He is currently ranked second in the point standings with 38 points to Paul Tracy, 64.

- 43rd START/THIRD SEASON: The race will mark his third event with NHR and 43rd overall after he made 39 starts with Target/Ganassi Racing in 2001 and 2002. His past two championships have come in his third season in those series.

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS , #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

- IN EUROPE: Prior to 2003, all but one race (12 Hours of Sebring, Fla.) in his career had taken place in Europe.

- IN 2003: By earning the pole position in his Champ car debut in St. Pete, Bourdais became the first driver to accomplish the feat since Nigel Mansell won the pole for the '93 Australian event - also while driving for NHR...Bourdais led 30 laps in St. Pete and became the first driver in the 25 year history of series to lead the first laps of his inaugural Champ car race...He also set the fastest race lap...Won his second pole in the series in Monterrey as well as set a track record. He led the first 16 laps but a faulty radio led to a missed pit stop. Also had a troubled pit stop (ECU stalled car) and later brushed the wall entering the pits which ultimately led to retire from the race in 17th place...Started fifth in Long Beach, led three laps in the race and retired in 16th place due to engine failure after he completed 70 of 90 laps...He is currently ranked 16th in the point standings with five points.

- BONUS POINTS: Has earned THREE bonus points this season (St. Pete - Fri. & Sat. qual; Mexico - Sat. qual.).

- REIGNING 2002 CHAMPION: Like his teammate Junqueira, Bourdais won the F3000 championship honors. He won three races (Imola, Italy; Monaco; Nurburgring, Germany) six pole positions (Interlagos, Brazil; Imola, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; Monaco, Nurburgring, Germany; Spa, Belgium) and finished on the podium a total of seven times en route to the 2002 Championship while driving for Team Super Nova Racing. Also set the fastest race lap three times (Interlagos, Spain, Belgium).

- DID YOU KNOW: Bourdais, 24, won born in the legendary racing town of Le Mans, France around the time that the movie Le Mans was released... Began racing at the age of 12...His father, Patrick, competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans five times and will attempt to pre-qualify for this year's race.

What They're Saying About...

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA , #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"When I raced in F3000 I used to live in England and I really enjoyed my time there. The only track that I really raced on in England was Silverstone because we raced with the Formula One series. I still have friends there so I am looking forward to racing in England again. I have never raced at Brands Hatch but I watched a friend race there. It's a pretty cool track that looks very fast especially Turn 1 and it has some other nice corners. It is a short course and we are going to lap very fast around the track. I'm anxious to go there and put in some fast laps. I think fans in the UK are road course fans. They are used to watching road course races like F1. When we race there on a road course, they're going to love it and because the track is just outside London it will be easy for them to get there. I really think they are going to love it! I think for sure that we are going to be the fastest cars that have raced there. I don't know how the race is going to go but I hope that the No. 1 PacifiCare car will be in front."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS , #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"It will be fun to return to Europe to race. I don't know exactly how many family members and friends are coming to the race but it will be around 30. T his will be their best opportunity to see me race because most of the events are too far away from them so it will be exciting for me. I think the Brands Hatch course will produce tight racing because of the length of the track. It will be really nice for the fans because the can basically see the entire course. I don't think the top-speed will be very high but we can put on an exciting race for the fans. I think oval racing is still a bit hard to understand for the Europeans so I think they will enjoy having the Champ cars race on a road course. To have the race take place so close to London is good as well."

-nhr-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing