CHAMPCAR/CART: Brands Hatch: Newman/Haas Racing Saturday report

Junqueira 2nd and Bourdais 3rd in Provisional Qualifying in England. OVERALL: Paul Tracy earned his fourth front row start of the season in as many races although he only beat Junqueira, who was the fourth from last to qualify by 16/1000ths of a...

Junqueira 2nd and Bourdais 3rd in Provisional Qualifying in England.

OVERALL: Paul Tracy earned his fourth front row start of the season in as many races although he only beat Junqueira, who was the fourth from last to qualify by 16/1000ths of a second. It was the first single-car qualifying session on a road course in the 25-year history of the CART Champ Car World Series. Due to the short length of the track, CART elected to make the provisional qualifying session on the 1.2-mile course single-car format. Each driver was allowed four timed laps in addition to an "in" and "out" lap.

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I think the PacifiCare Newman/Haas team did a good job to prepare for this event. We were second fast in the first session and it was my first time on this course. The team made changes to the car from the practice sessions and they improved the car. It was quite good in qualifying. Tonight I am going to think about the track and get a good night's sleep and try to get pole tomorrow. It is a short track but every single corner is quite difficult. It's my first time to race at Brands Hatch. The race will be difficult for two reasons. It will be a physical race because it is a short track and there aren't any long straights to relax on - you will always be preparing for a corner. You also have to pay attention 100 percent of the time, which is like our oval races. Usually the road and street course races are physical and the oval races are mentally challenging but this race will be a physical and mental race due to the amount of concentration you need. The cars will be running close together for the entire race. It should be very exciting for the fans."

* NOTES: 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. He is currently ranked second in the point standings with 38 points to Paul Tracy, 64.

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It (qualifying) is a different exercise than we are used to. We only had four laps to put in a good qualifying time. I think the Lilly team did pretty well. It's always okay when you are in the top-three. I tried to get up to speed as quick as possible. My first lap was pretty quick but it's always a compromise between pushing hard and taking too many chances. The grip is already pretty high on this track which was good for us. We do not know what the weather is going to be like for tomorrow so today's qualifying session was pretty important. It was good to be third quick today. In addition to it being a physical and mental race, it will be also be difficult because there will be a lot of traffic. If it rains we won't be able to see anything."

* NOTES: Will be his first event here. Prior to 2003, all but one race (12 Hours of Sebring, Fla.) in his career had taken place in Europe.

* TEAM NOTES: In two events in the UK, NHR has two podium finishes (3rd in 2001, 2nd in 2002 - both by Cristiano da Matta at Rockingham Motor Speedway). Currently in their 21st season, NHR is the most successful team competing in the 2003 Champ Car World Series after scoring 68 victories and 72 pole positions. NHR won their 68th Champ car event in Miami (da Matta on 10-6-02). Bourdais brought the team its 71st AND 72nd pole in Round 1 & 2 this season - his first in Champ cars - (St. Petersburg 2-22-03, Monterrey 3-22-03). Prior to Bourdais's two poles and da Matta's seven poles in his previous 16 events, it had been a 56-race non-pole drought (1999 Elkhart Lake with Michael Andretti).

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW: The morning practice session will take place from 10:00-11:15 AM local time which will be followed by final qualifying from 1:45-2:45 PM. Coverage of the London Champ Car Trophy will be available live via the official website of the series, www.champcarworldseries.com. CBS will air a one-hour preview show on Sunday, May 4 at 12 noon ET. The event will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by CBS on May 10 at 1 p.m. ET.

-nhr-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Paul Tracy , Cristiano da Matta