Bourdais to start 2nd and Junqueira 3r for Brands Hatch Champ Car race. OVERALL: Sebastien Bourdais set the fastest lap time in the final qualifying session today and thus secured a front row start of second place to polesitter Paul Tracy, whose...
Bourdais to start 2nd and Junqueira 3r for Brands Hatch Champ Car race.
OVERALL: Sebastien Bourdais set the fastest lap time in the final qualifying session today and thus secured a front row start of second place to polesitter Paul Tracy, whose Saturday lap time remained the fastest for both sessions. Due to warmer conditions the track was "slower" today and few competitors beat the lap times they set in provisional qualifying on Saturday. Bruno Junqueira's lap time from provisional qualifying on Sunday was actually second fastest overall but Bourdais guaranteed a front row start by setting the fastest lap of the second and final qualifying session.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS , #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"I'm between satisfied and frustrated right now with a second place starting position. My best (lap) time was on my third lap so I would probably have been faster on my fourth lap. On my fourth lap, I was much quicker in Turn 1. So much quicker that I had to shift sooner going into the next one and I tried to hold the steering wheel with one hand while shifting and I then I lost the steering wheel and got off course so I just came into the pits early. Paul was waving the (pole winner) flag instead of me so maybe he will have problems in the race like I have had when on the pole. I had problems in qualifying this time so hopefully I won't have any in the race. I'm glad to at least be starting on the front row and I expect to have a trouble free race. That is our main goal. This track will be very busy so it will be a terribly physical race."
* 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.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA , #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"Today things didn't go that well. The car wasn't that good. I expected to start higher than third place but it's better than our other starting positions this season. We will just have to get ahead of Paul and Sebastien somehow in the race. It was warmer today and I don't know if that is the reason the car wasn't as good today. The team made some changes to improve the car for qualifying but it had too much understeer. I didn't push as hard as I could have because I thought I had a second place spot locked in at that point. I didn't think I could beat Paul's time because the car wasn't as good but I would have tried to set a faster lap to keep a second place start."
* 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.
* 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 warm-up will take place from 10:00-10:30 AM local time which will be followed by the London Champ Car Trophy at 2:00 PM. Coverage of the race will be available live via the official website of the series, www.champcarworldseries.com. The event will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by CBS on May 10 at 1 p.m. ET.