McDonald's Driver Bourdais to Start Third For The U.S. Bank Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland; Pacificare Driver Junqueira to Start Sixth OVERALL: At approx. 7:45 p.m. ET Thursday night, Champ Car officials ruled that Bourdais was in violation...
McDonald's Driver Bourdais to Start Third For The U.S. Bank Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland; Pacificare Driver Junqueira to Start Sixth
OVERALL: At approx. 7:45 p.m. ET Thursday night, Champ Car officials ruled that Bourdais was in violation of a rule that concerned blocking and that he had blocked a qualifying lap of Ryan Hunter-Reay therefore his fastest lap time that had put him on provisional pole was disallowed. His second fastest lap time put him fourth on the provisional qualifying order. The guaranteed front row start and one championship point was then awarded to Paul Tracy. As a result, Bourdais lost the honor of setting a Modern Era record for five consecutive front row starts to begin a season. Early in the morning practice session, Junqueira lost control of his race car in Turn 3 and collided with the tire wall in Turn 4 and sustained damage to his front and rear wing as well as the left sidepod. By the team's count, Cleveland practice and qualifying sessions have been stopped 13 times over Thursday and Friday.
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Qualifying was much better yesterday but that's the way it goes. If a bad day is qualifying P3, I'll take it. We are still starting from the inside of Turn 1. The car was not too bad, it was pretty good. I misjudged a change this morning or the car could have been better. I wasn't on the race track at the right time though. At this track you have to be at the right place at the right time and hope a yellow or red (flag) doesn't come out or you're screwed. The red flags hurt our chance to put up some lap times. It's a long race, a difficult one and we are going to fight very hard to put the McDonald's car on the podium."
* FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here...Earned his fourth of five 2003 poles here last year. Led 33 of 115 laps and earned his first victory in the U.S. here (won prior races in England and Germany) in debut of sponsor McDonald's...Has won two races - both from pole -- this season (Mexico & Portland)...Is third in the point standings with 98.
Bruno Junqueira, No. 6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "The last lap was a mega lap. I just needed to complete the last two corners before the red flag came out (for Ryan Hunter-Reay). It was frustrating not to get a lap without traffic. Based on the telemetry, the lap looked like it could have put us P2 (position two) which is much better than P6 but it's a long race with three stops. We will try to put the PacifiCare car in the top three and fight for the win."
* FAST FACTS: Will be his fourth race here...Started fifth and finished third in 2003. Started eighth and finished 13th after mechanical failure in 2002. Started 16th and finished 23rd in rookie season here in 2001 after contact with C. Fittipaldi entering the pits...Leads the standings with 105 points over Patrick Carpentier, 99, and Bourdais, 98.
* NEWMAN/HAAS RACING FACTS: NHR has won THREE races at this track (Bourdais - 2003; Michael Andretti - 1991; Mario Andretti 1988) and FIVE poles (Bourdais - 2003; Da Matta - 2002; Mi. Andretti - 1989; Ma. Andretti 1984 & 1983). They have earned a total of 11 podium finishes (2nd - Mi. Andretti 1998 & 1992, Ma. Andretti - 1989, Mansell - 1994; 3rd - Junqueira - 2003, Mi. Andretti - 1999, Mansell - 1993, Ma. Andretti - 1986).
ON THE SCHEDULE TOMORROW: The pre-race warm-up will take place from 1:00-1:30 PM ET. The 97-lap U.S. Bank Presents the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland will be televised live on HdNet at 5:00 p.m. ET on Saturday and Spike TV will televise the race on a tape-delayed basis on Sunday, July 4 at 4 p.m. ET / 3 PM CT.