CHAMPCAR/CART: Cleveland: Newman/Haas Racing Friday report

McDonald'S / Lilly driver Bourdais earned fourth pole in nine races for the US Bank GP of Cleveland; Pacificare driver Junqueira to start fifth SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, ...

McDonald'S / Lilly driver Bourdais earned fourth pole in nine races for the US Bank GP of Cleveland; Pacificare driver Junqueira to start fifth

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

"It's our fourth pole in nine races so I am pretty proud of that. To win the pole in the first race with McDonald's is great and it's also good for Lilly too. I have a few more to get before the season is over. The last couple of tests have been good and we have learned many things that have helped us. The ambiance on the team is good. It's where it should have been if we wouldn't have had the last two bad results. To have two third place finishes slip out of our hands was a big disappointment for us. It looks like we have a consistent car that can do many quick laps in a row so we should be good for the race if we start okay and without any big dramas. It's always been clean racing with Paul since the beginning of this year. He is fighting for the championship so for sure neither of us wants to do anything stupid. We are going to work hard to get a good finish for the McDonald's / Lilly team."


Will be his first race here... He earned FOUR poles (3-road course; 1-oval) and two wins in NINE events so far. (He started in second place in England and fifth in Long Beach.) Has won a total of five bonus points this season (Friday & Saturday in St. Pete; Saturday in Monterrey, Saturday and Sunday in Germany)...He is currently ranked 7th in the point standings with 54 points.

After earning the pole, he was presented with a one-of-a-kind custom Gibson Les Paul guitar. It has a cardinal red finish emblazoned with a white racing stripe, the Champ Car World Series logo and the official logo of the U.S. Bank Presents the Cleveland Grand Prix. It was crafted with a mahogany body, maple top and a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with single ply white binding.

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

"The car was good on the first set of tires but we made a change and it got worse so we didn't improve much and dropped from second to fifth in the last minute of the session. We should be okay for the race because we will work on improving the balance of the car in the morning warm-up. A top five start is okay here but we were hoping to put the PacifiCare car closer to the front in qualifying. There are opportunities for passing here so we will work hard on track and in the pits to get to the front."


It will be his third race here... Started eighth and was in fourth place when his engine failed and he retired in 13th place in 2002. Started 16th and retired in 23rd place after contact with Christian Fittipaldi entering the pits in 200...Is currently in second place in the point standings with 95 and is only FIVE behind leader Tracy who has 100.


Bourdais brought the team back-to-back poles here after da Matta started on pole in the 2002 event...Da Matta looked likely to set a CART record for his fifth consecutive victory here last year but engine failure ended his day after he led the first 19 laps from pole...The team has won TWO races here (Michael Andretti 1991; Mario Andretti 1988) and FIVE POLES (TODAY; da Matta 2002; Michael Andretti 1989; Mario Andretti 1984, 1983) as well as NINE PODIUM FINISHES (2nd - Mi. Andretti 1992, 1998; Ma. Andretti 1989; Mansell 1994), (3rd - Ma. Andretti 1986; Mansell 1993; Mi. Andretti 1999).

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Michael Andretti , Christian Fittipaldi , Mario Andretti