CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF CLEVELAND PRESENTED BY LASALLE BANK Paul Tracy ...
CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF CLEVELAND PRESENTED BY LASALLE BANK
Paul Tracy #3 INDECK Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 7th/Finished 1st)
"I'm still kind of in shock with how the race went. I got off to a really bad start, got into the mix with Robert and Graham fighting. They both kind of ran wide in turn three. Graham was kind of way out in the dusty part of the track. When he turned to change directions, go the other way, he had to come to a stop in the middle of a corner without kind of half spinning out. I was coming pretty hard. I knew he was going to have to slow down at the apex, but I thought I could kind of cross under him. He basically parked the car right in front of me to avoid spinning out. I ended up running into him. We both went out in the grass. That was wing number one. Kind of the same thing with Bruno and Oriol. Oriol made a move on Bruno. Bruno tried to cross under Oriol at the apex of turn one. I had to come to a complete stop in the center of the corner to cross underneath of Oriol. I thought, Okay, I can kind of swing through the corner here and get a good run on the straightaway. I ran right into the back of him. That was wing number two. We came in and were at the back of the field. We had lots of fuel when other guys didn't have fuel. My spirits were down for six or seven laps. I kind of stayed at the back and didn't do anything. I just sat at the back of the field. The team really rallied and said, All right, come on, let's go. We can do something here with our strategy. I passed the five cars that were in front of me. I pulled away and caught up to Graham and Justin towards the end of that stint, really started to turn some good laps. The rest was really just strategy. We had the fuel at the end of the race that other people didn't."
Robert Doornbos #14 Team Minardi USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 5th/Finished 2nd)
"I think consistency is always very important. I couldn't have planned this afternoon. I think it was the longest afternoon out of my career. I couldn't believe it that I got a drive-through at the start of the race because I had a good start, passed Graham. If you ask me, I know in Europe we race a bit tougher than we do here in the States, but I still feel nothing went wrong. We might have to talk about it afterwards. Anyway, I got the punishment, so I went to the back of the field. Pushed really hard. The team did a great job to calm me down because Michael Cannon, he knows me now a little bit. He said, Just don't make mistakes and push till the end. Yeah, great pit stops. So I have to thank the team more than anybody else."
Neel Jani #21 Red Bull-Gulfstream Coswoth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 11th/Finished 3rd)
"Had a very tough season beginning, especially Las Vegas and Houston. We were fighting for a podium until something happened, technical or a shunt. So I'm really happy to be on the podium this weekend. The weekend began quite well, but then we had a bad qualifying. In the race we were at the back, to the front, to the back, then again at the front. It ended well."
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 8th/Finished 4th)
"Well a top five finish is not a bad result. This was just one of those races where the cars that pitted off-sequence were able to be on top at the end. So, we did the best that we could but it just wasn't our luck. The #9 CDW car was good this afternoon and the crew did an excellent job for me in the pits. We just have to make sure that we can have more chances like this and try to be stronger in the next race. We are not quite quick enough yet, but we are close and I hope that in Mont-Tremblant we can put the #9 CDW car back on the podium."
Simon Pagenaud #15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 2nd/Finished 5th)
"What a race. I don't understand what Will was doing, he has such great starts and I think that's because he was on the good line. Fortunately I had a great start, better than Sebastien and I was right on his tail in the start but Will got on the outside and passed me so I settled down and started to save fuel. I was surprised to see how well I was able to follow especially with saving fuel. We had a great race car the whole race, no issues, probably the best Aussie Vineyards car I've ever had. I just have to thank the whole team and Will, he's been working hard on the setup with me. Team Australia has done a great job and just I want to thank them for their hard work."
Alex Tagliani #8 RSPORTS Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 9th/Finished 6th)
"We worked really hard here in Cleveland; it was a tough weekend for the team. We were not very happy with our starting position, but the guys worked very hard last night and they gave us a car that was very decent in the race today. So I would like to thank them for their hard working effort this weekend. I think we really lost the chance to finish with a better result at the end of the race in the pits. We had a problem refueling and we did not get all the fuel in the car, so we had to do an extra stop. On top of that, we had to save fuel at the end of the race. So, it was unfortunate; everyone was disappointed about that because we probably would have had a podium finish. We were dicing with Paul (Tracy) at a certain point and I think that the #8 RSPORTS car was as quick as the Forsythe car. Basically, we just missed out on a fantastic opportunity. We just need to get back and work on our pitstops and refueling for Tremblant. Also, we will have to work on improving the car for qualifying and then we should be good. The points are getting very tight in the championship, so with this race we are happy that we are still fourth in the standings and we just have to keep moving forward."
Graham Rahal #2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 4th/Finished 8th)
"I can honestly say our finishing position wasn't for a lack of effort. The Medi | Zone car was one of the quickest cars out there and I feel I drove a really good race. We were solid and if we hadn't had the problem at the beginning of the race we would have been in really good shape. It was disappointing at the start because had this guy Doornbos blocking everybody; it was ridiculous. I went down the inside of Doornbos into Turn 1 and I got an okay launch out of the corner -- not great but enough to hold him off. I came through Turn 3 and he came out and tried to put me in the grass. I guess when he did that I had to check up and (Paul) Tracy just punted me. I haven't seen a reply so I don't know exactly. All I know is that I got thrown up in the air, and it's a good thing this car is strong because otherwise we would have been done for the day. I'm happy that we were competitive after that. We were fast and we had a good car. We weren't in a position to make it on fuel at the end of the race. We short filled on the second regular stop and weren't in a position to make it on fuel at the end of the race. It's unfortunate but just how it goes so we just had to push Tracy as hard as we could. Unfortunately he had enough gas to keep going. We would have made it if we had one more caution at the end. I think we had the car to get by Tracy, we were much quicker than he was. It's tough to say but we had a really good car but it didn't go our way. We could keep up with whoever was in front of us and pass who ever was in front of us. The problem was that once I got behind Tracy, he's wild and he'll put you in the fence and doesn't care about it. I had a good move on him and then he came down on me and I had to back off otherwise I would have hit him."
Ryan Dalziel #28 PCM Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 16th/Finished 9th)
"I think we finished where we should have. I feel better after a disappointing qualifying session. The team gave me excellent stops; they've really done a great job for me. We have work to do on improving the car but I think it was a reasonable result overall."
Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 3rd/Finished 10th)
"We had a good start in the beginning, we were pretty much the same as everyone else and I just braked a little later on the first turn and got Simon, which was sort of important for our strategy. We had the speed today and the fuel mileage, the yellow flag just did not go our way. It's the way the series is, you have a lot of yellows and we were on the standard strategy and a couple of guys had the advantage work out for them that were not on the same strategy. At least we showed everyone that we have the pace to match anybody out there today. The guys did a great job, we had a great car all weekend, great in and out laps, great pit stops, they did everything right. Now we just go onto Mont Tremblant with the same plan we have for every race, get on pole and win one."
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st/Finished 12th)
"I'm not sure exactly what the failure is on the engine; all of a sudden it just let go and that was it. I guess it's not a good day for the fast cars. It's too bad because it was a pretty good weekend for the McDonald's team. Before the failure, I got beat. I didn't make the extra lap (by conserving fuel) and for once I got beat at my own game. That's the nature of the game but I wish we could have been up there because it could have been a really good day for points. That's the way it goes. The McDonald's car was really good and we did the best we could be but the engine let go."
Katherine Legge #11 Dale Coyne Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 15th/Finished 15th)
"My car just wasn't right today. We thought it would be best to end my day so I could keep the car in one piece. I'm not sure what the exact problem was, but I know my team will have a better car for me in Mon-Tremblant next weekend and hopefully we will have a better result."
Bruno Junqueira #19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 14th/Finished 16th)
"It was a very disappointing day for the #19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q team," said Junqueira. "Paul Tracy made contact with me and it must have broken my suspension which was the cause to my early exit. We had a very competitive car today as I was able to move up four positions quickly before Tracy hit me. I'm more disappointed for the team since they worked hard on the car all weekend."
Alex Figge #29 PCM/Molecule Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 13th)
"On the recon lap starting the race I was losing gears and alarms were going off like crazy. We were either going to have to pit or the gearbox was going to blow-up. Unfortunately we didn't make it to the pits in time. I think we made a lot of progress this weekend. We had a decent qualifying run and I am really anxious to get to Mt. Tremblant next weekend. We tested there and I think between our progress here and at the test at Road America last week, we should get off to a good start."