CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Newman/Haas Racing preview

Driver Stats and Quotes: SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, ...

Driver Stats and Quotes:

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 McDonald'sFord-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: - IN DENVER: Will be his second race here. Started third and finished second to teammate Junqueira last year.

- LEADS 2004 POINT STANDINGS WITH 213: Earned one point for being fastest in final qualifying in Long Beach although he started second to his teammate Junqueira, who set the fastest overall time in qualifying. Ran the fastest lap of the race and finished third...Won the Monterrey, Mexico race from his second consecutive pole at the track as well as set a new track record for his fastest race lap and took over the points lead for the first time in his CCWS career...Started second in Milwaukee but crashed on 50/250 laps and dropped to fourth place in standings with 62 points...Won from pole in Portland after he led 85 of 94 laps...Provisional pole was taken from him in Cleveland on Thursday after CCWS stewards ruled he blocked the qualifying lap of Ryan Hunter-Reay. He started third and won his third race of five this season after leading 88 of 97 laps to move him to second in the standings...Started on pole, led 75 of 84 laps, ran fastest race lap and earned his third consecutive victory in the series as well as his fourth of the season to earn the points lead...Failed to match a series record fourth consecutive victory in Vancouver when he started third, moved into second on the first lap but finished fifth in Vancouver due to a different fuel strategy employed by other teams. Set the second fastest race lap...Started from his fourth pole of the season at Elkhart Lake but finished third due to a race decided on fuel strategy...Holds a 47 point lead over second place Junqueira, 213-166.

- SEVEN WINS: ('03 0x2022 England, Germany & Cleveland; '04 0x2022 Monterrey, Portland, Cleveland & Toronto).

- NINE POLES: ('03 0x2022 St. Pete, Monterrey, Germany, Cleveland & Australia; '04 0x2022 Monterrey, Portland, Toronto, Elkhart Lake).

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #6 PacifiCareFord-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

- IN DENVER: Will be his third race here. Won from pole in both events held here 0x2022 one with Ganassi Racing and one with NHR. Led all 100 laps in 2002 and 76 of 100 in 2003.

- SECOND IN 2004 POINT STANDINGS WITH 166: Started on pole, led one lap and finished second in Long Beach...Drove to a second place finish after starting fourth in Monterrey, Mexico...Qualified 10th and finished 5th on the only oval race on the schedule in Milwaukee but moved into the lead of the standings with his finish...Maintained points lead after started and finished second in Portland. Was the provisional pole sitter on Friday but received a penalty in Saturday's qualifying and settled for a second place start. Ran the fastest race lap...Started sixth in Cleveland but finished second despite dropping to 13th due to avoiding an opening lap accident. Was his fourth second place finish of the season and third 1-2 for the team. Also set the fastest race lap...Started third in Toronto but was involved in an opening lap accident with Mario Dominguez and retired in 18th place. Lost lead in standings to teammate Bourdais who won the event...A suspension failure led to a crash in final qualifying and he started eighth and finished fourth in Vancouver...Started fourth in Elkhart Lake and ran as high as second place before fuel strategy and contact led to a 15th place finish...Second in point standings with 166 points to leader Bourdais' 213 (-47).

- FIVE WINS: Elkhart Lake '01, Japan & Denver '02, Elkhart Lake & Denver '03.

- EIGHT POLES: '01 0x2022 Nazareth; '02 0x2022 Japan, Elkhart Lake, Denver, Mexico City; '03 0x2022 Elkhart Lake & Denver; '04 Long Beach.

What They're Saying About...

Sebastien Bourdais, #2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"I started third and finished second to Bruno in Denver last year so we have a good baseline to start with. I kind of struggled to find my way around the track last year, it was really bumpy and there was less downforce due to the altitude so it was hard to know how to set the car up. I just expect that this year it will be a smoother weekend since I have knowledge of the track and what to expect. Hopefully it's going to be easier my second time at the track. It has been all of this season so far so there is no reason to think it shouldn't be better the second time around. We are in the middle of the season and the championship is starting to heat up. The McDonald's team seems to be in good shape with the car and we need to earn as many podium finishes as possible.

"I think Toronto was a good example of how important qualifying is. If you can win the pole position and run away from the tangles it's much better. It definitely has a huge influence. It's not only better because its tough to pass but it puts you in a position where fewer cars can hit you. The altitude is another factor to consider for the race. For the car it's harder because the air is thinner and the aerodynamic parts of the car don't produce as much downforce as with heavier air. It can be a pretty big issue for the brakes and the engine as well because they rely on the air to cool them.

"I think Denver is definitely a really neat place. The track is very close to downtown. We had good crowds last year and the show we provided was interesting. The fans can get close to the cars and the drivers and have a good time. Close racing so it's a great show to watch. It's real racing. The fans were pretty knowledgeable and excited last year. Once the event has been in a market for a few years, it starts to be better known and talked about. More and more people are attracted. It's a great thing to come and watch."

Bruno Junqueira, #6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"Denver is a very difficult track in a very nice city. I'm lucky to have two wins and two poles in the two races there for 100 percent result average. It's one of the most difficult tracks to do well on because it's a short, small street course but it's very challenging very difficult for the driver and I hope I can keep it up and have a good race for the PacifiCare team in Denver again this year. For sure coming back to Denver I know what I have to do to win the race. There will be very difficult competition but I will work hard to try to repeat the result I had the last two years. For sure the high altitude is tough on the drivers and cars. It's more physical and it is really difficult for the brakes and the engine has to work harder but I think the Newman/Haas team will figure it out and we will do well.

"I think qualifying in Denver is important because it's a very narrow track and it's very difficult to pass. But on the other hand this year we have the Push to Pass button and I think it will generate more passing. I hope I can get the pole and not need to pass anybody though.

"Last year was really great for all of Newman/Haas Racing. I won the race and Sebastien finished second and it was the 350th race for the team. It was a big success for both the PacifiCare and McDonald's team. To win and finish 1-2 in a very important race was good because Denver is a big market for PacifiCare and I was really happy to get that win. I want to perform well at every race but I'm happy that PacifiCare has business near a track that I have done so well at in the past and am likely to do good again at this year.

"I like the city of Denver, the people are really sports fanatics. They like football, baseball and any kind of sports. Plus if you go to Colorado Springs people are skiing, motorbiking, cycling and a lot of other sports. People in Colorado like sports and I hope they come watch the Champ Car race because it will be very exciting. The first two years a lot of people came and I hope this year will be even better."

-nhr-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Sébastien Bourdais
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing