CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Newman/Haas Racing preview

Driver Stats and Quotes: BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, ...

Driver Stats and Quotes:

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

- IN DENVER: It will be his second race here. Led all 100 laps and won from pole.

- SECOND IN POINT STANDINGS WITH 164 POINTS: Was second fastest in provisional qualifying in St. Pete but his fastest qualifying lap in final qualifying (potentially third) was disallowed because he brought out a red flag when he spun and stopped on course. More red flags during the session prevented him from running faster than the time he set on Friday and he started seventh. Dropped to 14th in race due to losing many positions on his first of three pit stops when the air hose of the inside rear tire changer's air gun disengaged. Charged to a 3rd place finish...More problems in qualifying led to a seventh place start in Mexico despite being fastest in both pre-qualifying practice sessions as he also did in St. Pete. Ran as high as third in the race but spun and dropped to ninth. Many on-track passes enabled him to finish fifth...Started fourth in Long Beach and finished third...Set second fastest qualifying time in England but started third due to Bourdais earning the second-place, front row start by setting the fastest time in final qualifying. Finished second...Started second in Germany and finished fourth after he led 23 laps and ran in top three most of the event...Started eighth in Milwaukee (based on combined practice times due to rain in qualifying) but crashed on the first racing lap in Milwaukee and from a two-way tie for first place in the points to third with 66. The Ford Blue Box indicated that the car took a 70 G-force backward impact while the accelerometer in his earpiece indicated he took a 100 G-force hit...Earned his first bonus point of the season with provisional pole in Laguna Seca. Started and finished second to take sole possession of second place in standings ...Charged from his worst qualifying position of 11th place in Portland to finish fourth...Qualified fifth in Cleveland and earned his fifth podium of the season with third place...Provisional pole sitter in Toronto but started 2nd. Earned his sixth top-three finish with third place...Provisional polesitter in Vancouver but started second. Led the first 21 racing laps until CART ruled that he had to relinquish the lead due to "jumping the start." Dropped to fourth at one point but finished second...Earned maximum points (23) by leading both qualifying sessions, leading every race lap and winning in Elkhart Lake to take the points lead from Paul Tracy by a 164-161 margin with seven races to go...Hit from behind on restart in Mid-Ohio and dropped to 17th place, two laps down to the leader. Failed to earn points with 13th place finish while Tracy regained lead after earning max. 23 points...Started third but finished 13th in Montreal after two spins that dropped him to 18th place. Lost pole by 6/1000ths of a second. Set the fastest race lap...Is 28 points behind Tracy (192-164) with 23 maximum available this weekend.

- ON ROAD/STREET COURSE: Finished in the top-five in 10 of 12 road/street course races so far this season including EIGHT podiums. Three of his four wins came on this type of course ('01 & '03 Elkhart Lake road course, '02 Denver street course).

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

- IN DENVER: Will be his first race here.

- TOP ROOKIE IN POINT STANDINGS IN FIFTH: By earning the pole position in his Champ car debut in St. Pete, Bourdais became the first driver to accomplish the feat since Nigel Mansell won the pole for the '93 Australian event - also while driving for NHR...Bourdais led 30 laps in St. Pete and became the first driver in the 25 year history of series to lead the first laps of his inaugural Champ car race...He also set the fastest race lap...Won his second pole in the series in Monterrey as well as set a track record. He led the first 16 laps but a faulty radio led to a missed pit stop. Also had a troubled pit stop and later brushed the wall entering the pits which ultimately led to retire from the race in 17th place...Started fifth in Long Beach, led three laps in the race and retired in 16th place due to engine failure after he completed 70 of 90 laps...Earned his first Champ Car victory in only his fourth event at Brands Hatch after starting second and leading 95 laps...First driver in series history to win from pole in his oval racing debut in Germany after he led 74 laps in the closest finish (0.08) since 2000 Michigan race...Started 13th in Milwaukee (based on combined practice times due to qualifying being rained out) and finished ninth despite an overheating engine in the early stages of the race...Probable third place finish ended when his pop-off valve failed while fourth and he retired after 77 of 87 laps in Laguna Seca...Started fourth in Portland but low tire pressure led to an early stop that dropped him to 18th place but he charged back to third place before a rear wing failure forced him to retire with 9 laps to go. Dropped from fifth to seventh in the point standings after Portland with 53 points...For the second time this season he won the race from pole in Cleveland and moved from seventh to fifth in the point standings with 74...Qualified 6th in Toronto and finished 4th to retain 5th place rank...Qualified fifth in Vancouver, but made contact with Moreno while moving into third at the start of the race and had to make three extra pit stops which dropped him to 11th before he moved up to a third place finish to take over fourth in the point standings with 100. Also set the fastest race lap...Started and finished second in Elkhart Lake as well as set the fastest race lap...Started third and finished fifth in Mid-Ohio...Started sixth but retired from the Montreal race with differential failure. Dropped from fourth to fifth in the standings. Is ranked fifth with 126 points with 23 maximum available this weekend (-66 to leader PT).

- SIX BONUS POINTS: (St. Pete - Fri. & Sat. qual; Mexico - Sat. qual.; Germany - qual. & leading most laps; Clev. - Sat. qual.).

- RANKED 3rd IN LAPS LED - 254: Led 30-St. Pete., 16-Monterrey, 3-Long Beach, 95-England (victory), 74-Germany (victory), 1-Portland, 33-Clev. (victory), 2-Vancouver. Third behind Paul Tracy (594) and Michel Jourdain (324) for most laps led in 2003.

- OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Ranked second for most poles won at four...Leads "Rookie of Year" standings...Second to Paul Tracy for most wins at three...Only driver to have won on a road course and oval this season.

What They're Saying About...

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "The 2002 race in Denver was a very good weekend for me. I started on pole, led all 100 laps and won the race. It was a perfect weekend and I hope we can do the same in the PacifiCare car this year. I think the PacifiCare car has been very consistent and with the good performance that I had last year in Denver, I really think we have a shot to win the race. I think this year has been a big battle between Paul Tracy and me. We have both been fast everywhere and have been consistent. For sure I want to stay in front of him and he wants to stay in front of me everyday. I think it will be really important for me to win in Denver. I want to earn my first back-to-back win there. I already won twice at Road America but not back to back and it will be Newman/Haas Racing's 350th race and would be really special if I can give Carl Haas, Paul Newman and the whole team a win. Plus it is a big PacifiCare city and they will have 150 guests going to the race and if I can have a good result it would be very good for them too.

"The Denver track is very, very difficult track. It's also challenging because you are racing at a high altitude and you lose a lot of downforce on the car. Then the car is light - much more than you are used to and you have to be really competitive to keep the car on track and run fast laps. In Denver we are going to have single car qualifying for only the second time because it's a street course but it's a very short track. Every driver is going to have a three-lap opportunity to put together a good lap time. I think it will be good because there is not going to be traffic and not be any excuses. The guy that goes fast is going to be on pole."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 McDonald's / Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "We are going to run the McDonald's / Lilly paint scheme for the second time this season and I hope it is going to have the same result in Denver as it was in Cleveland where we won! I think the red colors give us good success and I think it should be a good event because last year didn't work that well for Newman/Haas (third place) but Bruno had a great weekend. We're going to learn a lot and should be just fine.

"It's a really difficult street course. All the corners are nearly the same speed - 50 or 60 mph. You really need to find a good mechanical balance and great grip and the lap time is going to come from there. We're probably going to change a lot of things from what Newman/Haas had last year. It should be a mix of what Newman/Haas had last year and Bruno's feedback. Single car qualifying is fairer for everybody. You have three laps and are alone on the track and it's equal for everybody. If you make a mistake it's only your fault and you don't have to point to anybody and say 'You blocked me.' I think it's very important for Denver as well as the other street course we have been to because on a street course when you are driving between the walls there is always blind turns and if you if you do a slow lap you can block someone even if you don't want to.

"When you bring the event into the town, the crowd is easy to access. When you bring the show to them, there are more people able to see it than ones where people have to drive 100 miles or more or fly."

-nhr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Nigel Mansell , Carl Haas