Bruno Junqueira prevailed in the most unusual of races today to become the 23rd different driver to win a CART race on Firestone Firehawks since the tire maker joined the series in 1995. The victory is Firestone's 95th in 122 CART races in which...
Bruno Junqueira prevailed in the most unusual of races today to become the 23rd different driver to win a CART race on Firestone Firehawks since the tire maker joined the series in 1995. The victory is Firestone's 95th in 122 CART races in which it has competed, a 78-percent win rate.
Junqueira, a series rookie from Brazil, beat Michael Andretti to the finish line in the timed race by 2.687 seconds. He becomes the fourth Ganassi Racing driver to win a race, following Jimmy Vasser, Alex Zanardi and Juan Montoya. They have combined for 34 Champ car victories, all on Firestone tires.
"It was a very eventful race," said Al Speyer, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Director. "It certainly tested all of the personnel and equipment, including both our wet and dry tires. The varying and changing conditions are probably the most difficult for a team and driver to deal with, but once again the tires came through with flying colors. Like we've seen many times before, at the end of the race under dry conditions, many teams took on just a splash of fuel and didn't have to worry about whether their tires would make it to the end. Congratulations to Bruno Junqueira on his first CART win. Celebrating with Chip Ganassi in victory circle brings back fond memories from the late '90s when we were enjoying so much success together. It's also great to see Michael Andretti and Adrian Fernandez on the podium. They came from deep in the field to post strong finishes. We'll now look ahead to the next race at Vancouver."
Bruno Junqueira, Ganassi Racing Toyota/Lola/Firestone: "I knew that I could succeed and I'm on a very good team. I am very happy to do it. These conditions today really show off the good driver, the good strategy and you have to keep the car on the track. It was a tough day. I won a race like this last year in Europe - dry, wet, dry, wet. I'm really pleased to win this tough race. The Firestone tire performance was very good. Very good in the wet - I was really impressed with how I could go in the wet. And the dry tires held up really well. I did my splash-and-go and kept on the same tires, and they were very good."
Michael Andretti, Team Green Honda/Reynard/Firestone: "I had a nice, clean pass going on Christian and he just turned in on me. He obviously didn't see me, but I don't know how. I was right next to him. That allowed Junqueira to go by me and that was it. The Firestone tires were fine all day. We didn't take any tires on our last stop and they held up really well."