CHAMPCAR/CART: Ford Racing Laguna Seca qualifying notes

Herta posts the fifth fastest time, but fails post-qualifying inspection HERTA FORCED TO START AT THE REAR OF THE FIELD- Bryan Herta turned the quickest lap in today's first session of qualifying and the fifth fastest overall, but his car failed...

Herta posts the fifth fastest time, but fails post-qualifying inspection

HERTA FORCED TO START AT THE REAR OF THE FIELD- Bryan Herta turned the quickest lap in today's first session of qualifying and the fifth fastest overall, but his car failed post-qualifying inspection and his run was disallowed. Herta, who was scheduled to make his seventh consecutive top-five start at Laguna Seca, will be forced instead to start from the 26th position tomorrow after being assessed the penalty from CART officials.

KAHNE FINISHES 17th IN TOYOTA ATLANTIC SEASON FINALE - Ford Racing developmental driver Kasey Kahne finished 17th in today's Toyota Atlantic Grand Prix of Monterey, the final event on the 12-race schedule. Kahne, who made his third start in Atlantic competition, made contact with the cars of Frank Dancs and Scott Jenkins on lap 10 and resulted in a spin that ended his day short of the scheduled 30 laps.

BRYAN HERTA (#77 Forsythe Indeck Ford-Cosworth)
IT'S NO SURPRISE YOU'RE THE FASTEST OF THE FIRST SESSION GIVEN YOUR SUCCESSES HERE. "It kinda is a surprise because after yesterday, we really got lost yesterday with the setup. The tires are different from last year and we couldn't make heads or tails of the car yesterday. My engineer Lee Dykstra made a bunch of changes overnight, and he did a great job because the car was much better this morning. Even though it was hotter and the track is a little more slick, we were still able to improve our time a little bit this afternoon. I don't know where it's going to end up, but I'm really happy with the progress that we've made."

IS THE TRACK GET SLICKER? "Yeah it is. I don't remember Laguna Seca ever being this nice; usually it's on the cool side. It's always nice, but it's usually 70. Today, it's a lot hotter than that. It's beautiful for the fans to sit in the stands, but it does make the cars slip and slide a little more and makes us earn our money a little more." ON THE PENALTY. "It seems pretty Draconian for something for which there was no advantage gained whatsoever." WHAT THE PENALTY ASSESSED FOR? "I'll let the team answer that, but I will say that it was for a non-performance issue."

STEVE DICKSON, Team Manager, (#77 Forsythe Indeck Ford-Cosworth)
CAN YOU DISCUSS THE PENALTY? "During the tech inspection, post-qualifying, there was something that came up and we're sitting here, not questioning what happened, but we are surprised by the penalty. We're a little bit taken aback by the severity of the penalty. There wasn't anything intentional that we did. There was no cheating on our part. We haven't done anything to the engine, we haven't done anything to the car for enhancement. We just went out there and Bryan put in some good laps. We had a good race car, and it's disappointing from that aspect."

WHAT PART OF THE CAR FAILED INSPECTION? "There is a deflection rule regarding one of the body parts and we had, it looked like a failure of some of the parts on the car and apparently resulted in the infraction. Like I said, we're not denying that anything happened, but we are surprised by the severity of the penalty and what it has done to us. It's a shame because Bryan did a good job today."

ORIOL SERVIA (#22 Sigma Autosport Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 21st - "It (the spin) wasn't that bad and the car is OK for tomorrow. We had a problem with the car during qualifying when we had the wrong nose. That certainly didn't help and it destroyed our momentum. This is a difficult place to pass during the race and we're going to make a plan and figure out what we're going to do to get to the front. If it's hot like this tomorrow, it's going to be difficult for everyone."

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 24th - "We had a mechanical problem with our car and that forced us to go to the backup and that was very difficult for us. The car wasn't where it needed to be. We did the best we could. We're going to look at running some different strategies tomorrow and see what we can do. I really don't know what to say. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. We're going to put this aside, but for the moment, I'm pretty embarrassed."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#16 Herdez Bettenhausen Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 15th - "We were the fastest Lola, but we were fifth in the session. I guess that's not too bad, but the time wasn't as fast as it should have been. We've been struggling with the balance the whole weekend, and we can't get a good run. We're going to keep working hard because tomorrow is going to be a long race. Hopefully we can have a consistent car and finish the race." DID THE TRACK LOSE GRIP AS THE SESSION PROGRESSES? "It probably did get slicker. Hopefully it will get a lot more grip tomorrow, but we still need to find the right balance in the car first."

KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 14th
BIG PUSH COMING DOWN THE HILL? "You try it. Obviously, we're not as fast as we want to be and in those circumstances you try even harder, but the lap time wasn't even there so there's nothing more can you do."

WAS IT THE SAME PROBLEM AS YESTERDAY? "I think we're better today, or at least, we're not that far off. Maybe we are because we're about the same."

IT IS OVERSTEER? "Oversteer and understeer. I guess if you look at it that way, it evens out."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 9th
WHAT HAPPENED ON YOUR LAST LAP? "It's too bad. We had a very fast lap. It was finished; actually, I had to get through the last corner. It would have put us in fifth place, but the gearbox blew up on the corner, so I just went straight and parked it. It just went to neutral for some reason. We ended up 10th, which isn't too bad. It's a good thing I had a fast lap on my first set, but that's too bad because we should have been in the top five. I wanted to be in the top five today. Some races it works and some it doesn't; a top 10 is OK."

WHAT IS THE KEY TO GET THROUGH THE FIELD STARTING FROM THE 10TH SPOT? "I don't know how hard it is, but I'm going to find a way to move forward. I'm looking forward to that." THE GUYS IN THE PITS WILL BE IMPORTANT. "Yeah, they do a good job every weekend. If they do the same thing that they've done all year, we should be good."

WAS TRAFFIC A PROBLEM IN QUALIFYING TODAY? "There was a lot of traffic, but I had enough space to do my fast lap. It was just the gearbox today. It's too bad because I had a fast lap."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 8th - "We're pretty pleased with ninth. Tony told me not to be too greedy because at the end we had a much better lap going, maybe two tenths. I just went off Turn 10 into the sand and we did the same lap time as the previous one. Considering the little run off in the dirt, we were pleased with the car. I'm definitely pleased we took Pat's setup. It was little things different to the car that wasn't allowing our setup and changes to go faster. The Players team is good for that, a two-car team with two drivers. Sometimes Pat takes my setup and sometimes I take his."

-Ford Racing-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bryan Herta , Kasey Kahne , Frank Dancs