Adrian Fernandez turned in a valiant effort during today's qualifying for the Long Breach Grand Prix but was unable to defend yesterday's provisional pole. Gil de Ferran, Jimmy Vasser and Juan Montoya took the top-three positions respectively ...
Adrian Fernandez turned in a valiant effort during today's qualifying for the Long Breach Grand Prix but was unable to defend yesterday's provisional pole. Gil de Ferran, Jimmy Vasser and Juan Montoya took the top-three positions respectively Saturday in a fast and furious second qualifying session.
Kenny Brack posted the fastest time in the first session proving that he is much more than just an oval pro. Although the time relegated him to only seventh quick, he posted a time three tenths of a second quicker than anyone else in the session and he did so on a relatively green track.
Team Player's sub, Memo Gidley, turned in an impressive time notching the second quickest time of the first session. The young American will roll off outside row five for tomorrow's race.
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ -40- Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth- Qualified 4th - "We thought we could improve the times more than we did. I made a mistake on my fast lap. I don't want to make a lot of excuses, but I didn't sleep well last night and I couldn't get a good lap together. The car was better than yesterday but we couldn't get much more out of the car. There is a little improvement we need to make on the engine side for tomorrow, but we will be strong in the race."
ROBERTO MORENO -20- Visteon Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 8th - "I didn't get the most out of my set of new tires because of the red flag. We were happy in the beginning, but the second time, the change we made wasn't good. We will be okay tomorrow."
MEMO GIDLEY -32- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 10th - "We had a good run. I had clear laps, no problems and no real moments out there."
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE WORKING WITH TEAM PLAYER'S? "I always like to compare everything to the go-kart team I drive for where everything is perfect. Obviously it's on a much smaller scale. The team, the car - it's just beautiful. You can eat off the exhaust pipes. I know getting into the car that they are doing everything they can do to win. This shows that you can come from Atlantics and run at the front. It shows you don't have to come from F-3000 and these other series, you know, which is absurd. You can come from racing in the states and beat anyone in the world. I am confident of that."
WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER A GOOD SUNDAY AFTERNOON FOR YOU? "Just get faster every time I am in the car and move up. If I can start inside the top ten or fifteen I think we can have a good race."
ALEX TAGLIANI -33- Player's Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 11th - "We got stuck in traffic. It's frustrating. I can understand getting blocked by a guy is just a tenth slower, at least he's trying. But, the guys out there that are several second down is just running around blocking people."
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO GET A CLEAR LAP? "It's funny. Michael Andretti and a few other guys are really nice out there. The are professionals. They know how hard it is to put a good lap together in qualifying. Other guys out there don't do that. There are guys out there several seconds off the pace and they just drive around. The only thing they prove is that they are not acting in a gentleman's way."
MAX PAPIS -7- Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 6th - "We had some difficulties with the (pop-off) valve in the beginning of the session. I never thought that we got the best out of our boost. Overall I felt we were competitive, especially on the race pace this morning. We were missing a little bit optimizing what we had in our hands. We were quite good, but we were missing just the last little bit. I can win from there."
KENNY BRACK -8- Shell Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 7th - "I feel this is a little more representative of my road course experience. Friday was a tough day with fuel pressure problems and having to jump into the back-up car in the last minute. It feels good to be road racing again. It's where most of my racing background is and I have always wanted to come to Long Beach. I am getting more confident with each lap."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI -6- Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 14th - "My quick lap was a good one but then we had a yellow flag come up and screw me up. That lap was a good one. It doesn't help having to be in the first qualifying session but we dug ourselves into a little hole yesterday and now we have to work hard to get out of it." CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI -11- Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 13th - "I am very disappointed. It's going to be very hard to win from the 13th place. Finished fifth last year after qualifying 11th and I thought that was difficult. That year we passed everyone on the track and not in the pits, this year, we are going to have to pass people with quick stops too. The car has not been real good all weekend."
GUALTER SALLES -34- Panasonic Ford-Cosworth - Qualified 24th - "We are still struggling. I think the track is improving and so is the competition. We are getting our car better, but not enough. We are still two seconds off. This is our first time on a road course with the Lola and my first time on one since Australia. We are just learning as the weekend goes. We will be better tomorrow, but this weekend has been a struggle."