Oriol Servia And Michel Jourdain, Jr., Lead All Ford-Powered Drivers With Fifth And Sixth Place Finishes At Vancouver PLAYER'S/FORSYTHE DRIVERS TAGLIANI AND CARPENTIER FINISH OUT OF THE POINTS - Sigma Autosport driver Oriol Servia and Herdez ...
Oriol Servia And Michel Jourdain, Jr., Lead All Ford-Powered Drivers With Fifth And Sixth Place Finishes At Vancouver
PLAYER'S/FORSYTHE DRIVERS TAGLIANI AND CARPENTIER FINISH OUT OF THE POINTS - Sigma Autosport driver Oriol Servia and Herdez Bettenhausen driver Michel Jourdain, Jr., finished fifth and sixth, respectively, today in the Molson Indy Vancouver. Player's/Forsythe drivers, Alex Tagliani and Patrick Carpentier, who started the race from the front row, both suffered disappointing finishes to an otherwise impressive weekend. Tagliani, who started from the pole, led the first 68 laps of the race in dominating fashion before a broken gearbox ended his day, while Carpentier was hit from behind by Kenny Brack and finished 16th.
Oriol Servia notched his first top-five result of the season and has now scored championship points in each of the last three races, including ninth at Mid-Ohio, 10th at Road America and fifth at Vancouver this weekend ... Michel Jourdain's sixth-place finish was his best result this season on a road or temporary street circuit.
ORIOL SERVIA (#22 Sigma Autosport Ford-Cosworth) - Started 22nd/Finished 5th - "We didn't have a very good qualifying effort, but we ran a really good race. Obviously we stayed out of trouble, but I also passed six or seven cars, which is not easy at this place. The car was better in the race than it was during the warm-up, we made good pit stops and managed to stay out of everybody's way. It's very easy to make mistakes on cold tires and we were in the right places at the right time. We managed to save a lot of fuel when we had to and when I saw an opportunity I just went for it to pass people."
IT SEEMED LIKE YOUR CAR GOT BETTER AS THE RACE PROGRESSED. "Yeah, especially with the last two sets of tires. The first set was the worst, but the car was much better on the next two sets. We still aren't where I want to be, but we are getting closer every weekend."
MICHEL JOURDAIN (#16 Herdez Bettenhausen Ford-Cosworth) - Started 21st/Finished 6th - "Adrian and I didn't hit each other, but it was very, very close. I braked before he did and almost hit him, but I was fully locked up. I'm glad I didn't touch him because I wouldn't want to gain any positions that way. The car was good all race long and we didn't stop under that yellow when the pits were closed. We were able to run competitive times with the others while still saving fuel and at the end I thought I was faster than Oriol [Servia] but I couldn't get around him. It's really hard to pass here so you have to play it smart while also being being really aggressive. The points that we got today are more than we got all last season and I'm really happy with that. Obviously we want to continue to score points in the last races of the season, but it's nice to score more than we had last year."
(#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Started 4th/Finished 8th -
YOU HAD A ROUGH START TO THE RACE WITH HELIO CASTRONEVES. "Yeah, he tried to push me into the guardrail in Turn One and I stayed on the outside. We touched going into the next corner when I was on the line and he went in."
WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN YOU AND PATRICK CARPENTIER? "That mistake was on my part. The field braked way earlier than all the other restarts and I was right behind him and didn't have a chance to avoid him. The field slowed down a good 50 meters or so before it usually did there and I didn't expect that. [Mauricio] Gugelmin was in there with used tires and maybe something happened with him. I couldn't really see very far ahead, but I certainly didn't expect the braking to be that early. Pat probably braked because something happened in front of him but there was nothing I could do."
(#32 Player's/ Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Started
WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN YOU AND KENNY BRACK? "Twice I tried to pass there and once I went in too fast and I had to stop midway through the corner. But there was no way he [Brack] was going to pass, but that's racing and I guess we owe him one. The car was pushing a lot today for some reason and I couldn't turn in the middle of the corners. Alex [Tagliani] should've won this thing because he was faster than anybody else. I didn't have the car today to win."
OBVIOUSLY A FRUSTRATING WAY TO END THE WEEKEND. "Yeah, it's too bad. We had a great start to the race and I thought it was going to be better than that, but it didn't end up like I wanted it to. I wanted some points but we didn't get them today."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) - Started 1st/Finished 23rd - "It's a shame because I really wanted to get the win, but at the end when I saw that the gearbox was gone I was really sad. I saw a little hole in the back of the undertray and some oil was coming out. But it's coming. The team is strong and the car is fast and it's just a question of luck."
DID YOU FEEL ANYTHING BEFORE IT HAPPENED? "I tested it in different gears and suddenly I lost the drive and it was done."
HAVE YOU EVER HAD A MORE DOMINANT CAR OR PERFORMANCE? "I think it was like that at Elkhart Lake and Brazil last year. I've been in the front many times but I just can't win. I proved in the past that I can be fast. Maybe not in every race, but the races where the car is fast I feel good. I'm really proud of the team because what's important to me is to have a fast car and I know I have one."
WHY HAS THIS TEAM BEEN STRONG OVER THE LAST SEVEN OR EIGHT RACES? "Since last year the team has changed a lot of things and brought people like Tony Cicale and Bruce Ashmore. Our group of engineers back at the shop are doing a fantastic job on the car, and every time we show up now we have a perfect car for the first session on Friday and then we just work from there. It's very easy to be aggressive and to be confident and to try things and I think that's why we're good right now."
IS THIS YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT IN RACING? "Yeah. I had big disappointments in Brazil, Australia and Elkhart Lake last year when I was leading, but I think it's the biggest one so far. But I think I've taken this one better because I really like my car, I really enjoy working with the team and maybe all that bad luck last year made me stronger this year."
MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Started 9th/Finished 22nd - "I was full out going into the kink and something in the back seized up. I don't whether it was the engine or the differential, but I backed into the wall hard and it was one of the hardest hits I've taken. It's a real shame because we were having a good run and the car was running very competitively. I was having a good fight with [Michael] Andretti out there and I feel bad. My crew put in a lot of hard work this weekend and it's too bad we couldn't bring home a better result."