CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston Ford race notes


KENNY BRACK (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 3rd / Finished 7th - "The car was very loose on the first stint and we just couldn't keep our track position. We just kept sliding back and back and that was it." NOW YOU ARE TEN POINTS BEHIND DE FERRAN IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP GOING INTO LAGUNA SECA. DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR APPROACH? "Well that's not good. But it is not over until it's over."

MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 19th / Finished 9th - YOU SAID BEFORE THE RACE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO NEED TO DRIVE VERY HARD AND HAVE A GOOD STRATEGY TO MAKE UP POSITIONS TODAY AND YOU GUYS SEEMED TO DO THAT . . ."Even though I was running the leanest fuel position possible, we seemed to be using a bit more fuel than some of the other guys up front. I did everything I could and we had a great strategy. But for all the things that happened today, ninth is a good place to finish. It was a bit frustrating at the end because we had the speed but we couldn't do anything with it."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 5th / Finished 19th - "We had a good car. We ran a split strategy against Dario and Gil that caused us to run older tires and that made the car a bit slippery. I lost the rear of the car over the bumps in turn five and touched the wall slightly and bent the suspension. It's tough. But my thought was not to just lift in order to finish third or fourth - that's not my style. I wanted to push really hard to keep my second place. Sometimes it works - sometimes it bites you." DID THE CAR GET WORSE OVER THE CLOSING LAPS OR DID THE BACK END JUST JUMP OUT ON YOU? "The car was a little nervous going into the turn and I was not able to ask the team for more front grip or I was not going to be as fast a Gil. I think this was one of the toughest races for me by way of mistakes and losing the rear of the car on almost every corner. It was difficult but I was still running up front. I didn't want to loose a chance on the podium but sometimes when you drive under those conditions, it's hard not to make a mistake."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Forsythe Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 20th / Finished 10th - "The team had a good strategy and considering the struggles we had this weekend, I think we had a good result. We didn't have much track time over the weekend. I hit the wall during qualifying, missed practice because of the rain and just couldn't get the car to my liking." FOR A GOOD PART OF TODAY EVERYONE SEEMED TO BE RUNNING A FUEL STRATEGY RACE AND THAT THERE JUST WASN'T THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET OUT THERE AND REALLY RACE. HOW FRUSTRATING IS THAT FOR A DRIVER? "Yeah it's pretty frustrating, you always want to get out there and race. But actually for me it was okay because I was struggling a bit. I was having problems with the turbo but then it cleared up at the end."

ORIOL SERVIA (#22 Sigma Autosport Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 17th / Finished 26th - WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN YOU AND JOURDAIN? "(Michel) Jourdain was blocking me lap after lap. He was looking more in his mirrors more than he was racing. It wasn't just on the back straight but every little straight. I just tried a crazy move to get around him and we got together. You know, you cannot block like that, especially at a place like this."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#16 Herdez Bettenhausen Ford-Cosworth) Qualified 18th / Finished 25th - "We had a good car at the beginning of the race. Towards the end of the fuel run the rear tires started to go away and I was just trying to hold my position until we pitted. Then Oriol (Servia) tried to get by me on the dirty side of the track, lost traction and got into the tires. I had nowhere to go."

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Series IndyCar