CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston: Thursday qualifying quoteboard

CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston: Thursday qualifying quoteboard
May 12, 2006, 5:34 AM

Champ Car Grand Prix of Houston Round One Qualifying Quotes Sebastien Bourdais ...

Champ Car Grand Prix of Houston Round One Qualifying Quotes

Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone -- "Obviously the McDonald's car was awesome today. It's very difficult to say what the car is doing, because it is so bumpy out there, but it seems to be quite a bit quicker than the old position. I'm just very happy to secure this front row spot. It's very important, especially here. We'll see if it opens up. Tomorrow is going to be a completely different game. Probably we won't see as many red flags as we did today because it's difficult to understand what you need to do and when you need to go, and when you think you've got the break, well, the red flag comes out and everything has to be done again. It's quite difficult, but the car seems fine and the grid position is good. So we are starting out on a good note, and we'll see if we can finish on a good note."

Bruno Junqueira #2 Newman/Haas Racing Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola -- "My night was good. This morning I had some problems, something that broke on the car. But tonight, we played a gamble to go early, but there were two red flags straight away. I was able to do one lap that was still not as fast. The session was really hard with all the red flags. I was lucky that I think I had the second position already, but to improve the lap time I could get one lap in two corners. I think it was good. I'm very pleased that Newman/Haas worked very hard and everyone on the team to come here just on the first day. Tomorrow I have to work a little bit harder. "

Paul Tracy #3 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I think it started out okay. Obviously we're not as quick as we want to be in comparison to Newman/Haas, but to the rest of the group we're where we needed to be. We improved from this morning. We were really struggling on the bumps, getting the car to be compliant, yet still be in control and have grip is the problem here. We made a lot of changes, changed shocks, changed springs, changed stiff setting, a lot of different things. The car wasn't very good in warmup still, and we made another change in qualifying which seemed to bring it to life. It's getting there, but we still have some work to do."

A.J. Allmendinger #10 RuSPORT Lola / Ford-Cosworth Bridgestone - "We need to be quicker, and that's what it comes down to. We need to go search for ideas, because we're not doing well at all. We're not keeping up with the track...the track is getting faster, and we're not. It's disappointing, because after practice today, I thought we were going to be good. I was in second place, and (Sebastien) Bourdais was only two-tenths ahead of me, so we were feeling good. But we just don't have the pace. So, it's back to work tonight...I'm confident we'll figure it out."

Justin Wilson #9 CDW / RuSPORT Lola / Ford-Cosworth Bridgestone - "We're disappointed. We need to understand what we did wrong since this morning...the car was quick this morning, and now we're struggling. But we'll keep working at it, and hopefully, we can turn it around and be quicker tomorrow. It's a challenging circuit, but we're up to the challenge."

Oriol Servia #6 Gulfstream - PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I am very happy with the Gulfstream-PKV Racing car. I think we have one of the top three or four cars out there, but with the way the session went, I just couldn't get a fast lap on my last run. Also, I was physically not feeling very well, so that had an effect on my performance. The car was faster than we showed and we were still only .3 of a second out of third. I just need to get a good night's rest and be ready for tomorrow because I know we can improve our position on the grid."

Nelson Philippe #4 CTE Racing-HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "It was a really rough day to start off with. We only got five laps in practice this afternoon due to gearbox damage from the bumpy track. For qualifying, we went out discovering a brand new racetrack. The car was running good but unfortunately, I wasn't able to get in a good lap due to the number of red flags. I know I had the ability to do better and gain a better finishing position. It's going to be a tough weekend as we are one full practice behind the others. However, I am confident that the team will do a great job tomorrow. The track is really cool although it's a bit bumpy and hard on the arms and neck. Turn nine is really fun; it feels like a rollercoaster.

Katherine Legge #20 Bell Micro - PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: - "For me, the first qualifying session is all about staying on the track. I treat it like another test session. The other thing is, and I am sure everyone is saying the same thing, the red flags really messed the session up. I think it was an average qualifying session for me, but the key is that I continue to learn and do better the next time it out. I think the Bell Micro -- PKV Racing team will be in good shape in tomorrow's final qualifying."

Charles Zwolsman #34 Casino Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "Qualifying wasn't too bad but it was not great either. We were unable to go out and put some good laps together because the red flag would come out, but overall I'm satisfied with today's qualifying and by working on the changes made to the car, we will be able to improve our position tomorrow. I liked racing under the lights, it was not a big difference from daytime, the lighting was good."

Andrew Ranger #27 Tide / Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone -"I really enjoyed driving under the lights on a street course, I think it's fun for the drivers and for the fans. Qualifying didn't go that well for us, we still have to work on the car but I know that the Conquest Team will work hard and that we will be able to do better tomorrow."

Nicky Pastorelli #8 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone -"Well, I anticipated running under the lights for the first time in my career tonight, and it was really not much different than running in the daylight. Houston did a great job lighting up the track and it was fun to drive at night. However, the provisional qualifying session did not go as well as I expected. We have been struggling with the bumps on the track. Every time I run over one, the car is real nervous in the rear and slips out from behind. Also, the track seemed a lot slippery than it was during the afternoon, which was a bit of a surprise. During practice I would head into a turn and be able to brake a lot later than I had to this evening. So that was something I had to get used to. Overall my first day out in a Champ Car was good, I just wish we could have had better results and a better run this evening. Tomorrow is a new day and we will overcome this and prepare for the race on Saturday night."

Dan Clarke #14 CTE-Racing-HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "We got off to a quick start today in practice but picked up some oil on the track. We went out on new Bridgestone tires for qualifying and the car felt good. I was catching up to the Forsythe car and went to overtake it coming out of turn three but the car moved across and sent me into the wall. It was very disappointing. It's a very unique track and as a team we are trying to adapt and get a good session. We have a mountain to climb for tomorrow. The team has a big job to repair the car but I have faith that we will come back tomorrow and be competitive."


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