PATRICK CARPENTIER ( ...
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Today was very good. We had a mechanical issue in the morning. The car was fast during the afternoon, however, we decided to make a change and it was a bad one. So we re-set the car to the morning's set-up and the car was back to normal and fast. On the second stint during qualifying, we put on the option tire which helped a lot. I was running a little slow on my fast lap, but I was able to make the time up later on during that lap to post the time I did. I think the track will be faster tomorrow so we will see if we can get faster and hold on to the pole for the race."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I am pretty happy. Last year we struggled here, but this time the McDonald's car suits much better to my driving style. I am happy to be second because we are so close to the pole position. The track should be faster tomorrow and we will fight hard to earn the pole tomorrow."
PAUL TRACY (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I am fairly pleased with our result today. On the first set of tires, we were able to post our quickest lap. During the second set, we put on the option tires and then waited. We waited too long looking for a gap because there was a lot of traffic out on the track. When I finally went out and got my tires to temp, I only had one lap to post a quicker time. I let Pat (Carpentier) get around me, then he went off the track which threw dust and rocks on my car and all over my helmet. I couldn't see for the next few turns, so I wasn't able to improve my time before the session came to an end."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#8 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"The Rocketsports crew have given me a great car and it feels really good to have a fast car in Laguna. I'm happy with the improvements we've made to the No. 8 Johnson Controls car since last season. In 2003 we struggled and lost the set up of the car, but this year, I've been working very closely with Brian Ma, my engineer and we've spent a lot of time studying data, preparing and discussing the set up for this course. I was pleasantly surprised at the performance of the Bridgestone alternate tires. In a short time the were up to temperature and had excellent grip. They're the right tire for this course and I'm happy with them. We're going to adjust the pressures in the next session and know where we can gain more speed. I'm totally confident in Brian and the car. We were fourth quickest today and have a decent shot at the pole tomorrow."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"The balance of the car was not really very good. Traffic was a problem as well. On the third lap of each run the car had too much understeer. On the fourth and fifth laps, which are supposed to be the best ones, the car was losing grip. Especially on the second set of tires when I had to slow down to try to build a gap from the traffic. The PacifiCare car was really good here last year. We're going to continue to work hard to improve the car and try to fight for pole."
A.J. ALLMENDINGER (#10 Western Union Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I'm fairly pleased with today's qualifying; not really with the position, because we shouldn't really be happy with a P-7, but with how much we improved from this morning's practice to this afternoon. We made huge gains with the car. I think everyone in front of me used the softer tire except Sebastien (Bourdais) and that seems to be the way to go. We've saved both sets for tomorrow and I know that my car has got a lot more to give, so I'm pretty psyched about tomorrow's qualifying."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Qualifying eighth is reasonable. Obviously, we'd like to be further up the time charts, but it was a very tight session. We tested here earlier this year and came away with some positive results. The four or five guys ahead of us in qualifying opted to run the alternate Bridgestone tire, which we didn't go with this session. Hopefully tomorrow we'll have an advantage with two alternate sets."
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"We improved from this morning's practice, but we still have a lot of work to do. The times are really tight in this front pack and everybody used their softer tire except for the Newman/Haas drivers and that looks to be where we can find some time as we didn't use either set of our soft tires today. So with some changes we know we can do on the car, plus a faster track and two sets of the softer compound tires we should be able to take that combination of factors and squeeze some more time out to move up on the grid for tomorrow."
ROBERTO GONZALEZ (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"It was another difficult qualifying session. It's not the result I expected. We tested here in May, but ran a totally different setup. We went with Jimmy's [Vasser] setup today, and his run confirmed that it was the one we needed to go with. It's just a matter of getting adjusted to the car and moving forward for me."
JUSTIN WILSON (#34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"This has been a frustrating day for us. The changes we made to the car after the morning session seem to have backfired, and we were unable to make any progress. At this point, all we can do is go to work and try to reverse things for tomorrow."
NELSON PHILIPPE (#14 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone)
"I'm obviously disappointed with how my session went. We are going wrong somewhere, but are having trouble identifying exactly where that is. My engineers and I now need to look over our data and work on getting faster."