Pacificare driver Junqueira on provisional pole for Grand Prix of Monterey and Lilly Driver Bourdais fourth fastest; both will attempt to bring team back-to-back wins here. OVERALL: A red flag brought out by the stalled car of Jimmy Vasser ...
Pacificare driver Junqueira on provisional pole for Grand Prix of Monterey and Lilly Driver Bourdais fourth fastest; both will attempt to bring team back-to-back wins here.
OVERALL: A red flag brought out by the stalled car of Jimmy Vasser near the end of the session led to a shoot out in the final four minutes of provisional qualifying today. The optimal number of laps the drivers needed to run in order to get the temperature up in their Bridgestone tires was three and that is approximately the number they were able to complete before the checkered flag. Junqueira was able to complete an "out" lap as well as three timed laps and on his third and final timed lap he earned the provisional pole position as well as one championship point and a guaranteed front row start.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I'm really happy to put the PacifiCare car on the provisional pole after running second in the qualifying sessions for many of the races this season. On the first set of tires the car wasn't that good. We made some changes before the session and the track went the wrong way from what we expected. The team made some changes to the car before we ran the second set of tires and the car was really good. I have to thank TZ (Team Manager John Tzouanakis) because he came on the radio and told me it was my last lap so I went for it. The extra pressure worked well for me. Now that we are guaranteed a front row start we can work on race set-up more in the morning session. Of course I want to hold onto pole position so we are going to work very hard to do that as well."
* NOTES: It will be his third race here...Started third and finished fourth in 2002. Started 12th and finished seventh in 2001. Ran the fastest time in the pre-season test at this track...Is currently tied for second place in the point standings with Paul Tracy at 67 each, only 10 points back from the leader Jourdain.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I flatspotted the tires on the first set in qualifying and couldn't put in a quicker lap after that. On the second set of tires, the car wasn't that good and it was hard to get a clear lap since everyone was trying to make the most of the last three minutes. We will work to improve the car before final qualifying tomorrow and hopefully we can improve on our fourth place start."
* NOTES: Will be his first race here. Was the fastest driver on the first of a two-day pre-season test and second overall during the two days to teammate Junqueira. Is the only track he has tested on to date in the series prior to the event. He earned three poles (2-road course; 1-oval) and two wins in six events so far. (He started in second place in England and fifth in Long Beach.) Has won a total of five bonus points this season (Friday & Saturday in St. Pete; Saturday in Monterrey, Saturday and Sunday in Germany). He is currently ranked 4th in the point standings with 53 points.
* TEAM NOTES: The team has won FOUR races here (Da Matta - 2002, Mi. Andretti - 1992, 1991 race & 1991 Marlboro Challenge, non-points) and SEVEN POLES (Da Matta - 2002; Mi. Andretti - 1991, 1991 (non-points), 1992; Ma. Andretti - 1984, 1986, 1987) as well as 14 PODIUM FINISHES (2nd - Fittipaldi 2002; Moreno 1999; Tracy 1995; Ma. Andretti 1983, 1984, 1989, 1992), (3rd - Ma. Andretti 1988, 1990, 1991).
ON TAP FOR TOMORROW: The morning practice session will take place from 10-11:15 AM and final qualifying will begin at 1:45 PM PT. SPEED Channel will televise final qualifying on a tape delayed basis beginning at 5:30 PM ET.