Pacificare driver Junqueira to start second for Grand Prix of Monterey and Lilly driver Bourdais to start fourth. OVERALL: Junqueira was unable to get into a rhythm while he had a clear track ahead of him and set the fourth fastest lap time in...
Pacificare driver Junqueira to start second for Grand Prix of Monterey and Lilly driver Bourdais to start fourth.
OVERALL: Junqueira was unable to get into a rhythm while he had a clear track ahead of him and set the fourth fastest lap time in final qualifying but will start second in the race due to being guaranteed a front row start as the provisional polesitter. Points leader Michel Jourdain initially earned his second career Champ Car pole as well as his second of the season but a post-qualifying technical inspection found the car to be underweight therefore he was disqualified and will start in 13th place. His disqualification moved Carpentier into pole position as he had set the second fastest lap time in the session. The disqualification also moved Bourdais from fifth to a fourth place start.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I was quite confident for the qualifying, but unfortunately when I started to qualify, there was a red flag. On the first set of tires, I couldn't get a proper run on a clear track. I was quite amazed with Michel's time. I think at that time I was second fastest. But then I said I have to find something. We made a change on the car, and the car got even worse. Even if I got the clear laps, I wasn't able to improve much. The car was really loose, really difficult to drive. It's a shame because the PacifiCare car has been good all weekend. Just when I needed it most, maybe I make a mistake when I asked for the change from the team. We worked on race setup this morning, but the car is still really fast. It will be a difficult race but we hope to get a good result. The important thing is to finish in the top-five. It would be great to win but more important than that is to make sure we finish in the top-five."
* 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, only 10 points back from the leader Jourdain with 67.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I have no idea what happened but we had no power when we put the second set of tires on. On my first run I didn't get clear laps by the time I had already passed the top performance of my Bridgestone tires. I came in for my second set and went out right away to try to secure a time for our second run but we had an engine problem. We will put a new one in for the race but we're starting P5 (position five, now position four) instead of closer up. The race will be long and we will have to push hard on track and in the pits to move up to the front."
* 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 30-minute pre-race warm-up will begin at 8:30 a.m. (PT) which will be followed by the Grand Prix of Monterey to be broadcast live by CBS Sports at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.