Vasser Eighth, Gonzalez 14th in Tight Round One Laguna Seca Qualifier MONTEREY, Calif. (September 10, 2004) -- California native and 1997 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Champion Jimmy Vasser ( ...
Vasser Eighth, Gonzalez 14th in Tight Round One Laguna Seca Qualifier
MONTEREY, Calif. (September 10, 2004) -- California native and 1997 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Champion Jimmy Vasser (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) piloted his PKV Racing Lola to the eighth fastest time at 1:10.759 (113.863 mph) around the winding 2.238-mile ribbon of pavement set in the Monterey Peninsula, while rookie teammate Roberto Gonzalez (#21 NII Holdings, Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) of Mexico clocked in 14th at 1:11.885 (112.079 mph) in Round One qualifying for Sunday's 80-lap Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
Vasser, who hails from Canoga Park, Calif., considers Laguna Seca his home track and believes tires selection will be the key to starting up front after a session that saw the top 11 qualifiers run with a second of each other.
"Qualifying eighth is reasonable," said Vasser. "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."
The 1996 Champ Car titlewinner's teammate is making his first trip to the track that boasts the fames Cork Screw, and knows increased seat time will translate into speed around the track.
"It was another difficult qualifying session," said Gonzalez. "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."
Watch the PKV Racing duo of Vasser and Gonzalez this Sunday, September 12th on Spike TV or HDNet (4:00 pm ET/PT) as they compete in Champ Car's 22nd consecutive trip to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round 11 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford.