Lilly driver Bourdais won pole in oval racing debut at the German 500 as well as his third in five Champ Car World Series events; PacifiCare driver Junqueira to start second - first 1-2 start for team since 1995 SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, ...
Lilly driver Bourdais won pole in oval racing debut at the German 500 as well as his third in five Champ Car World Series events; PacifiCare driver Junqueira to start second - first 1-2 start for team since 1995
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"It's great to win the pole on my first trip to an oval. It was not really my job (that earned the pole) -- the engineers did a wonderful job to make the car where I could run flat out. I think we have had a strong car since the beginning of the season. We were quick at Brands Hatch so I didn't think we prepared the cars enough for this event since we had to make a compromise and have one set-up that would work on the road course and the oval."
"It was fairly easy to stay flat all the way around. We definitely have a good chance to be on pace at all of the races. For once the winner will be the one who starts on pole (instead of second place). My goal is not to win the Championship - that is Bruno's goal. It is my rookie year. I just want to take it race by race. Too much confidence on an oval is not good for rookies. If you are confident too quickly you are basically going too fast too early. I scared the engineers (at the test) in Phoenix because I was going too quick - driving too fast too soon. You must work to slow yourself down."
"They say that driving on an oval is the school of patience. I'm happy for the Lilly team and all of Newman/Haas Racing. They are working harder than any other team. They stay longer at the track that anyone in the Paddock and they deserve the success they have achieved."
NOTES: This was his first pole on an oval and third overall in five starts. (He started in second place in England and fifth in Long Beach.) Has won a total of four bonus points this season (Friday & Saturday in St. Pete; Saturday in Monterrey and TODAY). He is ranked FIFTH in the standings with 28 points.
It was the 10th pole for NHR in the past 20 races as well as FIRST on an OVAL since Christian Fittipaldi won the pole for the 1999 Rio de Janeiro event. Prior to 2003, all but one race (12 Hours of Sebring, Fla.) in his career had taken place in Europe. Competed in Germany in the F3000 series. In 2002 he won from pole in the Nurburgring event and finished 18th in Hockenheim after starting fourth but had to drive off course to avoid a collision in front of him. In 2001 he finished eighth after starting fifth in Nurburgring and fourth after starting eighth in Hockenheim, Germany. In 2000, he started 13th and finished fourth at the Nurburgring and started fourth in Hockenheim but did not finish the event due to hitting a puddle on the formation lap.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"I was flat out but still too slow to win the pole which is very disappointing because I expected to do it. We were 2/10th off of the pole time and I was flat out and I have no idea why. Two-tenths (of a second) is like a lifetime here. For sure I carry a camera and it causes drag but that is one-half of a tenth maximum though. For sure once the race starts it will be different. Our plan is to keep the second place starter the one that wins the race as it has happened all year and put the PacifiCare team on the top spot on the podium. It will be a very long race and maybe my experience as well as having a good race car will help us win our first race this year."
NOTES: Junqueira started 15th in the 2001 race in Germany (based on point standings) and finished 11th. Won F3000 races in Germany in 1999 (Hockenheim) and 2000 (Nurburgring). Is currently ranked second in the point standings with 53 points to Paul Tracy, 64. He is the only competitor to have completed all 445 laps contested.
TEAM NOTES: Germany will mark the first time since the Long Beach race in 1995 for NHR drivers to start 1-2. Michael Andretti and Paul Tracy started 1-2 in that event. Both drivers will be attempting to bring the team it's 11th win in the past 26 races for NHR beginning with Cristiano da Matta's victory in Australia of '01. It was the 16th pole on an oval for NHR and their 73rd overall.
ON TAP FOR TOMORROW: The morning warm-up will take place from 10:00-10:30 AM local time which will be followed by the German 500 beginning at 2:00 PM. Coverage of the German 500 will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by CBS on May 11 at 1 p.m. ET.