Team Rahal goes third- and -fourth quickest in provisional qualifying at Long Beach. Notes: TEAMMATES VASSER AND JOURDAIN OCCUPY SECOND ROW - Team Rahal drivers Jimmy Vasser and Michel Jourdain, Jr., posted the third- and fourth-fastest times...
Team Rahal goes third- and -fourth quickest in provisional qualifying at Long Beach.
TEAMMATES VASSER AND JOURDAIN OCCUPY SECOND ROW - Team Rahal drivers Jimmy Vasser and Michel Jourdain, Jr., posted the third- and fourth-fastest times during provisional qualifying for the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Vasser lapped the 1.968-mile temporary street circuit in 1 minute, 9.373 seconds, while Jourdain made his way around in 1 minute, 9.548 seconds. Cristiano da Matta was fastest on the day (1:09.092), while his teammate, Christian Fittipaldi, was second-fastest (1:09.220).
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 3rd (provisional) - "I came up on traffic in the hairpin and unfortunately it slowed me up. Then on the last lap I had a clear go at it but I started out a bit conservative because I knew it was my last lap and I didn't want to make a mistake right off the bat. Then I picked up four-tenths of a second in the section that I got held up in, so certainly there's more in it. It's difficult with this system to wait for the right time and then with the few laps you have to try and not encounter traffic and not go out when there's going to be red flags, so it's tough to really get everything perfect to make it right."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 4th (provisional) - "The car is very good, and Team Rahal has given me a very competitive car again this weekend. We know now that we can contend week in and week out and it's just nice to come here to Long Beach and be competitive right away."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 7th (provisional) - "It's been a tough day. We missed a lot of the practice session this morning and it cost us maybe a spot in the front row because we had to come back from the back and recover from barely running this morning. I had a pretty good lap on the back of the circuit, but it just wasn't enough."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU AND THE CREW WERE PRESSING THIS LAST SESSION TO TRY AND CATCH UP? "Definitely."
WHAT ARE YOU GUYS MISSING? "We didn't run this morning! We did just 13 laps and maybe eight were on sticker tires. The car we had at the end we should've had at the start of qualifying, and then we could've been working on it and maybe be on pole. Who knows? I mean, everything is running well, but I'm happy that the team was able to recover from this morning because it really could've cost us a lot of positions."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 11th (provisional) - "The car is just not very good. It was better this afternoon than it was this morning, but man, I tried to put a lap together to not be at the back but I'm not very happy at the moment. We need to make some changes. The engine ran very well and it has plenty of power. We have everything we need from that side, but we just need to improve the car's setup."
HOW HAVE YOU TRIED TO ADJUST YOUR TRACTION CONTROL SYSTEM FOR THE CHANGING SURFACES AROUND THE TRACK? "It's affecting us a little bit, but our problem at the moment has nothing to do with traction control. It has to do with traction period (laughing), so that's something we've got to improve for tomorrow."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#16 Herdez Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 17th (provisional) - "I made a mistake at the end when I pitted too early and I still had a couple of laps to go, but the car was good enough for a place in the top 10. So, we'll just have to come out tomorrow and do it then."
HOW MUCH WILL YOUR PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE HERE IN INDY LIGHTS HELP YOU THIS WEEKEND? "A lot. I think knowing this track well will make a big difference. At least I've been successful on this track before so it'll be a big help."
IS IT MUCH DIFFERENT GOING AROUND HERE IN A CHAMP CAR COMPARED TO AN INDY LIGHTS CAR? "Once you get used to the power of these cars they're beautiful to drive. The technology is so great that it's a lot of fun to take a lap around this place."