CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach Friday driver quotes

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#8 Pennzoil Special Reynard Honda Hall Racing GIL de FERRAN

"The circuit seems a lot safer this year. They've improved it, especially the apex of a couple of corners. Our car was set up similar to the way it was in Australia, and the way it was set up, it adapted well to the track. The tires (Goodyears) seem to be adapting to the circuit. The track will get quicker later on, and I'm sure the pole speed will be in the 52-second range.

"Last year, all the tracks were new and it was more of a problem at certain tracks. Coming back to all the same tracks is helpful to me and the car is working good for me. The car has adapted well to the track, as have the tires."

#12 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Reynard Honda JIMMY VASSER

"Traditionally, street courses are quicker on Saturday (second-day qualifying). I wouldn't be surprised if the times were a second quicker tomorrow."

#20 Firestone Lola Ford Patrick Racing SCOTT PRUETT

"I think we can attribute our strong performance to the Lola/Firestone package. Ford is working hard and I think they have made some improvements. They are coming along.

"They have made a change to the track. It is a lot safer. You have much better vision going through the corner. Before there was no room for error. Now you can clip the curb and there is some room for error. I really have to compliment the track organizers. We had a drivers' meeting in Australia and they had not made the change at that time. So they have done a great job making the track safer in a very short period of time. I think it will make for a more exciting race."

#2 Marlboro Penske Mercedes AL UNSER, Jr.

"The car's working great. We called upon Goodyear after the Australia race, and they've responded really well. The only thing my Marlboro car needs a little more of is balance. We're really, really close right now at this point, it just comes down to a little fine tuning."

#3 Marlboro Penske Mercedes PAUL TRACY

"It wasn't the best of qualifying sessions, but we'll be there tomorrow. At the start of the session, I hit the wall going onto the back straightaway, and bent the front suspension and the left rear toe link. We brought out the backup car, and had to decide whether or not to give up our qualifying time in the primary car. We made the decision to go with the backup, and were able to get one run in before the session ended, which put us in seventh position. Tonight, we'll work on switching the setup from the primary car to the backup, and we should be able to pick up some more speed tomorrow."

#31 LCI International Lola Honda Tasman Motorsports Group ANDRE RIBEIRO

"I feel happy because we were able to develop the car throughout the session and improve. We spent two days testing at Firebird (International Raceway) before coming to Long Beach, which was very beneficial. I think we have good potential for the weekend.

"We improved our times from the morning practice session, but it looks like we need to improve much more to be on the same level as the others. The car is actually very good. We will make a few more changes and hopefully, we will be in good shape for tomorrow."

#6 Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Lola Ford Cosworth XD MICHAEL ANDRETTI

"It's been a frustrating season so far. It will be important for us to get a top three points (finish) here, or it will be a long season. We are working on the engine, and it is getting better, but we need more power at the top end. We will make major changes tonight. The frustrating thing is that we've been competitive in every race and then something breaks."

#5 Valvoline/Cummins/Craftsman Special Reynard Ford ROBBY GORDON

"That session was about five minutes too long. (Gordon was second quickest for a while) We're about three-quarters of a second off. It doesn't sound like much, but it's quite a bit for a 50-second track. We've gotten a day of running under our belts and we have a good feeling for what's going on. We'll work on from here."

#32 Tecate Beer/Quaker State Lola Honda Tasman Motorsports Group ADRIAN FERNANDEZ

"It's hard to turn a good time at the moment. The car was better this season, but we still have a lot of understeer. It is difficult to put the power down. This is something we will work on for tomorrow to improve our position."

#18 Miller Racing Reynard Mercedes-Benz Team Rahal BOBBY RAHAL

"We weren't able to get the power to the ground. We tried both of Goodyear's compounds, and they were about the same for our car. I couldn't get any "side-bite" on the car. The tires would just slide. We have to make some changes to the chassis for Saturday's qualifying."

#21 Visa PacWest Reynard Ford TEO FABI

"The main problem with the car is understeer. I can't go around a corner and put the power down. The car's pretty good in the straight, though.

"It's difficult to come back after the layoff because there's so much competition out there. It's frustrating, because I know what I want to do, I'm just making too many mistakes. It will take me a few days. "

#28 Shell Reynard Mercedes-Benz Team Rahal BRYAN HERTA

"We tried a variety of changes to the car late in the session -- a different rear wing, different shocks, and new tires. Unfortunately, those changes didn't make a big difference. Maybe the car was too soft, or we need to make more adjustments to the chassis. Whatever it is, we aren't pleased with the current setup."

#25 Arciero-Wells Racing Reynard Toyota JEFF KROSNOFF

"The team did a good job. We improved our time by over a second from today's practice session, because we ran the whole session and got a lot of laps in. I'm a little more comfortable, and we balanced the car a little bit better. We had no engine problems and we could just drive and drive. That gave me a lot of confidence, because by repetition, I could increase my learning curve. I think that we will see even more improvement tomorrow."

#22 Herdez/Perry Ellis/ALTA Natural Spring Water Team Scandia Lola Ford Cosworth MICHEL JOURDAIN

"I'm very excited to be here. It's a dream come true, thanks to all the people from Herdez and Andy Evans and all the people at Scandia for giving me a big opportunity. I'm trying to give as many laps as possible. I'm not used to this kind of circuit, the walls and everything. I just have to be patient, and everything will come. For me, if I finish the race, it will be close to perfect. "

#21 Visa PacWest Reynard Ford Cosworth MARK BLUNDELL

"My foot feels fine,'' Blundell said, "but it just feels strange not to have the cast on. I'm going to try to walk on it as much as possible and see how it feels at the end of the day. I don't want to baby it, because I want it to be 100 percent as soon as possible."

#15 Valvoline DuraBlend Special Reynard Ford SCOTT GOODYEAR

"I'm pleased to be up and around, attending an event. But, it's very difficult to be watching and standing on the sidelines. Right now, we expect to be back at Detroit. If we make it back before then, then I guess that's a bonus."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Chip Ganassi , Andy Evans
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing