Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pre-Race Driver Quotes SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS ( ...
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pre-Race Driver Quotes
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Last year the McDonald's team came to Long Beach definitely having (winning) the championship on our mind but we had to deal with new rules on race strategy and we knew we were going to play it safe with both Bruno and I on the front row. I had problems at the start because I couldn't engage the Push to Pass so I couldn't pass the Start/Finish line in front of (polesitter) Bruno, and, the Start/Finish line is really far in Long Beach so I had to wait, and PT (Paul Tracy) just drove by us getting us at the braking zone, but our podium finish was a good way to start the season. It's always important to start the season in good shape. You cannot win the championship by being hard on the first race or winning it but you definitely can lose it. A championship is very long and if you're not consistent, always there at the finish, it doesn't really matter where you are as long as you're in the top-five; you take yourself out of contention. For sure a podium finish in Long Beach was plenty satisfying for me."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Long Beach is a very important race for us because it's the location of the PacifiCare headquarters in Cypress so its also a very busy weekend for us but I enjoy it a lot because they really get you pumped up for the event. This will be my fifth time to race in Long Beach and I like the track a lot; its one of my favorite street courses. It's very challenging and I did well there the past two years so I hope I can do well again and get my first win there this year. It's really important for the PacifiCare team to have a good race in Long Beach since it's the first race of the year. We need to get a good amount of points and start the season strong to build some momentum. It would be nice to start the season with a win or at least a good finish."
PAUL TRACY (#3 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Long Beach is a special place for me. It was my first Champ Car event (with Dale Coyne Racing in 1991), I've won here four times and I'm defending champion after a nice effort by the Forsythe team last year (leading 78 of 81 laps). I can't imagine anyplace I'd rather start the season than in front of the fans at the Roar by the Shore, so to say I'm looking forward to this weekend would be an understatement. I really want that fifth win this year."
BJORN WIRDHEIM (#4 HVM, Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Street circuits are my favorite type of circuits, they are where I have had the most success, especially in F3000 and Long Beach is a very nice street circuit. I remember watching the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for the first time about 10 years ago and I have dreamed of racing there ever since. The circuit looks technical which is what I love about the street circuits. I can't wait to give the Bridgestone's a spin and get things started. I think I should have a good feel for the circuit and be up to speed in just a few laps."
MARCUS MARSHALL (#5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I am really looking forward to racing at my first event against some of the best drivers on the planet and I am ecstatic about racing at Long Beach, a fantastic circuit with a great history. I am already off to a good start with a solid teammate, Alex Tagliani. Now that we have the Lola chassis it has put a new drive behind the team to become no. 1 in the Champ Car series. So with their combined experience, and it being my rookie season, there is lot for me to draw on in our quest for success in the Champ Car World Series".
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"The Long Beach Grand Prix is a race known all over the world, so to come back is always a thrill. It looks like the weather is going to be fantastic and the fans are so enthusiastic it's impossible not to get excited. I finished 5th here last year, but this year I'm with the Forsythe team and we really want to produce a strong result in our first event together. I won't have had much time in the #7 car when the Green Flag waves on Sunday, but I have a good feeling that we will have a very strong car at every event this season and I'm confident we'll be up front this weekend."
TIMO GLOCK (#8 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Our two tests in Fontana and Sebring went very well. It is a good time to start the season in Long Beach coming off of that positive kind of momentum. I am not sure what to expect from the circuit, or the event itself, because this will be my first race in the Champ Car World Series. The car is very good, and I am very comfortable with it, so I am excited to get started this weekend and see what we can do."
JUSTIN WILSON (#9 ScanDisk Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I'm really excited about this weekend. My new team, here with RuSPORT, is really focused on winning races and we've worked really hard and learned a lot over the winter. I basically can't wait to get out there and have at it. I think the team is going to have a lot to offer in the way of competition on the track this year. So our plan is to get started on Friday, run a smooth program, and qualify at the front. Then, hopefully, deliver the results on Sunday."
A.J. ALLMENDINGER (#10 Red Bull Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I'm really excited about the start of this season. The RuSPORT team has done a lot work over the winter and I'm also really looking forward to having Justin Wilson as my teammate this year. We really pushed each other last year, racing head to head, and now that we're on the same team, hopefully we can use that to our advantage. I'm happy with my crew and really happy with my #10 car. I don't think I'm going to be happy unless I qualifying in the front two rows and finish on the podium on Sunday."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 Gulfstream/PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I am pleased with the progress the PKV Racing team made during the off-season. The process of integrating all of the new team members and programs went very well... as we expected, and I feel we have definitely upgraded the team. The whole team worked very hard during the off-season and we could not have achieved any more in the amount of time we had. That is a tribute to the leadership of Jim McGee. We are well prepared and I am confident heading into the start of the season. I think the fans will see a whole new PKV Racing team in 2005...one that will be very competitive. I have had some success in Long Beach (won in 1996 in route to the championship) and because of the history of the event, there are not many races I would rather win. I am really looking forward to getting the 2005 season off to a good start at Long Beach."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"After a long off-season I am very proud and excited to have joined Team Australia. In a short amount of time I have seen that it is a team of talented individuals, who are experienced in racing and motivated to succeed in this competitive sport. After our recent successful test at Sebring it is apparent that we will be competitive this season, with a common team goal of working towards the championship. Although it is a young relationship between us, I believe that the high number of test days still available to the team after Long Beach will prove to be an added advantage to our program. As I already have a standing connection to Australia, it gives me refreshed enthusiasm to join this new and exciting enterprise, Team Australia."
ORIOL SERVIA (#19 American Medical Response Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I am very excited to start the new season in Long Beach. I had a good off-season, I was training a lot and I am very fit. I am in the best shape possible and ready to go out and surprise some people in Long Beach with Dale Coyne Racing. After a long off-season, I am excited to be returning to the grid and have been preparing for months for this, so I am ready to go and get some positive results."
CRISTIANO DA MATTA (#21 PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I am very happy with the way things went for the PKV Racing team during the off season. I think we made a lot of progress in every way. We have a lot of new team members and I am very pleased with the way everybody has worked together and come together as a team. I am also pleased with the progress we made developing the cars. The Long Beach Grand Prix is one of my favorite races because I like the track so much. It is one of my two favorite street circuits (Surfers Paradise is the other). The track is very challenging with a good combination of fast and slow corners, plus it has a great atmosphere with all the fans and activities. I won in Indy Lights at Long Beach, but I am still pursuing my first win there in a Champ Car. We will just have to see how things go this year. I have to say I am very excited to be going back to Long Beach for first time in three years and getting the 2005 season started."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"The Long Beach Grand Prix is such a huge event and has so much history to it I am honored to compete here again. With the fact that four Champ Car Champions and four F3000 Champions will be competing in the series this season, I don't think anyone can dispute it is one of the most competitive series in the world. There is no better place for the first round than by the beach on the streets of Southern California. I can't wait; it's going to be awesome."
RONNIE BREMER (#55 HVM, Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I like street circuits and Long Beach is an exceptional example of a proper street circuit. I ran there last year in the Atlantic car, it was certainly one of my favorite races. The surface is quite bumpy, so there is a lot of work for the driver, you must really push hard to get everything second out of the car and the track. There is no margin for error, if you are not perfect, the circuit will punish you, and I like that pressure. That is what is so special about Champ Car, the driver cannot rely on devices, and he must be perfect to succeed."