Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach post-race quoteboard. PAUL TRACY ( ...
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach post-race quoteboard.
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) We needed some luck to keep the winning streak alive, and we had some of that today. I was pulling out all the stops, doing everything I could, but it wasn't enough to overtake Michel. He definitely had the measure of me until that last pit stop. We had to pit a lap earlier than Michel throughout the race because we weren't getting the fuel mileage we wanted. We had to have good out and in laps. And then, with the pressure on in that last pit stop, when we needed a flawless stop to be able to get out ahead of Adrian, Team Player's did a fantastic job. That was definitely the most physical race I've ever done.
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) We made some changes for the race, and the car was good. I made a mistake on the start of the race, spin too much the wheels, and I lost a place to Oriol, unfortunately, because Oriol wasn't that quick. I lost a lot of time to the leaders behind him. Then we pass him on the pits. And then came the pit stop strategy. You know, when we came another yellow, we decided to pit later than the other guys. But then unfortunately I was behind Jimmy, and a group of guys, and also was Oriol there. I managed to pass a few of them. But then I was behind Oriol and he was -- Oriol and Patrick, I think. And he was slowing a lot the pack to the point that we lost the leaders. I think that was the key. If Oriol could be a little bit quicker, I think the end result of the race at the end could be different. I was very fast in my last set of tires and I was pushing very hard because I knew I need to have a good gap because I knew Paul had speed. So I push very hard. The Bridgestone tires were very consistent. Unfortunately, I just overused them, and at the end my rear tires were just gone. Then I was not close enough to Paul when he came out of the pits. So once you give him the chance of at least a lap, I mean, it's over, because once he gets into the straights, you know, you get heat on the tires, and it is basically very difficult. He had new tires, or newer tires than I had.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) "I think it was a pretty beautiful day. On the first set of tires, the tires were not balanced, and they start to lose their grip, the front tires. I just was hanging in there, trying to save fuel to go to the maximum stint. After there were so many accidents, a lot of people start to do different strategy. I saw myself behind Paul and Michel. I wasn't sure because Patrick stop in the first yellow and I was, "Oh, somebody was a little behind me." But I think after the race start, Michel was such incredible pace, I was trying to keep up. I was trying to keep up with Paul. They were able to open a gap a little bit. On the second stop, we did another change, and then the car was really good and start to lay down some really good laps. I was able to catch up Paul and Michel a little bit. But after the last pit stop, I just get a bit behind Adrian. Just thought that third place was good for me and set back and am quite happy to finish third today.
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) All credit goes to the team. They gave me a great car to drive and they got the pit strategy right by bringing me back into the pit for my second stop on lap 34. It was pretty wild out there today - lots of guys taking chances and being pretty aggressive. There's nothing wrong with that - you have to be aggressive to be successful at this level. I had a couple of close calls but I was trying to be consistent and keep everything pulled together. Having not scored any points in the first two races, it was really important to us today to be able to finish the race. I'm really pleased for the whole team - this is a great result for us.
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) The car stalled in the pits. Under the circumstances, it's very deceiving. Things are not quite working well for us at the moment. There is always something that seems to go wrong at one point. The car was excellent, I was saving fuel as much as I could running in fifth instead of fourth gear. When I wanted to go fast I could. Team Player's had a great strategy and it was working well. In the last stop, I put it in gear, gave it gas and it stalled. This is not my worst start of the season, but with all the possibilities we have to win with a good car, it just does not materialize.
DARREN MANNING (#15 Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): It's frustrating when guys get lucky with their pit stop strategies and are able to pass you because of that. We worked really hard on our strategy; it just didn't work out in our favor. Being one of the first boxes in the pit lane hurt us a little bit because when the second yellow came out and we made the late call to come into the pits, my guys were still jumping over the wall as I came in. Those who were further up the pit lane had a bit more time to prepare. It's a very physical course even though there aren't any high speed corners. The hair pin and the fountain turn are so tight that as you're down shifting, you're spending an awful lot of time driving with one arm. Overall though, the car was really good today, the guys gave me great pit stops and it's good to be in the top-ten, to keep getting points.
MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) That was a good result considering the way the weekend went. To finish in the top ten is very satisfying. We were able to run almost as fast in the race as we qualified, so we finally got the car working well. In particular, the car worked really well in turn one, where I was able to pass a number of cars. I had a bit more understeer than I wanted at the start. And in the last ten laps of every stint, my tires went off quite badly and the lap times reflect it. I had a couple of close calls, and was fortunate to get through some tight situations. It was my first event with my new engineer, Andy Borme. We worked well together and I have to thank him for being so determined with the problems we had early on. We got through a difficult weekend in pretty good shape, and now we can focus on preparing for the European races."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): We had lots of speed this weekend and worked hard to improve our setup. We overcame the engineering problems we had in the beginning and did everything we needed to well. (In the race) I felt the sudden change in the car and a dragging feeling, It just didn't have the pickup it had when I first set out. The pick-up wasn't strong enough so I spent the rest of the race just trying to hang on to the position I was in. Sure, I would liked to have finished further ahead but things happen that we can't control and as a team we did our best with what we were in control of.
TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) This was probably the most difficult race of my career. Not only because of the length, but when you have a car that doesn't suit you, it makes it difficult. I didn't enjoy myself it was really tough. I did have plenty of time to try new things like different braking points, so I kept myself busy. We had problems in the pits that put us a lap down and then at the end we had gearbox problems. Overall it was a difficult weekend, but we scored 2 points, which is good. Now I'm looking forward to Brands Hatch.
ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): I am very disappointed. The Visteon/Patrick Racing car wasn't the fastest car out there, but we were having a really good race. Then on my last pit stop, apparently we had a malfunction in the fuel meter and didn't get all the fuel we needed into the car. Mainly I am disappointed because...sometimes you have a feeling...not about the result, but about yourself. Today, I was on the grid talking to the Visteon people and I told them I felt great. Usually I don't say things like that, but I really felt I was going to have a good performance today. And I did. I passed one car at the start and then Patrick Carpentier after that...I was pushing very hard, not making any mistakes, trying very hard...it was a long race and to have it end the way it did was just a shame.
PATRICK LEMARIE (#27 Scientific Atlanta Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) We tried to find a good setup since Friday. We did a good run in qualifying and thought we had improved the car enough for the race. We tried a few different things, but we never did find the right setup. It was a pretty tough race today, but we are looking forward to testing in Portland.
MICHEL JOURDAIN (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): I don't know if this this is the best or the worst day of my life. It is by far the best car I have ever had and it was just real easy to pull away from everybody. I was really disappointed on the start. I am not sure what they (Champ Car) were thinking because it was like Paul was in the lead when they threw the green flag, but after that we were able to save fuel and come in a lap later than him and we pulled a big gap. It is terrible when everything goes so perfect and you don't win.
ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) I have to say first that I'm very happy with the team's progress this weekend. Unfortunately, we don't have any points to show for it this time. But it's a long season and we are definitely headed in the right direction. I had a really good race car and we were working steadily in the first part of the race to just improve track position. I felt like I was going to be able to get a good run on the guy in front of me going into turn five so I went a little bit wide there but it's really a blind spot. By the time I saw Rodolfo (Lavin) in the tire wall, it was too late for me to change lines so I could get around him. I'm disappointed for sure but we made so much positive growth this weekend, it's hard to be down.
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) We had a good race going. The team had brought me in early for our first pit stop trying to open a window for us. The Corona car was handling really well and I was turning good, consistent laps, so I'm very pleased with that. On the restart, I lost the car on cold tires going into Turn 5 and ended up in the tire barrier. Then, Moreno tagged the rear as he came around the corner. It's disappointing that we didn't finish the race, but we're making progress with the car.
ALEX YOONG (#11 Dale Coyne Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): Before my first fuel stop I had overtaken a couple of guys and was running respectable times to the midfield guys. Just before my stop on lap 28, I had overtaken Monteiro for 14th but found I had to do that again after the blotched fuel stop which required an immediate second stop to get all the fuel in. On lap 32, I made a move on the outside of Haberfeld into turn 1 and it was a bit too ambitious. I had to drive aggressively to make up for the places lost and unfortunately it ended in the tires. We had struggled with the balance of the car all weekend but I am encouraged as we know what to do to fix it and I am expecting good things in Brands Hatch