Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Saturday quoteboard. MICHEL JOURDAIN ( ...
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Saturday quoteboard.
MICHEL JOURDAIN (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Is the best feeling, you know. Two years ago we were here, and 30 seconds to go in the session, and I still had pole position, then they took it away from me. It was worth it for today. Many times I've been so close. I mean, Team Rahal, last year since I came on board, they've given -- finally I've reached pole, I can be in press conference, and I'm in the middle. Hopefully tomorrow it's the same (laughter). I mean, it's great. I mean, the whole weekend, the car seemed very good. We just needed to get a couple of changes. Yesterday in qualifying, we thought we had a very competitive car. We made a change in the middle. We made a change yesterday, it didn't work. Today we made a little change in the middle, and it worked pretty good."
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) "We kind of waited to see what was happening and when I finally went out, I brushed the wall in turn five bending a control arm on the left rear suspension. Team Player's spent some time fixing it. I went out again but there was a lot of traffic. I did a fairly good time but it was not good enough and I could not improve my time. The only good thing I got out of it is an extra set of new tires for the race. I can win from any place from the top five. Michel is starting from the pole for the first time but he isn't a rookie."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) "It's very nice. The new engineers are very smart guys, but they don't have experience on the Indy car. I think they came with a very open mind and they didn't want to, you know, reinvent the wheel and change the car so much. We've been running good the first two races, and we've continued, tried to stay basic, don't try to change that much. I don't think we have the resource to change that much anyway. It's been going really well. I mean, I can't complain about the results we had. I can't complain about the way the guys are working. It's really nice to see them working that well together. A good result like this is good for the whole team."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) "There was probably two to three-tenths of a second left in the PacifiCare car but I wasn't able to get a clear lap. On the first set of tires the car wasn't very good so we made some changes and the car improved on the second set of tires but I kept running into traffic and couldn't get the maximum out of the car or myself. It's disappointing because we really wanted to try to get the pole because it's PacifiCare's home race. Now we will just have to run a clean race, have good pit stops and try to get them a podium finish and maybe a win."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) "It's good for Long Beach. We have had a positive weekend but the car is still pushing. When I turn a little too much in the corner, the rear snaps. It's not that bad. Team Player's will fix it up to make it more stable. Maybe we did too many changes in the front of the car for qualifying, but nothing that we cannot go back and fix. We know were we stand. Six is good but a bit more ahead would have been better. But I can't complain since this is my best-ever starting position in Long Beach. Anything can happen on a street course and you have to be patient."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "When you start the season with two poles it is hard to improve on the position and you just try to keep doing it as long as possible. On the first set of tires, I didn't get a chance to put one good lap together but it was really my fault. The laps I ran were good in some parts of the track but not in others while I ran well in other parts of the track on the other laps. My second run was pretty good. I was on a flying lap but I locked up my left front tire and it resulted in an 1:08.6 lap. I had a little flatspot on my tire and didn't get a chance to improve because of a little traffic. The performance of the Lilly car was there but it is hard to have the right timing all of the time. It was hard to get a clear lap on the second set of tires. In looking at the lap times, it is good that we are as high as fifth place. It could have been worse and we could be farther down the starting order. Our starting spot is okay especially since it is a hard track."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) "I am disappointed. The car was good in the first practice and after that it hasn't really been what I wanted. It is disappointing because we were very fast in testing and somehow we just haven't been able to relate that information to the conditions of the track. It is just a general lack of grip -- traction and push. We haven't been able to get to grips with that. I can pull a quick lap but the consistency is not there. We just have to keep working to get the best out of the car for tomorrow. Seventh place is still good for the race and a lot of things can happen. I think we are still in a good position."
ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am a little disappointed because I was hoping to qualify the Visteon/Patrick Racing car further up the grid. We had a better car for qualifying in the first two races. Here at Long Beach it was a little harder for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team to find the right setup. We definitely made a big improvement this afternoon from yesterday and this morning's practice. The car is much better. It is not a pole car, but I think if we had one more practice session that third on the grid was a realistic target."
ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) "I'm very pleased. We are making progress in a lot of areas. We have a steep learning curve for all of us - for me with the Lola chassis, for Chris (Gorne) and Daniel (Louks) the Champ Cars, for the team being a two car effort - but the package is really starting to come together. We are now coming to circuits I can really relate to, places where I have experience that I can draw on. The weather tomorrow could be a factor, but it'll be the same for everyone."
DARREN MANNING (#15 Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "The car is a lot better than yesterday. Considering where we were coming from yesterday with a difficult car to drive; we virtually changed everything on the car overnight. This morning we were always in the top-ten, always within a second of the top guys, there was probably more time to come yet with a few little changes. A top-ten start is really going to help me out for the race tomorrow. We've been able to work our way through the field in the last couple of races and the guys always give me great pit stops, so starting further up in the field can only help."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) "We were probably expecting to start a little further up the grid for the race tomorrow but we got a little lost on the set up. But I like that we are trying different things; being a little aggressive is not a bad thing. This time it didn't work out for us but overall it's good. You know, it's good to be fast in practice but what's important is tomorrow. In the past two races, we've been fast in practice but haven't finished well. Now we need to focus on good results for Sunday."
PATRICK LEMARIE (#27 Scientific Atlanta Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) "We improved the car a lot since yesterday, but not enough for sure. We got a good lap on the first set of tires, but unfortunately we did not get a good lap on the second set. We have made progress every day, so we are looking forward to the race tomorrow."
MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) "It was an unusual day. We continued to have problems in the morning session. Nothing we did overnight seemed to make much difference. The understeer and problems with wheelspin continued. In the qualifying session, we switched cars. The car we ran all weekend was actually our backup car, so I guess you could say we went back to the primary car for qualifying. Whatever, it seemed to work a little bit. We picked up almost a second from our morning time. I'm not happy with the result, but I guess you could say we were finally headed in the right direction.
TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) "Frustrating is the word I'd use at the moment. First of all, the team did a great job after I crashed this morning in practice. I used the spare car, but it felt the same as the main one. I felt we could have been better, but we had some balance and under-steer issues. It's difficult to explain, the car feels the same but we struggled a bit once the track started getting faster. The quicker the track, the worse the balance. We will work on that and hopefully get it straightened out before the race. Like St. Pete, it's a long race and we need to get to the end."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone) " "We improved on our times this morning and the qualifying time is about the same as what we were able to do then. I wish we could have done a better lap time, but given the limited track time we had yesterday. Today was a good day after what happened yesterday. We'll see what we can do tomorrow; hopefully we can score some points."
ALEX YOONG (#11 Dale Coyne Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I'm not too happy about my qualifying today which I felt could have been better. Losing nearly an hour in this morning's practice when the drive shaft broke didn't help us at all. During qualifying I had encountered some bad understeer in the car. We are now going to just focus on the race for tomorrow and I intend to keep our nose clean and end up with another good result."