Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate Presented By Banamex Race, November 7, 2004 SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS ( ...
Gran Premio Telmex-Tecate Presented By Banamex
Race, November 7, 2004
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
I think it cannot be better, to celebrate the championship by winning the race, having done the pole position and set the fastest lap of the race. It's just been a dominating weekend. I was so scared about not being able to give it a clear shot with an incident at the start or mechanical failure. It is a well-deserved championship for the whole McDonald's team and a fantastic achievement from the Newman/Haas Racing team. I really just scared myself and probably the rest of us when I spun the car going into the stadium. The sun was going down and the shade was gaining on the racetrack. I was trying to pass Mario. I thought he was going to let me by, and he didn't. Then I hit the bump with the rear setup, and when it came back on the racetrack, I spun immediately. I was so afraid to kill the engine at that time that I kept my foot down, spun the wheel as hard as I could. When it came back under control, I was facing the tires, used the reverse and went back out again. It was just a scary moment for a minute or two, then it came back to normal. I'm so glad it's over."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I am a little frustrated finishing second in the Championship, that still is a great result. It was a hard race. I was trying to save fuel and Sebastien (Bourdais) kept pulling away. I was just waiting to see if he was going to have any problems. Then he spun and he was very lucky to have stayed away from the wall. On my last pit stop, we put on the hard tires and the PacifiCare car was better. We were getting closer to Sebastien, but I had to battle with traffic. So was a shame because they didn't penalize the people that didn't let me and Sebastien race. It was pretty shame because the last 10 laps I was racing traffic instead of racing Sebastien. I am happy for Sebastien and the team, it was a close battle. It was a great year for Newman/Haas Racing. I will just work harder for next year."
A.J. ALLMENDINGER (#10 Western Union Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"This weekend has been great overall. We made a mistake in qualifying yesterday with the car setup, and that's what put us back in seventh. I figured we were probably third quickest in qualifying yesterday, too. But overall, the team has done a great job throughout the whole year, rookie team trying to learn the series, finding out how difficult it is. We just got through the turn one wreck and after that, saved some fuel early on, and then the car was absolutely amazing throughout the first two stints. Then the last stint, the car just had way too much understeer. But, overall, I'm thrilled with the finish. It's a great way to end the year and also important to start next year with a lot of momentum. So I think this will do that."
JUSTIN WILSON (#34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Up until the first pitstop we seemed pretty good, but after the first round of pit stops, AJ had jumped in front of us, and he was pretty quick from there and we had nothing to answer to that, as for some reason our second set of option tires had a lot of understeer," said Wilson. "I was pushing every lap like it was qualifying but at the end of our stint, I caught a lapped back marker and lost several seconds. The last set of tires on the final stint were much better, and I was able to close the gap considerably, but we just ran out of laps in the end. It's a bit disappointing, as we were hoping to put the Mi-Jack car up on the podium to finish out the season, but it was still a very competitive weekend for us."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I think we made a lot of changes over the course of the weekend, but the cars in front of us were the faster cars for a reason. I got held up a few times in traffic, but I guess everybody's got a story, right? The PKV guys did a great job today, and a fifth place result was a decent way to close out the season in the Gulfstream car. We accomplished what we came here to do this weekend, and that was to preserve our place in the points. We did one better and moved up a few positions, so it turned out to be a decent run."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I'm very happy to have made up places in this last race of the year and to have finished 3rd in the Championship - that was my goal today. I was not feeling too well yesterday and this morning and I wasn't sure how I would physically last during the race here in the Mexican heat ... but when Paul went backwards after his early contact that took some of the pressure off me in terms of the championship. My car was excellent today, with the Ford Cosworth engine giving me good power and my Bridgestone tires held on really well all day - I was running in the low '89s during the race - thank you Ford and Bridgestone for a great year. And thank you Mexico for an incredible welcome and a fantastic event!"
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Considering the circumstances with the punctured tire and not being able to use both of our sets of the Bridgestone soft tires, I am pretty happy with our result. It was an incredibly difficult weekend and I am very happy we were able to secure the top result for a Mexican driver. My team gave me great stops today, they have done a great job all year, we work very well together and because of that we are in the top five in the championship. Thanks to the incredible support of Herdez and all they have done for me. I am very excited to fight for the championship in 2005."
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I'm really happy for A.J. He's really proven this year that he's a great driver. I'm disappointed that we didn't have a better result today for my fans and Gigante. We struggled at the beginning of the race managing the tires and then I had a problem with understeer. I had hoped for a better result."
PAUL TRACY (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"You can't help being pumped up for this race in Mexico City ... the Mexican fans are incredible; the grandstands were full and the noise was amazing! I had a good start but then was spun by Jimmy [Vasser] and we had some damage to the car - an under vane came off and we lost about 1% of our aerodynamic down force straight away. Later a spinning car in front of me caused a contact and whilst my end of race result was not what I'd hoped for, we did claw our way from 18th after the accidents back to a 10th place finish with some of those places made up on the track and some through great pit stops. I'm thankful to have been able to compete this year as the Champion, and congratulate Sebastien (Bourdais) on his victory here in Mexico - and of course my team mate Patrick Carpentier for his third place in the season standings -its been a good clean battle with Pat all year, and I'm pleased to have finished 4th overall. Through this season I've learned a lot and we'll come back next season even stronger ... and I'd like to take this opportunity to also thank Ford and Cosworth for outstanding performance and reliability, and Bridgestone for consistent and high quality tires."
ROBERTO GONZALEZ (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Paul Tracy came up behind me and I gave him plenty of racing room. The next thing I knew I was turned around. I guess it's a miracle because when he hit be from behind, it broke my drive shaft and somehow we were able to continue. I feel bad for my guys and the Mexican fans who gave me so much support all weekend long. It's a shame we couldn't have got a better result today."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#3 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I made up two places in the start and a third when Paul [Tracy] had his incident ... and we ran in 10th for a long time; with fast consistent laps and I was chasing Jourdain who was ahead of me. My first pit stop was good, but somehow I lost places after the second stop ... I'm sure no one passed me on the track. My race car was pushing a bit, but overall it was pretty good. This was disappointing for me in Mexico City. I have had a great first year with my new team Corona Forsythe Racing and my team mates Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier - I've learnt a lot from them both and my championship points have improved from 17 last season to 156 points this year; with my Vancouver Qualifying (2nd) and my podium at Road America being highlights of the year. Next year I expect to be back and competing at an even higher level. Corona are a great partner and sponsor of the team - both on and off the race track, and I look forward to representing them and to bringing even stronger results in 2005."
NELSON PHILIPPE (#14 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone)
"The race car was not optimal for me, and then during the first pit stop, the red head (part of the refueling system) wouldn't open, and the guys couldn't get any fuel in the car initially, so that cost us a lot of time," said Philippe. "The second set of option tires were pushing a lot, but at the end of the race, the car was much more to my liking. It's not at all how we wanted to finish the season, but we'll do better next year."
RYAN Hunter-Reay (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Today was an absolute nightmare. We were running a good race, I passed Carpentier and Tagliani and then on our first stop we had a shock failure. When I went back out on track, the rear end caught fire and burnt up the electronics. In the process of replacing the shocks, we went five laps down. From there I ran without the shift without lift function and I couldn't figure out what gear I was in due to the fried electronics. I put my head down and was super consistent and quite fast despite the problems. Unfortunately we dropped a position in the Championship which was really disappointing."