PATRICK CARPENTIER FINISHES FOURTH IN MEXICO CITY CARPENTIER CLINCHES THIRD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP - Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier finished fourth in the inaugural Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante in Mexico City, clinching third place in...
PATRICK CARPENTIER FINISHES FOURTH IN MEXICO CITY
CARPENTIER CLINCHES THIRD IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP - Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier finished fourth in the inaugural Gran Premio Telmex-Gigante in Mexico City, clinching third place in the championship standings. Kenny Brack captured his first victory of the season, while points champion Cristiano da Matta finished second and polesitter Bruno Junquiera finished third.
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Finished 4th
"The guys did a fantastic job in the pits and I gained a few positions but we did the best we could with what we had. I tried to hold Bruno (Junquiera) behind me but there was no point in doing that and I didn't want to hit with him because then it would hurt us both in the championship standings. He was just faster than us today." IT'S A LOT OF WORK TO GET AROUND THIS TRACK, ISN'T IT? "This was one of the hardest races I've ever run and I was running qualifying laps all day long. The pace was very fast but it was fun. I got sideways a few times but I think everybody did."
WASN'T THE CROWD GREAT? "It was a fun day and I really enjoyed it. We had a huge crowd here and it's nice to finish the season with this many fans here at a beautiful track like this."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Finished 10th
"I would've preferred to finish in eighth where we were but we lost second and third gears so it was pretty difficult, but that's racing."
ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH YOUR SEASON? "You know, my goal this year was to finish in the top five in the championship and we're seventh. We had a couple of mechanical problems in the races where we could've done really good and it's things like that when you look back that hurt us a lot. But that's the way it is."
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford) - Finished 11th
"Everything was reliable but we just couldn't get down the straightaway - it was a little bit too long for us. The car was working good but I just couldn't get down the straightaway."
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE START? "Somebody hit me. Kenny (Brack) motored by me at the start when we accelerated and I was comfortably in my spot and I didn't know who it was, but he hit me in the back hard."
ANDREW LOTTERER (#19 J.A.G. Sports Ford) - Finished 12th
"I made two big mistakes and that maybe cost me something special but I'm a rookie and I think it was okay. It all happened quickly, I couldn't prepare anything and I was a bit surprised when I came into the pits today and I overshot my pitbox. I tried to pass Michel Jourdain and I went into the runoff area, but I'm happy because the times were good, I had good speed and I ran the whole race without getting tired. In general I'm happy, it's just that afterwards you always look back and see how you could've been fifth or sixth, but maybe next time."
DO YOU THINK YOU OPENED SOME PEOPLE'S EYES IN TERMS OF MAYBE GETTING A FULL-TIME RIDE IN CART NEXT SEASON? "Yeah, of course I'd love to be here next year. The only problem was in qualifying because I missed a bit with the technique on the tires and didn't get them up to the right temperature. And then we had some red flags so I was not happy at all with my qualifying effort, but I thought my pace in the race was really good. I learned a lot and I hope people saw what I can do and next year I hope to be with a good team."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford) - Finished 13th
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO LEAD HERE IN YOUR HOMETOWN? "I could see the people on the videoscreen and they were going crazy. It's a shame because for qualifying yesterday everything went wrong but when I stepped into it initially it felt pretty good. We made a few changes for the race today and it was terrible at the beginning so we made some changes during the pit stops and at the end the car was very, very good and very fast. But it's okay. We know we'll all be back next year with Gigante and Team Rahal and I'm very happy with the year I had. Hopefully next year we can fight to win many races and hopefully the championship."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Competition Ford) - Finished 18th
"This has been probably the highlight of my career with this crowd, about 200,000 people cheering for me and their support was unbelievable. Unfortunately our left rear suspension broke but in a way I was lucky because it broke on the front straight. If it had broken in the essess it would have not been a nice picture. I'm just so sorry because all the fans were pulling for me and I really wanted to give them a good result."
HAVING A GOOD FINISH HERE HAS TO ENCOURAGE YOU FOR NEXT SEASON. "Absolutely. We were doing really well today and had a pretty good chance of being on the top. Unfortunately it didn't happen but that's racing and you just have to keep fighting and giving it your best effort."