CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Friday quoteboard


BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#4 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "I just love this track. The high speed corners are what I like the most. It feels great to be on the pole today and get another point in the championship. On my last lap, I pushed really hard on my last lap and got the pole. Team Target gave me a great car today. It's been fast right off of the truck and we were able to be really fast right away. I'm here to win this race. If I win this race, then I will finish second in the championship. Of course, if I'm not leading the race, I know where I need to finish to clinch second in the championship."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (#11 Lilly Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "I think my situation is very similar to that of Dario's, except I didn't spin this morning. We went out early [expecting rain] on my second set of tires. So maybe we made the same mistake as Dario and those guys did. Bruno came down out of the sky and really nailed it though. So what can I say, but good job to him and we'll try to get the pole for tomorrow."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (#27 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "This is really an awesome place. It's also a real challenge. The track has many different sections - some tight, you have the esses and then the stadium too. It's a real challenge for the engineers and the drivers. I'm really having a good time out there. I think the track got faster toward the end. We expected rain, so that's why we did our fastest lap in the middle of the session."

CRISTIANO DA MATTA (#1 Havoline Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "I was on a fast lap and was only 50 meters from completing it when the red flag came out. I was so far on my lap that I didn't even see the red flag. I ran a 26.6 which would have been good enough for fourth quick which might be very important if it rains tomorrow. I wasn't very happy with the car this afternoon. This morning I was a lot happier with the car but we made some changes and I think we went backwards in qualifying. It was just a bad session. Probably this morning (electronic problem) set me back. I only ran six laps at speed and that probably caused me to have a lot less experience on this track. I think we should have done better. Even if we were fourth there was still quite a long ways to go. I think I can still improve on my time. I ran one lap, got in traffic on the next, ran one lap, and got in traffic again. The track is very good. The track is by far the best one we go to all season. I think for the drivers it will be the most fun we have all season. For me it is perfect. I couldn't ask for more."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "On my quickest lap (Michel) Jourdain blocked me big time and then on the next one he spun in front of me so it wasn't very representative. We were a couple of tenths quicker and we need to hope that tomorrow it'll stay dry and we can try to do better."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "With (Bruno) Junquiera on the pole now I need to finish two positions behind me to finish second in the championship, so it's going to be tough. They have a good car on these type of tracks."

PAUL TRACY (#26 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "I went out behind (Bruno) Junqueira in that last session and I basically just tried to hang on for dear life to keep sight of his back wing. But we got a better lap in and moved up a few positions. His car is very, very fast through all the esses at the back of the track and I'm sliding all the way through so we need to improve the KOOL car in that section. It's important to get through there well, because every one is different - they've all got a different radius, late apexes, early apexes, some are banked, some are flat, some are off-camber - so it's very difficult to set up for. I feel like I'm pretty good everywhere else. There's no downforce here at this altitude so you've got to get it mechanically and we're not there yet. Hopefully tomorrow we'll be a little closer."

KENNY BRACK (#12 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "We had several problems today that really set us back. I put the car in the tires during the morning practice session and then we had a fire in the 15-minute warmup right before qualifying. Luckily for us, the Target guys were able to get the backup car ready for qualifying. The car wasn't perfect, but we learned a lot about what the car will need for tomorrow."

TONY KANAAN (#10 Pioneer/WorldCom Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "After starting in the top three (including twice on the pole) at the last three races, fifth doesn't feel all too good right now. Especially since we've been having the problems we've had so far today. I had to go to my backup car twice. That's very disruptive, to begin with. And the primary car is the one I felt more comfortable in during the limited time it was running well. But if you're going to have those kinds of problems, Friday is probably the best day to have them. My guys will work on sorting things out for tomorrow and I'm confident we can move up on the grid. I love this racetrack. You're going to see a great show here on Sunday."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#39 Motorola Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "It is disappointing for us today. Team Motorola gave me a good car, a top-five car but we had a spin that brought out a red flag and cost us a position near the front. Having the spin early made it a long session, we knew we were fighting an uphill battle after that. We've improved the car all day to get a quick time and unfortunately we aren't able to show that on the time sheets. This is a first class facility. It is a physical track that is very technical which makes its challenging from a drivers standpoint."

JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I got screwed by some of the traffic out there. On a couple of my laps I was running much better but that's just the way it goes. The car feels pretty good, I think there's some more left in it because we had laps quicker than that before I came up on some traffic. The rain might slow things up a little bit tomorrow but I think it's drying so it shouldn't be too bad. Hopefully we'll make the car a little bit better and have a good, clean day tomorrow."

SCOTT DIXON (#44 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "We fought a problem with understeer all day long. We need to keep working at it, but I think that we'll be fine. I'm very impressed with this facility. They've done a great job with it. It's going to be awesome to see all of the fans when they fill this place on Sunday."

SHINJI NAKANO (#52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "I had a problem with the car this morning. We made some changes and the car was better for qualifying. We need a little bit more time. We changed a few things in qualifying and tried a few new things, and I think tomorrow will be much better. The track is really good, apart from Turn 12 where it is a little bit bumpy. I am really enjoying driving on this track. For tomorrow, we just have to try to find a better setup."

ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Toyota/Reynard/Bridgestone): "Obviously the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team had some problems today. We have a lot of understeer, which makes it difficult to turn the car. I am a little surprised because I thought we would be much better on this circuit than we have shown. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has a lot of work ahead of us. We are going to review all of our data and start from the beginning. But, I am confident that we will find the right balance for the car. We had a similar situation at Fontana, but we eventually worked our way through the problem and in the race we had the fastest lap. Hopefully, it won't rain tomorrow and we will be able to improve the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing car and move up on the grid."

MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Wow! The track is just beautiful! This is the kind of track that really lets us show off the true potential of these Champ Cars. The 55 car was pretty good right out off the bat and we just made small adjustments during practice and qualifying. It was pretty crazy out there the last couple of laps of qualifying because of the rain - I got it a bit sideways in a couple of corners! Today was a good start to the weekend."

LUIS DIAZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "It was my first day in a Champ Car at a race weekend, and I feel that I have been progressing a lot through the day. I still have to work more on my braking points, and I have to work more on pit stops because this is new for me. I think tomorrow is going to be a good day. I think I can improve a lot from today to tomorrow, and I hope to be in the top 10 tomorrow and work for the race."

ANDRE LOTTERER (#19 J.A.G. Sports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I started pretty well, although I wasn't too satisfied with qualifying because I was a bit unlucky with the red flag that came out on my quick lap. I'm still learning to find the point where the tires are at their best and on the second set I made a bit of a mistake. Now I have to learn a lot because I don't have a lot of miles in the car and I'm still learning the tires and the car. I did the most laps of anybody today, I learned a lot and we're going to change some things for tomorrow and I think I can improve a lot."


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