CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Newman/Haas Racing Friday

Pacificare driver Junqueira set second fastest time in provisional qualifying for Gran Premio Telmex/Gigante; Lilly driver Bourdais third. BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, ...

Pacificare driver Junqueira set second fastest time in provisional qualifying for Gran Premio Telmex/Gigante; Lilly driver Bourdais third.

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Today was not what I expected. I didn't get a point and Paul (Tracy) did. To be just 6/100ths of a second behind on a long course like this is very close. The PacifiCare car was very good this morning. We were six-tenths (of a second) faster than anyone so we decided not to put on a new set of tires at the end of the (practice) session. I thought with more rubber on the track in qualifying we would be even better but the car was very difficult to drive. We didn't have the balance we thought we would. We made some changes after our first run but I think the track was slower and we were stuck behind (Patrick) Carpentier and couldn't get a clear lap. We had a good gap between us and the car in front but Carpentier came back on track between us. I'm pretty confident that tomorrow we will be better after we have made some changes. Already we are better than the team was last year and this point. For sure Miami was a big disappointment for me especially to go out after Paul had already but I have put that behind me. I was very consistent earlier in the season but in the last five races we won two and had three bad ones and lost the consistency. We need to get that back in the last three races."

* NOTES: Will be his second race here... In inaugural race here last year, he was the fastest in provisional qualifying as well as final qualifying. Started on pole and finished third. Lost the lead to fourth place starter Tony Kanaan on the first lap but reclaimed it before he drove off course in Turn 9 and dropped to ninth place. Charged back to finish third...He is currently ranked second in the point standings with 191 to Tracy's 205 (-14).

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "This morning we were in bad shape. We couldn't match Manning's lap time (fastest of the session). We started with two setups to make sure we had our bases covered but we switched to Bruno's because it was much better. The team did a great job to make the car competitive. In qualifying we were fighting understeer but the car was much better than it was this morning. The track is nice. The altitude is very high so the cars are losing a lot of downforce so it is more difficult the hold them on the road. There are a lot of bumps. Not one of two big ones, just a lot of small ones everywhere so it is very easy to lose the car and spin. For sure it will be a tough weekend."

* NOTES: Will be his first race here...He earned four poles (3-road course; 1-oval) and three wins so far this season...Has won a total of six bonus points this season (Friday & Saturday in St. Pete; Saturday in Monterrey, Saturday and Sunday in Germany; Friday in Cleveland)...He is currently ranked 4th in the point standings with 142 points.

* TEAM NOTES: In the inaugural event last year the team earned ONE PODIUM finish (2nd - da Matta 2002)...LAST YEAR IN MEXICO CITY: Cristiano da Matta started 12th but he moved from 8th place to 2nd on his final pit stop due to fast pit work. Christian Fittipaldi started second and was a contender for the win or at least a podium finish but trouble in two of his three pit stops as well as ultimate exhaust system failure ended his race after 67 of 73 laps.

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW: The practice session will take place from 10:00-11:15 AM and final qualifying will begin at 1:45 p.m. Live coverage of qualifying will be carried on champcarworldseries.com. All times Eastern.

-nhr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Christian Fittipaldi , Tony Kanaan , Cristiano da Matta