OVERALL: The majority of the field were unable to better the lap time they set in Provisional Qualifying on Friday due to a variety of possible contributors including warmer track temperatures, less rubber on the track due to an overnight rain...
OVERALL: The majority of the field were unable to better the lap time they set in Provisional Qualifying on Friday due to a variety of possible contributors including warmer track temperatures, less rubber on the track due to an overnight rain and a combination of tire rubber compounds laid down by multiple racing series. Tiago Monteiro earned a guaranteed front row start - the highest qualifying position of his rookie career - after he set the fastest lap time of the day.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"I only ran one lap on my first stint before the red came out. That screwed up our first set of tires. On my second lap on my second set of tires I was half way around the track and already 3/10ths quicker than my time from yesterday but I caught up to Jimmy (Vasser). I thought I could have had pole or at least been the fastest driver today and earn the point. After that it was difficult to get a clear lap and the tires were already too warm. The PacifiCare car has been good this weekend. Everybody has been real close even though the track is long. What I remember is that last year I won the pole by a big margin but on the first lap I was third or fourth. I hope I can be in the lead in Turn 1. The PacifiCare car is fast enough that if I can get the lead, I think we can keep it. For me it is important to finish ahead of Paul Tracy and Michel (Jourdain) too. I think it will be a really exciting race."
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:
"I had only run one timed lap on my first set of tires before Mario Haberfeld came out of the pits in front of me. I was unable to get a clear lap without traffic after that and then the red flag came out and ended our first run. There was too much traffic on our second run and I couldn't get a clear lap then either. We had a fast car but we were unable to get the most out of it because of the conditions. It's going to be a tough race for the drivers, the teams and also the cars because of the altitude."
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 30-minute morning warm-up will take place from 11:15-11:45 AM CT and the race will begin at 3:00 p.m. CT. SPEED Channel will air a 30-minute pre-race show as well as live coverage of the Gran Premio Telmex / Gigante beginning at 3:00 p.m. CT. Live audio coverage of the race will be available on champcarworldseries.com.