PAUL TRACY ( ...
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We're going to try to make our second visit to Mexico as successful as the first one this season, when we won in Monterrey in March. So far, we've had at least two wins in the United States and Canada, and now we have a shot at making it two in Mexico. With only three races to go and with the championship still very much up for grabs, it's at the point where you have to take control of your destiny and go out there with the intention of winning all three, so that you don't have to concern yourself with what anyone else does. We were fortunate that the problems we had in the last race in Miami didn't cost us big time in the championship, but I know that we simply can't keep handing opportunities to people because sooner or later they're going to capitalize on them. After racing on very short and tight street courses in our last two races, I'm looking forward to the longer and wider road course in Mexico City. You can really get up to speed on the long straights and, even with the chicanes, there's a great flow to this track. A lot of drivers in the series consider this track and the whole atmosphere, with hundreds of thousands of fans coming out during race weekend, to be one of the best on the schedule, and I'd have to agree."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I like a lot the track in Mexico City. Last year was the first time I raced there and I really loved it. I was really fast and started on pole. I battled with Tony (Kanaan) on the first lap and went off course and then fell back to ninth place. Then I started gaining positions and passing people and finished third. I'm looking forward to returning this year. I love the track. After Road America, it's my second favorite track of the year. There are lots of fast corners and long straights. It is a long track and it's very difficult to put a good lap together. I just love it! For sure the race in Mexico City is the biggest race of the year for the CART Series. There will be between 300-400,000 people there over the weekend. I want to be on pole again and put the PacifiCare team on the podium. The race in Mexico City will be very important for the Championship. Now every point is important. I think that I have a big opportunity in Mexico City to get a win."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "To be very honest the most I have heard about the next two races in Mexico City and Australia are about the two parties. Both events are going to be a lot of fun. Obviously the Lilly car, I think, is going to be very good again on this track. Since the beginning of the year we have been performing well and I'm optimistic as usual for a good result. I started on pole in Monterrey, Mexico and it would be great to start on pole here as well. The team has performed well on this type of course and Bruno won the pole there last year so I think we have a strong database and we should be able to get the best out of it. It will be the last road course race of the year and we hope to do very well. The fans in Monterrey earlier this year were incredible and I expect it to be the same in Mexico City. You were shaking when the Mexican guys were on the front straightaway and all of the crowd was yelling for them. It was unbelievable. That's what we are competing for. We just want to put on a good show and if the crowd is enjoying it, that's all we want."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "You'd have a tough time finding a better setting for a road course than the one in Mexico City. I think almost every driver who competed in the inaugural event last year was very impressed. What they've done in Mexico City is take an old-style Formula One track and made it ultra-modern. It's fast, wide and challenging and as a driver, I couldn't ask for better. We had a great shot for a podium there last year, but we just weren't able to close the gap with the first three cars. So far, the car has been consistently fast on road courses this year, so I'm really confident we can be right there this time. When we raced in Monterrey back in March, I didn't enjoy it too much because I came down with a virus and I felt very weak most the weekend. I didn't even run the final qualifying session on the Saturday. But I'm heading to Mexico City feeling strong and ready to put on a good show for the Mexican fans, who are certainly among the most passionate racing fans I've seen. With the track layout and the opportunities for passing that you have in Mexico City, it's going to be a very competitive race. Hopefully, for us it will be like the road-course at Laguna Seca, where we won earlier this year."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I'm very excited about this weekend's race in Mexico City. It's obviously a huge event for our sponsors and we are very motivated to produce a good result for them... not just me, but the entire team because of the one-two finish in Miami two weeks ago. I'll miss my friend Roberto Moreno this weekend but I also welcome my new Mexican teammate Roberto Gonzalez to Herdez Competition. He had a very successful test last week at Putnam Park and we are all hopeful for a good team result again this weekend at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We are very determined to win this race. We feel very confident as a group in the way we have been working. Miami got away from us. It was something that was out of our control. We will follow the same momentum towards Mexico; I am very confident and the whole team is very confident. I love this track; I absolutely love it. I have always had very good success here. It is a fantastic track to race on, and it is very special to be in your own country and in the city you were born. For me, it is going to be a nice experience and knowing that we are going to be strong makes it even more special."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "The Gran Premio is not just a race, it's an experience. It's a great event at a fantastic venue. The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is an awesome road course, with high speed 'esses' in the back, the long straight-away and a few areas for challenging passes. The break in the stands through the old ball park is thrilling, but the whole track is fun to compete on. Mexican fans are great. They're supportive and passionate about racing. They remind me of Montreal race fans that go nuts for the local favorites, but encourage all the drivers with their enthusiasm. Mexican fans appreciate challenges and celebration, and that's racing. ."
DARREN MANNING (#15 RAC/Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I was in Mexico City last year for the inaugural race looking for a Champ Car ride. It's a fantastic track with a great deal of history. I wanted to drive there so bad last year that it started to bother me and I actually skipped the race after spending a few days in the paddock looking for a ride. This year my fortunes have changed and I'm thrilled to be coming to Mexico City with Walker Racing. We've had strong runs on road courses all season and I'm looking forward to my first laps on the circuit. We've been consistent top-ten finishers all season, but it would still be great to set up on the podium before the end of the year."
MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I'm very much looking forward to this event, because of our recent better performance, and also its similarity to other places we've done well at this year. The elevation (7500 ft above sea level) should help the Reynard compared to the Lola, at least that seemed to be the case at Denver. I've also heard that the crowds and the energy level at the event are among the best we will experience all year. We had a good result at Miami, (5th place) and we're looking to improve on that at Mexico City. As we enter the last three races of the season, we've talked about how important it is to finish the year well, to give the guys the right motivation for the off season."
TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "In Mexico you always have a crazy crowd and big fans! So I'm looking forward to that. Once again we have been quicker and quicker but we need a break. We have been in the points for the last few races but never been able to score them due to different oustide problems. I'm really looking for a good run in Mexico. The track should suit me there and the car has been so much better to drive! I'm pretty excited!"
MIKA SALO (#27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am ready to get back in the car for Mexico City. After two tight street circuits in Denver and Miami, I am looking forward to seeing what the PK Racing Champ Car can do on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez - I think it will be a lot of fun. I have heard how exciting this event is with all the Mexican fans coming out in support of the race, so that will be good to see. The team and I are really motivated coming off of our first podium finish in Miami, so we will be carrying that momentum into Mexico City. I am even more comfortable in the car now, and I think we can have another really good result."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "This is going to be the one of the biggest events this season. I've been in Mexico City for almost a week now making appearances for Corona and there's already a lot of buzz about the race. I had a chance to drive the circuit on Sunday giving the media and sponsors pace car rides and the track is definitely one of the best circuits in the series. It's just incredible! I'm really looking forward to Friday when I can finally drive it in the Corona Champ Car."
GEOFF BOSS (#11 Cross Pens Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I've never raced in Mexico before but from what I hear, I'm in for a very exciting weekend. The track looked very good on TV last year and the crowd appeared extremely enthusiastic. We've now come off two points finishes in a row and I'm hoping to keep up some momentum and to finish in the points again. 12th in Denver, 10th in Miami...let's keep getting closer to the front!"
GUALTER SALLES (#19 Alpina Dale Coyne Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Mexico is a new track for me, but I am looking forward to be back in the car and in a road course. The last road course I drove was Montreal and the car was good, so we should have a decent set up to start."
ROBERTO GONZALEZ (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am very excited for this weekend's race in Mexico City. I'm grateful to my sponsors, Nextel and Herdez, for giving me this opportunity and I'm really going to do my best to make the most of it. I've been very busy ever since we made the announcement; attending the race in Miami, testing at Sebring and Putnam Park, and now that I've returned to Mexico City I've been doing a lot of work with the media and public appearances. To be honest, the tension is building every day and now I'm really looking forward to Thursday when I can sit down with my engineers and go around the track for orientation and really get down to the business of racing. I have competed on the Circuit Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez a number of times in the past, in F2, F3 and Indy Lights Panamericana but the surface has been upgraded a lot since I last raced there in 2000."
LUIS DIAZ (#25 Sun/Telcel/Motorola Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "The Sun-Telcel-Motorola team has come together very quickly, but after working with this group the last couple of weeks I know that we're all excited about the challenge in front of us. We had a very good beginning during our test in Sebring (29 -- 30 September). In addition to getting miles in the car, we had a chance to do a lot of pit stop practice which was the hardest part for me. There will be a lot of attention on the Mexican drivers, but I don't feel its pressure so much as motivation. This is a dream come true for me, so I'm going to do the best that I can and hope the good result follows."