CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Saturday quoteboard

1. PAUL TRACY ( ...

1. PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):

"The car wasn't too bad but I just didn't feel like I could have matched Friday's time. It got very slick out there from this morning's practice. The tires were best on the fourth lap which is why we came in before the end. It didn't look like Bruno (Junqueira) was going to be any faster either. The start of the race should be pretty interesting. Everyone at the front of the grid pretty much need good finishes but there could be some excitement in that first corner with that long straightaway and some drafting going on off the start. Am I going to go for the win or the championship? Both. The most important thing is to finish in front of Junqueira."

2. TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):

"Well it was amazing of course. We've been working so hard to get here and the team deserves it. We basically working to get a strong, stable car and we got it today. My engineer has been working together and improving every race after the late start to the season. I'm still learning every race -- every time I get in the car I learn something new. My engineer and I are working together well and we are gaining ground."

3. BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):

"It wasn't the best qualifying session for us today. We did get one good lap on the first set of tires, the same as Paul Tracy did. On the second set of tires we were three tenths faster than yesterday and I think we could have had the pole with that lap. But when Jimmy [Vasser] let me by on the lap we lost time. We lost another opportunity to get a point. This track has passing opportunities and will be exciting because the Reynard chassis qualified so well today. It will be difficult to get around them on the fast sections of the track for sure."

4. SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):

"On the first stint we had only done one timed lap and then Mario Haberfeld came out of the pits right in front of me so I had traffic until the red came out. Then I didn't have a chance to get a clear lap. On the second stint there was too much traffic. We had a fast car today but weren't able to get the most out of it because of the conditions. I think it's going to be a tough race tomorrow for the drivers, the teams and the cars because of the altitude."

5. RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 Gonher de Mexico Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):

"Its great to have the Gonher car up front today. I know everyone always says this, but I truly had one heck of a lap going and I threw it away. My fastest lap would have been six tenths faster but I actually went off the track and back on down by the stadium. It was still good for second today but I can't help feeling disappointed to be starting fifth. Overall we've got a good weekend going and I'm looking forward to a strong result tomorrow."

6. DARREN MANNING (#15 RAC/Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):

"I made the mistake of making too many changes on the car between the two runs, but I felt I had to follow my instincts. Unfortunately it didn't help the way I wanted to. I do believe the RAC Walker Racing Champ Car was capable of making a run for a pole this weekend; we still have the fastest lap of the weekend unfortunately I posted it in practice. It's still a great effort for the team, our second best qualifying run of the season. I think starting from the third row should open up some opportunities for me to make a move or two at the start of the race and I'm sure my guys will give me great stops as usual. We still have tomorrow to finish this weekend off as strong as we started it."

7. JIMMY VASSER (#12 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):

"We had a pretty good car yesterday, attempted to improve it overnight, but we screwed it up somewhere. We're going to spend some time working on it tonight to at least get it back to where it was Friday. The top three cars today were Reynards so we obviously don't have that handicap here. I'm racing for a win tomorrow."

8. MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante/Office Depot Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):

"The balance of the Gigante car compared to yesterday is better, but the track was a lot warmer and I think the qualifying times show that the increased temperature affected the Lola's more that the Reynard's. We are very close to Paul [Tracy] who was the fastest Lola, but the three fastest cars today were all Reynard's. We got the breaks and we got the laps today, but we just couldn't get the perfect timing for a fast lap. We will see what happens tomorrow on the start. We want to get through the first lap and hopefully make up some positions through the race on the track and in the pits and hopefully at the end of the day we will gain on Paul and Bruno [Junqueira]."

9. PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):

"Usually you set your best time around the third or fourth lap but on my second stint I was stuck behind slow cars and I was only able to my fast lap the fifth time around. So I ended up ninth. Overall, it could have been a better day. Following my crash this morning, the team tried different set ups to stabilize the car but it is still pushing too much. One thing we got right is the race set up. The car is much better than in qualifying mode. I'm able to put the power down and on this track there are places to pass. So, I'm quite confident about the race."

10. LUIS DIAZ (#25 Sun/Telcel/Motorola Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):

"This is such a great feeling! We had such a short time to pull together this team of young, talent professionals and they have done an amazing job for me. This is not an easy accomplishment. But it's a credit to my team as individuals and as a whole. I have to thank Walker Racing for putting the team together and for the reception that I've gotten from the entire team."

11. MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):

"We changed gears between the sessions but we didn't get it quite right. It seems like few of the Lola teams managed to improve today. We were one of the few that did but obviously it wasn't enough to improve our grid position. We are starting 11th, which is not where we wanted, but the team is very good in the pits and I'm sure we'll be able to make up ground there as well as on track."

12. MIKA SALO (#27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):

"We were able to move a few spots - in the right direction - today. We made improvements to the car throughout the day and were able to find almost a second in the car compared to our time from yesterday. I am happy that I was able to move up four spots from 16th to 12th, because it will make it that much easier to have a good race tomorrow."

13. ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):

"We've been struggling to get the car right all weekend. It's slow in the straightaway and we were losing time. We made changes to the roll center, springs and differential. During qualifying we went back and adjusted the changes we made in morning practice and lost some time. I got out there and the car felt better...then the differential broke. It's frustrating to be running out of time and watch the guys work so hard with little return. Tomorrow's going to be tough but I'm going to do my best for my team."

14. MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):

"Since we arrived here we have struggled no matter which way we go. What ever we do we have understeer in the end. We also had an ECU problem that we fixed after the 10 minute session but it still put us a little behind. Then we struggled with the boost and the guys fixed that but it still kept us struggled. Tomorrow is another day."

15. ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):

"It's just not a good day. It's a sad day for us, for Fern0x00e1ndez Racing. We thought we had some problems with the diff [differential] and things like that. We corrected the speed on the straight but we were not able to make it better through the corners. It is very frustrating after being so competitive in Miami. I felt very confident that we were going to have a very fast car here. Obviously conditions are different and the track is bumpier than what we expected from last year, but it is the same for everybody. Unfortunately, we did not find a good balance where we could improve our times from yesterday. There are a lot of Reynards out there that are very quick here. It is a track that suits their cars and they were able to be very strong and that's why we fell way down [on the grid], but that is not an excuse. The excuse is that we just don't have a good car. We have to come back with something strong. I am not giving up. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully some of the bad things that have happened to us in the last few races won't happen to us tomorrow."

16. ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):

"Qualifying for the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has been very disappointing and frustrating this weekend. The engineering staff and crew have worked very hard and given me the best car they can, but we just don't seem to be able to get the speed we need. I don't know if it is the altitude that is affecting the engine, the setup or a combination of both, but we don't seem to be getting the most out of the car. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has been qualifying very well recently and we had high expectations coming to this race. This is also the first time this season that we have not qualified in the top-10. We are just going to have to sit down and go over the data and figure out what we can do to improve the Visteon/Patrick Racing car for the race. I am confident that Steve Challis (Visteon/Patrick Racing Chief Engineer) will come up with something that will help plus I have Jim McGee (Visteon/Patrick Racing General Manager) calling my race and one of the best crews in the business, so we should be okay tomorrow."

17. RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone):

"We made improvements on the Corona car under braking over night, which was my biggest problem yesterday. This afternoon I got as much speed out of the car as I could. It's not the qualifying position that we'd hoped for, but tomorrow is a long race and with a consistent pace I hope to still have a strong race in Mexico City and collect some more points as the season nears the end. It's been a fantastic experience racing here, it's great how supportive the Mexican people are of this event."

18. ROBERTO GONZALEZ (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone):

"We are making progress. The car is better - more stable at the front end which feels better for me. We are still getting a lot of movement at the back end of the car and we need to find more straight line speed. The track here changes a lot from morning to afternoon and during the course of a race. I've never done a race this long here before; I think 40 laps is my longest prior to this. It will probably get a lot warmer during the race itself and as it does, the engine loses power and the aero becomes less effective because of the altitude. This could problems for a lot of cars and drivers. Hopefully we can take advantage of that to move up."

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Paul Tracy