CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Saturday quoteboard


JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "The engine blew and rather than risk our time from yesterday, we decided to just wait it out and see if anybody would go faster. Nobody did, so we're starting fifth, which isn't too bad."

MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "This was a very bad day. We had problems with the primary car, and we switched to the backup. We were able to get one lap in, and every other time we had a lap, there was a red flag. I'm disappointed, but we've had success from these positions before, so we'll be ready for tomorrow."

LUIS DIAZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "It was a very difficult session because the gearshift lever on the primary car broke. I felt the car was very reasonable on my first couple of laps. I started to get into the speed and unfortunately the lever broke. I switched cars and the team did a great job there. It was my very first time to switch cars like that so it was new to me. At the beginning, with the backup car, I was afraid because the brake pedal felt a lot different than the other car and I was not very comfortable about that. But when I went out, I felt the car was very good, very strong. Unfortunately we didn't have a clear lap to improve. I think tomorrow we are going to have a good race. This has been a big step for me because everything is bigger - the car and the horsepower. The drivers that are here are here for a reason. They are the best of the best. Everything is more competitive and harder both physically and mentally. I will learn a lot from the experience this weekend, and I am very glad to be learning from Adrián and to have his support. I like this race track a lot. It is not the same as when I used to race here with the new complex, but it is beautiful. I love this track. I have good memories* from here and I am very happy to be here."

SHINJI NAKANO (#52 Alpine/Mistuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "I didn't have a good car in qualifying. We couldn't find a good setup and then we had a lot of red flags. There were really no clear laps basically. I had a big understeer and oversteer and we couldn't find grip on the front or the rear. That's what we have to find for tomorrow. We need to find the setup to go faster tomorrow."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#39 Motorola Honda/Lola/Bridgestone):"The Motorola car is really good. I think we were capable of being in the top three today, but unfortunately all the reds messed us up. We found a good setup right before qualifying and every time we were on a fast lap, the red flag came out. It's really disappointing that the rules changed during the session. We thought we would have one more timed lap based on how CART handled the previous red flag but that wasn't the case. It's a shame because I know the car was good enough that we would have improved our time in that one lap."

PAUL TRACY (#26 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "I had a good out lap and a good fast lap going when we had a problem. The good news is we've been struggling withthe KOOL car all weekend and it looked like we'd finally made some improvements for qualifying. I didn't get much time on the track, but it felt better and I was looking for a good lap to try and move up some on the grid. I'm glad we were at least able to maintain eighth place. We'll just keep working on it in warm-up tomorrow and hopefully have a good car for the race."

ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota/Reynard/Bridgestone): "The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team improved the car today. We are now running with everybody else. Yesterday, we were running a completely different race than everybody else. Now we are running the same race, we are just in the back of the grid. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team is not where we want to be, but we improved the car a lot considering where we were. Now we need to make the same amount of improvement before tomorrow that we made from yesterday to today. It is a long race and it is very easy to make a mistake at this track, especially on the back part of the circuit. So just about anything can happen. The key right now is to find some more front grip and improve the car because if we have a good car we can still have a good race. The other thing is, once again, I will be counting on Mr. Patrick and Jim McGee to come up with a race strategy that will help me move-up to the front in the race. We have done it before and I am confident we can do it again."

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#4 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "It feels great to be on the pole again today. The conditions were much more difficult today than they were yesterday. There were a lot of red flags and the track was very slippery when Paul(Tracy) lost his engine. I can't say enough about Team Target. They have worked very hard not only this weekend, but all year long. I hope that we can have a good race tomorrow and win the last race of the year."

KENNY BRACK (#12 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "Today was a very messy session. We had a lot of different messages coming from race control, it was hard to follow what was going on. Overall, it was a successful session for the Target team. We improved the car a lot from yesterday and we have a good car now. I'm very happy with the progress that we've made so far this weekend. I got one good lap in, but the red came out on one that was even faster. It could have been better for us, but we're now on the right track."

SCOTT DIXON (#44 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "It was a difficult session for us, because we never got the lap in that we needed to. Our car is better than the time that we posted. We qualified 15th in Mid-Ohio and moved up to finish 5th. So, although I wanted to qualify a lot better, we still have a chance to have a strong finish."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "Bruno has been really quick this weekend, but I still have high hopes. I'm certainly not conceding anything. It's a long race and anything can happen. I want to finish the season strongly, so we'll give everything we have and see what happens."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "The car setup seems great, so I have no worries about that going into the race. The way it performed today, I'm even more confident than I was yesterday. This track is a bit like Road America, where you have a very long straight at the start, and you never know what can happen. It's a race that's tough on equipment, and car reliability is going to be a big factor."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (#11 Lilly Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "Qualifying wasn't that big of an effort today because of all of the red flags that stopped the session. I'm pretty happy to be starting in the front row but unfortunately things didn't go as planned and I didn't get to go for pole position. I was really happy with the car this morning. I thought when it came down to the time to qualify, we had a good shot at it. Unfortunately it didn't go as planned and I didn't get to try for it. Things happened in the session that I didn't understand which added to the frustration. Like when the green flags came out after the red flags. No one was able to get into a rhythm and put any laps together. I will drive my very best to finish as good as possible tomorrow since I'm not going to be in CART next year. I hope everyone can be civilized going into the first turn. There are a lot of guys that are going to be pushing as hard as they can because it's the last race. I'm sure it's going to be a fun race to drive and to watch."

CRISTIANO DA MATTA (#1 Havoline Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "When we lost our 26.6 lap time on Friday because of Michel's red flag, I hoped it wouldn't rain today so we could try to set a better time. Then the track was slower today and all of the red flags kept us from trying to better our time. Losing our 26.6 and fourth place (from Friday) hurt us again today. The red flag I caused today wouldn't have even changed that. Fourth place is much better than twelfth. On my first run I wasn't very happy but the track got a lot worse. There was a lot less grip. Then on my second set of tires I never got a run because of all of the red flags. I don't think we are in good shape but the qualifying sessions didn't help us either. We wanted to end the season up front in every session but instead this is our worst qualifying. I spun and brought out the red then lost my fastest lap of the day and we were one of the few to go faster. It dropped me two spots. The race should be fun and there are places to pass but the field is so competitive that it is more difficult. We will have to not only pick up positions on track but also in the pit stops. The Havoline crew has done it many times this year and hopefully tomorrow will not be an exception."

TONY KANAAN (#10 Pioneer/WorldCom Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "Once again, I have to say we're disappointed to have to start fourth when I know in my heart that I have a better car than that. My guys did an excellent job of giving me a car that looked like it was going to start on the front row tomorrow, but we never got the chance to prove it in the end. Bruno (Junqueira) got me on the first lap after that first restart, but I thought for sure I would have one more chance to get him back. Then we went red for Cristiano (da Matta's) spin with still some time left on the clock."

DARIO FRANCHITTI (#27 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "Our objective today was to get the pole for Team KOOL Green, and we definitely hadthe car to do it. Twice I was on areally good lap - and lost them both. It'scertainly not Paul's (Tracy) fault. I'mpretty disappointed with the officials, though. (Tora) Takagi spins in a pretty harmless place and they throw thered flag immediately, yet Paul left a massive slick of oil and other fluids onthe track and they leave the track green. The car took a pretty big hit, and the guys are looking it over to seewhat we need to do."

MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "That was my best qualifying effort of the year and we achieved the top 10 goal we set for this race. The track was slower so I'm very happy that we were able to go faster than yesterday and it's a very, very good starting position for the team and tomorrow we'll just have to have good pit stops and be quick all day. I have to thank Ford because I had to borrow an engine from one of the other teams and it was a big help. It means the world. You saw that I qualified ninth and the people are cheering like I qualified on pole, so it means a lot to me. It's my first year and I have a lot to learn still, but if I can do a good job tomorrow it make a lot of people happy, including me."


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