Lilly driver Bourdais qualified third; Pacificare driver Junqueira qualified sixth for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio POLE: Paul Tracy 1:07.058 / 121.220 mph 3rd: Sebastien Bourdais 1:07.130 / 121.090 mph 6th: ...
Lilly driver Bourdais qualified third; Pacificare driver Junqueira qualified sixth for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio
POLE: Paul Tracy 1:07.058 / 121.220 mph
3rd: Sebastien Bourdais 1:07.130 / 121.090 mph
6th: Bruno Junqueira 1:07.300 / 120.785 mph
In the final minutes of the session, a red flag came out when Mario Dominguez spun off course. Bourdais was on a "flying" lap that was 3/10ths of a second quicker than his best so far in the session (which was two tenths slower than polesitter Tracy). The red flag caused him to back off of the throttle 0xf9a0the way through the lap and end his run for pole. Junqueira was fourth fastest with five minutes remaining in the session but dropped to fifth when Michel Jourdain took over fourth. He dropped to sixth in the final minute before the red flag was displayed when rookie Ryan Hunter-Reay moved into second place.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"I cannot be too happy with the result because we had a car to make pole but the red came out and ended our hope. Your success also depends on the red flags. We had the red (flag) take away our best lap twice now. The first time (Friday's qualifying) we could have been P3 (position three) but the red came out. Today it came out again but it hasn't happened to us too much this year so we have to keep the same strategy and go out late in the session and gamble. When it works you are happy when it doesn't you have to take your medicine. The track wasn't good at the beginning of the session anyway so we had to wait. The telemetry showed that we were 3/10ths of a second faster than our best lap when the red came out and I can only hope that we would have continued this pace for the remainder of the lap and set the fastest time so far. Still to be in the top-three is not so bad. The Lilly crew did a good job to get the car better in the morning session to be able to fight for pole today. The race is going to be difficult. Cleveland was the toughest race so far but this track is not as bumpy although it is more physically demanding. You have to be consistent and keep up for the whole distance."
Will be his first race here...He earned four poles (3-road course; 1-oval) and three wins in 12 events so far. (He started in second place in England and fifth in Long Beach.) 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 116 points.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"It's a shame we couldn't get a better result for qualifying than sixth place. It was just a matter of getting a good gap on the field and set a time without traffic. I thought we could qualify the PacifiCare car in the top-four but instead we are sixth. The field is pretty close. Unfortunately I couldn't get a clear run on the second set of tires. Many didn't but a few in front of us did. I think the only problem is that everybody is so close in lap times that it will be difficult to lap faster than the guy in front of you to make a pass. Let's see what happens in the race though. This will be a difficult race and the PacifiCare team can maybe use some strategy to get us closer to the front to try for a win."
It will be his third race here... Started sixth and finished fourth in 2002. Started 10th and finished 13th in rookie season in 2001...He has finished in the top-five in all 10 road/street course races so far this season including EIGHT podiums...He currently leads the point standings with 164 and is one ahead of second place Tracy who has 163.
In total the team has won THREE races (Mi. Andretti 1990-1991, Ma. Andretti 1984), SIX poles (Mansell 1993, Mi. Andretti 1990-1992, Ma. Andretti 1986, 1984) and 11 podiums here (2nd Fittipaldi 2002, Tracy 1995, Ma. Andretti 1990, 1988, 1983; 3rd Fittipaldi 2000, Mi. Andretti 1996, 1989). At the mid-season test here Junqueira ran the fastest lap on Day 1 and was fastest in the heat of the day for Day 2. Bourdais ran in the top-five.
LAST YEAR IN MID-OHIO:
NHR's Fittipaldi started second, led two laps and finished second to polesitter Patrick Carpentier. Da Matta drove off-course while attempting to pass Carpentier for the lead from second place and ultimately finished 13th after setting the fastest race lap.
ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:
The 30-minute pre-race morning warm-up will begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow and the Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio is set to begin at 2 p.m. live on SPEED. Live audio of the Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio will begin at 2 p.m. on the official web site of the CART Champ Car World Series. All times Eastern.