The Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio pre-race Quoteboard BRUNO JUNQUEIRA ( ...
The Champ Car Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio pre-race Quoteboard
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We tested at Mid-Ohio one month ago and we ran very well. We were very strong for two days and even did a lot of miles and some long runs to simulate race conditions. We were the fastest on Day 1 and on Day 2 we concentrated on race set up. We are really confident we will run well there. The last time Newman/Haas won at this track was in 1991 with Michael Andretti but I hope I can get a win there for us. We had a good test and I think we have everything we need to get a win this year. I like the Mid-Ohio course. It's a proper road course. It's very difficult and very technical with a lot of elevation changes. Like Road America, it is difficult to put a completely perfect lap together but when you do it is very nice. I think I drive well on this track and I hope to put the PacifiCare car in a good position there. I think there are hardcore fans at this race just like in Cleveland. These people really love racing and it's nice to go where the fans are knowledgeable and know the drivers and all of the teams. I raced twice in Mid-Ohio. I had some problems in my first race there and finished 13th but in 2002 I had a battle with Michael Andretti and finished fourth. After problems in qualifying, that wasn't a bad result. This year I will have my best chance to win the race and the PacifiCare team will be working hard to accomplish that goal. For sure the championship is getting to a very important part and it's really important to finish the races and get points but not only that - we need to get some more wins. The team is very motivated after getting our first win of the season. They won the championship last year and they know how good that feels and want to get another one. I finished second last year and want to win the championship as well."
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I look at the early exit at Road America as a setback in that we lost our lead in the drivers' championship, but at this stage of the season, with seven races to go, it isn't a catastrophe, by any means. It's something you just want to quickly forget about, and one way to do that is to have a big points-paying weekend at Mid-Ohio. Being shut out of the points last weekend is a motivating factor for this weekend, but I've got some added incentive because I've been the runner-up there four times. Getting that first win at Mid-Ohio couldn't come at a better time than this weekend. As I've said for weeks, I believe the championship battle is going to go right down to the wire, and the driver that wins it will be the one who makes the fewest mistakes, whether in qualifying or in the race. We made one mistake too many last weekend, and it cost us some precious points. But Team Player's has been so consistent all season long, I see no reason why we can't recapture that winning formula in Mid-Ohio. It's a tremendous road course with a great combination of fast and slow corners. You have to be aggressive, but you also have to temper that aggressiveness with patience, otherwise you could find yourself out of contention in a big hurry."
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Mid-Ohio is a special place to Team Rahal because it is the team's home track. Everyone from the shop comes to the track and for some of the people at the shop it is the only time during the course of the season that they get to see the team in action first hand. Then there is the fantastic fan support we have. It seems like every other person has something Team Rahal on and that support is evident everywhere you go. Sometimes I think the team might put extra pressure on itself for this event, but all we can do it focus on the job at hand and keep doing what we have been doing at the other races. I know we can be fast and competitive here because we were fast here when we tested."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I think Newman/Haas Racing and the Lilly car did a great job at the Mid-Ohio test and we found a pretty strong package. The expectations are pretty high for this race. The track is very demanding physically and you don't have a lot of time to get it right. You can go up to speed in a very nice way and it is very challenging to drive there. I think, as we are pretty competitive at the track and we were not the only ones, it's going to be a pretty big fight and probably very hard time in qualifying. It will be a great show and probably quite a lot of mistakes will be made from everyone because they will be trying to push the limits. I think both Bruno and I have a pretty good chance to shine on this track and I think we found a strong package and will be pretty good at Mid-Ohio."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I'd definitely settle for a repeat of last year's race at Mid-Ohio, when Team Player's was fastest all weekend and picked up 23 points. I could use 23 points right now, not just because I need to start moving up in the standings but I'm hungry for another race win. I've been on the podium the last two years in Mid-Ohio, so I want to keep that streak going as well. In the last year, a lot of people have come up to me and mentioned the victory in Mid-Ohio, especially the part about my victory lap wearing my checkered-flag and nothing else. I learned my lesson last year about opening my mouth without thinking, so I'm not going to make any more promises during this year's race weekend in Mid-Ohio. I've always enjoyed racing in Mid-Ohio, not only because I like the track, which is a road course in its purest form, but the whole atmosphere surrounding the race is a lot of fun. The fans who come out are very knowledgeable and they really get into the racing spirit. Winning twice in a row at Mid-Ohio, or at any track, for that matter, is extremely tough, but I have a good feeling about this race. We were struggling a bit before Road America last weekend, but we had a car that, from a pure speed standpoint, was good enough for the podium, even though we had to settle for top 5."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I missed Mid-Ohio last year after the accident in Vancouver. This was one of the few races where I was at home watching. I'm looking forward to this weekend. This is a race track where I have won before. Mid-Ohio has a nice atmosphere and a lot of families attend, so it is always nice to race there. We didn't have a good test at Mid-Ohio in June unfortunately. We had some mechanical problems, and we are hoping that we will have a good car for the race. The engineers are working hard for a good start to the weekend."
DARREN MANNING (#15 RAC/Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We're learning day by day with the RAC Walker Racing car what suits my style of driving. We tested at Mid-Ohio earlier this summer, but we'll probably go back with a slightly different set-up than what we had in the test there because we're confident that it's going to work for us. We've also got a few additional things in our back pocket which will hopefully help push the #15 car up the speed charts. It's definitely an advantage for us to have tested there. Having the information from the test, we can roll the car out on Friday and realistically look at trying to be in the top-six rather than have the first day be such a learning curve as it's been at most tracks this season."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We struggled during the early part of the weekend at the last race in Wisconsin but when qualifying came around we were able to post a good time. Because of the rain, we weren't able to capitalize on that in the race. So I'm looking forward to Mid Ohio this weekend to make another crack at it. We had some good testing time at Mid Ohio earlier this summer and I think that will help a lot."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Mid-Ohio is a demanding track, but I like the challenge. I am a little nervous because we didn't have great results after testing there, but we've been working on making the car faster than it was in the June tests and have a good chance at another top finish. Coming off an incredible weekend at Road America, encourages me for great things in Mid-Ohio. Once again, the Rocketsports team has proven how strong we are; that we're learning about the Lola, and improving with each race."
MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We are looking forward to this race. It is the third one in a row, and we've scored points in the previous two. We hope to keep the momentum going. Mid-Ohio is a circuit where we tested about a month ago. We know what our car needs, so we will probably go back with a better car."
ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Mid Ohio is a beautiful track and one I really enjoy racing on. We tested there not too long ago but unfortunately, I was ill that week and wasn't able to take full advantage of the time. Our team is really clicking now and I feel confident that we can build on the success we earned last weekend at Road America."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I really enjoy the track, I have never won that race and it's certainly on my to do list. American Spirit made a lot of progress last weekend, I am looking forward to continuing the progress this weekend. They Reynard should be pretty good here, I am optimistic for a successful weekend."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 American Spirit Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I spent a lot of time racing at Mid-Ohio early in my career, when I was racing Barber Dodge, Formula Dodge and Skip Barber. It is an awesome track, it is a traditional flowing road course. The Reynard should run strong at Mid-Ohio, hopefully our momentum from Road America will carry over to Mid-Ohio. We've been doing a good job of bringing the car home in the points, but I am looking to get well inside the top-ten my goal is certainly to run up front. The fans that typically attend Mid-Ohio are the die-hard true racing fans, they give us a lot of support."
TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We have had a lot of bad luck lately. We have definitely improved on qualifying, and I am happy about that. The team is doing an amazing job on the car. Now we need to finish races and get some results. I am definitely looking forward to Mid-Ohio; we tested well there about a month ago."
MAX PAPIS (#27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) "After the good result we had in Elkhart Lake, I am very excited to go to Mid-Ohio, another great natural road course, and build on our momentum. I had a productive test at Mid-Ohio this year, so I will take what I learned there and the information we have learned about the car since then and do my best to have another good finish for the PK Racing team. We keep getting better with every race, so I am planning to continue that progress."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Competition Team Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I'm happy to be going back to Mid-Ohio where we tested in late June/early July. It was a very good test for the Corona Walker Racing crew. Darren (Manning) and I were the fastest Reynards, which was satisfying. We tried a lot of things on the chassis and have a good idea of what works and doesn't work at that track. We still have a few things to try, but I think we have a good base set-up to start the weekend off."
GUALTER SALLES (#19 Alpina Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It is a very physical track. The car had to be good under braking and on the slow corners. We did test there so we have a good basic set up to start the weekend."
GEOFF BOSS (#11 Cross Pens Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I'm looking forward to getting back to Mid-Ohio. It's a wonderful circuit and race day is always packed with a very enthusiastic crowd. Hopefully we've learned some things since our test there several weeks ago."