CHAMPCAR/CART: Milwaukee: Pre-race quoteboard



Sebastien Bourdais, #1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I made a lot of rookie mistakes last year in Milwaukee and after 50 laps I guess I did the last one and washed out on the entry of the corner and traffic went down in front of me and I lost the front wing and that was it. The car just went straight and brushed the wall hard enough that it broke some engine pieces. The event is a home race for both McDonald's and Newman/Haas Racing and we want to do well there. On an oval, when the car isn't balanced like you like, it makes it even harder than anywhere else but I think we made progress and will be more competitive than recent years. It's difficult to do a lot of testing there and use our limited amount of test days at a track where the knowledge only applies to one event. There is a very, very small difference between a good car and a bad car in Milwaukee and when you have a car that doesn't suit the race track very well then you're going to have one of your worst races. It happened to me in 2003 and I can tell you I really don't want to go through that again. It is going to be even more challenging without Bruno or the input he provides. He is more experienced on this type of track and the weekend will definitely be more difficult without him. We will be thinking of him every day though while he is recovering.

"The race is pretty difficult for me and I feel like a rookie every time I go to Milwaukee because I don't have the knowledge and comprehension about it. It's difficult but I think we made some progress, we made the car better and hopefully it's going to show a bit more than last year's race. The past month has been very challenging for the team with the extra work. We had the CENTRIX car on one program and the McDonald's car on the other and we were switching from one to the other. It was an extra load of work and it was really significant, especially for the engineers who worked full time on both projects. At Newman/Has Racing we like challenges. We were competitive in Mexico and Indy and will hopefully be in Milwaukee."

Justin Wilson #9 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "RuSPORT had a good test in Milwaukee at the beginning of May. I gained a lot more oval experience and definitely got more comfortable in the car on an oval. After having a couple of oval races now under my belt, I feel more prepared to race at the Mile than I did last year. I have a much better understanding of an oval race unfolds. I think all of us at RuSPORT are ready for the first oval of the season."

Andrew Ranger, #27 Tide/Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I am looking forward to racing at Milwaukee," said Ranger. "We tested there earlier this year though as always, race conditions are very different from testing, and the race will be a great challenge. The Milwaukee Mile is a short track and is constantly busy. I enjoy this aspect of racing and will need to keep focused during the race. I finished third last year in the Toyota Atlantic Series and I hope to build on the success that Mi-Jack Conquest Racing and I had in Monterrey."

Alex Tagliani #15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Milwaukee is a tough track, it is not easy to get around," said Tagliani."You need to have everything right with the car because if you are off by a fraction of a second it can mean the difference between being on the pole and starting 10th.We had a very positive test there last month and still have a couple of aerodynamic pieces still left on the table to try this weekend. I have felt good with this team from our first test at Sebring earlier in the year and the podium at Monterrey has only helped that. I think the team has great potential and that at sometime before the end of the season we will be in a position to compete against Newman-Haas (the championship front runners). Everything came together pretty late, but Team Australia has a good group of people and we will only get better with time."

Cristiano da Matta, #21 PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "The Bell Micro/PKV Racing team had a good test in Milwaukee a couple of weeks ago, so I am feeling very confident heading into the Milwaukee race. It will be a little bit different at Milwaukee because it is only a two-day race. We will not have a lot of time to fine tune the car because we go from practice right into qualifying. The PKV Racing team knows we have to be on top of everything when we arrive, but I am confident that we will be fast right off the transporters. This will be my first oval race in a couple of years, but it is really no big deal. I would be a little more worried if I had not tested in Milwaukee, but we had a good test and I got two days of track time, so I am looking at it as just another race."

Timo Glock #8 DHL Global Mail Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Milwaukee will not be an easy event for us, especially after the crashes that Rocketsports had during the test in early May. Both of the cars were quick, so that is a positive going into this race weekend. This race will be the first time I compete on an oval, so it will take some more time for me to get a good feel of the track. I think the easiest way to go in practice is to do our normal preparations and forget about what happened during our test. My team did a great job after the test to prepare a great car for me in Monterrey, they worked really hard. I am looking forward to Milwaukee because it is my first oval race, and I think it will be very exciting. My teammate, Ryan (Hunter-Reay) will be strong here, for sure, after his dominating performance last year. It will be good to find our way back into the top five and we will try hard to finish on the podium because this team has the capability of doing so this weekend."

A.J. Allmendinger #10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I'm actually looking forward to the Milwaukee race because last year the Mile was a real turning point for the RuSPORT team. It was my first top-five and my teammate brought home the first Champ Car podium for RuSPORT. This year, I have a lot more oval experience and I know more how to race an oval race. I think we'll have great race strategy this year and hopefully Milwaukee will again be the turning point for RuSPORT."

Ryan Hunter-Reay #31 Briggs & Stratton Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I am really excited about getting back to Milwaukee, especially after last year when I led all 250 laps and set a new Champ Car record. I think we have a pretty good understanding of what went right and wrong during our test at the Mile in early May. The Milwaukee Mile is a short oval with very little banking, which makes car set-up very difficult, but I am confident that we will come back with a strong car. The focus will be on improving the Briggs & Stratton car in small amounts as needed to progress for the race. The positive for me about this venue is that I really understand how a race unfolds on track. I look forward to putting that knowledge into play on Saturday and defend my race win."

Bjorn Wirdheim #4 HVM Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I have been looking forward to Milwaukee for a long time as it will be my first oval race and we tested there last month. This will be the first track on the Champ Car circuit that I have been to before. That is certainly a benefit not only for me, but for the team as well because we can get right to work on Friday morning and I won't have to take time to learn the track. We had a successful test and based on last year we expect to have a very good weekend. The HVM Racing cars were outstanding at Milwaukee last year, I am fortunate to have the race winning car, so obviously I have the tools and I am excited. It will be my first race on an oval, which means it is not going to be easy. However, I spent quite a lot of time running in traffic when we tested. Needless to say, racing with 18 other cars will be a bit different, but we will get as much practice as possible on Friday. When it comes to speed, I am pretty sure we have what it takes."

Jimmy Vasser, #12 Gulfstream PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "PKV Racing had a very good test in Milwaukee, so I feel we are prepared for this race. Milwaukee is the only short oval in our series and combined with the history and tradition of the track it is a special race. I have always liked racing on short ovals, especially Milwaukee, so I am looking forward to this race. I really think I should have won there more times during my career than I have (once in 1998), but based on our test there I am confident heading into this race. Also, Milwaukee will be my 200th consecutive Champ Car start, so it will have some added significance for me."

Ronnie Bremer (#55 HVM Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "My test went very well there. I think we can do well, we were fourth quick in the test, just one tenth off the pole time. HVM has a very good car there so I think it is just up to me. As long as I stay clean and we have a good pit stop strategy, I think we should be in the top five. Milwaukee is the only oval I have ever raced on, I finished second there in Altantics last year. It will be a much longer race this year, but quite fun and I am looking forward to it."

Nelson Philippe #34 Wellbox Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It is one of the trickiest places we will race at this year and definitely not my favorite," said Philippe. "Oval racing, though tough, is part of the beauty and diversity of Champ Car. I think that our car should be pretty good for the race and all I hope for is that it is in one piece at the checkered flag. We will try to keep the momentum up from Monterrey, the team is really hyped. While on the subject of ovals, I wish Bruno a healthy and quick recovery from his accident."

Marcus Marshall #5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It will be nice to head to a circuit where I have actually driven a Champ Car before, although this weekend will be my first actual race on an oval," said Marshall. "We tested at Milwaukee a month ago and it was a tremendous learning experience. The first time on an oval in any sort of car is going to provide a pretty steep learning curve. Although we were there for two days there was just so much to learn in a sort amount of time. Going back there with the Lola and now with at least some knowledge of the place should result in a bit more speed. At the end of the day my goal this weekend is to ensure I stay out of trouble and get as much experience as possible. That can only be achieved if I keep my backside in the seat. Milwaukee is not a place you see a lot of Australian flags, but I will be happy to be flying one this weekend."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Jimmy Vasser , Alex Tagliani , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Sébastien Bourdais , A.J. Allmendinger , Bjorn Wirdheim , Nelson Philippe , Ronnie Bremer , Marcus Marshall , Andrew Ranger , Timo Glock , Cristiano da Matta
Teams HVM Racing , Conquest Racing