PLAYER'S/INDECK'S ALEX TAGLIANI IS THIRD IN PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING FOR THE TECATE TELMEX GRAND PRIX Notes: TAGLIANI THIRD IN PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING - Player's/Indeck driver Alex Tagliani finished third in today's provisional qualifying for the...
PLAYER'S/INDECK'S ALEX TAGLIANI IS THIRD IN PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING FOR THE TECATE TELMEX GRAND PRIX
TAGLIANI THIRD IN PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING - Player's/Indeck driver Alex Tagliani finished third in today's provisional qualifying for the Tecate Telmex Grand Prix, lapping the course at Fundidora Park in 1 minute, 19.241 seconds. Adrian Fernandez claimed the provisional pole with a lap of 1 minute, 18.929 seconds, and under CART's new qualifying rules, will start Sunday's race no worse than second. Dario Franchitti posted the second-fastest lap of the day at 1 minute, 19.202 seconds.
ALEX TAGLIANIn (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 3rd (provisional)
"I think most of the time we're on it and the car, the way it is for us, goes sideways a little bit. The parts of the track where we're slower here are on the curbs. You can't drive over them. They are the biggest curbs I've seen in my whole life."
WHAT WAS YOUR STRATEGY WITH THE NEW QUALIFYING RULES? "I think it's really unusual here on this track, and it will be a lot more interesting on tracks like Long Beach. We're not going to wait until the end at Long Beach because first of all I think the tires are going to get up to temperature really quickly so you don't have to do six laps. And that's going to help for more laps during the session and you won't have to go out at the end. Here it's unusual because I think it's fair for everybody because everybody has the same track conditions."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 6th (provisional)
"Just to run well here today means a lot to have a start like this. The crowd is great and this race and the one in Mexico City will be crazy."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#16 Herdez Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 12th (provisional) - "I'm very happy that the team is happy with me and I'm excited about that. Our strategy for qualifying was not the best, but the good thing is that we still have a lot of room for improvement on the car. Tomorrow we can definitely improve."
YOU RAN HERE IN INDY LIGHTS LAST SEASON, BUT HOW BIG A DIFFERENCE IS THE TRACTION CONTROL? "The traction control is very good and my Ford-Cosworth engineer has been working hard to improve that. We still have some room for improvement there, which is good, and I think we'll be fine tomorrow."
COMING INTO TODAY, DID YOU HAVE ANY EXPECTATIONS OF RESULTS? "Just about what we have, being in the top 12 where you can score some points. I think today was good, but we have room for improvement and that's some good news. Our qualifying strategy was good, but it was good for my first time qualifying in Champ Cars."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 18th (provisional)
NOT THE RESULT YOU WERE LOOKING TO OPEN THE SEASON WITH. "Not at all. It's very far from what we wanted. We waited a little bit too long to go out and everybody went out at once. We had a red flag on our fastest lap so it didn't count. The car was really loose so we made a couple of changes and went back out and after that I did a lap that was half-decent. I was still too loose, so we came in to make more changes and I went back out, but unfortunately I went in too fast in Turn One and lost the rear end of the car. It was a bit loose and I spun, so it cost me a red flag. What they do now when that happens is they take away your fastest time of the session and my fastest time was a second faster than the next best time. I lost a lot of positions and now I'm at the back of the field."
DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE USE OF TRACTION CONTROL HELPED YOU TODAY AS OPPOSED TO LAST YEAR AT THIS TRACK, WHICH IS QUITE SLIPPERY? "Everybody has it so its not like we have it and nobody else does. Then it would be a huge help, but everybody is working with it and it's a help for everybody. We just need to do a better job of setting the car up so we don't have to use it as much."
MAX PAPIS (#22 Rockwell First Point Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 19th (provisional)
"We've got a very good understanding of the car and we tried to improve it, but we were still very, very far off the pace. We'll look forward to tomorrow because today was not one of our best days." WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW QUALIFYING RULES? "I think it was very interesting. I think it's a good way of creating some excitement and as you could see they set the pole position in the last two minutes. There are no more excuses anymore. Now you have the opportunity to be out there and choose when you qualify and that's what makes the difference."
DID THE TRACTION CONTROL MAKE A DIFFERENCE COMPARED TO LAST SEASON? "It's a different concept of running the car and we still need to find the best way to run it. But it's definitely an advantage."