Patrick Carpentier leads Ford-powered teams with fifth-place finish. Notes: JOURDAIN SLIPS TO SECOND IN CHAMPIONSHIP - Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier scored his second top-five result of the season with a fifth-place finish at...
Patrick Carpentier leads Ford-powered teams with fifth-place finish.
JOURDAIN SLIPS TO SECOND IN CHAMPIONSHIP - Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier scored his second top-five result of the season with a fifth-place finish at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Polesitter Cristiano da Matta scored his second victory of the season (Monterrey, Mexico), while his teammate Christian Fittipaldi finished second and Kenny Brack finished third. Team Rahal driver Jimmy Vasser was eighth, his teammate Michel Jourdain, Jr. finished ninth and Alex Tagliani finished 10th. With the victory, da Matta takes the lead in the points championship, 51 to 46, over Jourdain, who failed to finish inside the top five for the first time this season.
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Finished 5th:
TALK ABOUT THE PASS YOU MADE ON JUNQUIERA. "It was really good. We were going down the straightaway and I was getting closer and was trying to figure out where I could pass him. On the next lap at the end of the front straightaway I thought I would have a really good shot, so I wanted to get a good exit out of the last turn. The Ford power did a good job of getting me to the end of the straight and our car was really strong under braking, so I went for it. We touched a little bit, I went a bit wide and wasn't sure if I could make it, but after that I was so happy I just yelled over the radio. But then I went off in Turn Six and that wasn't so good. I tried to get back to catch third but I just couldn't get it done."
BUT YOU HAVE TO BE HAPPY WITH THE WAY YOU RAN THE RACE. "Yeah, I'm very happy and that's the way I'd like to run every race. I want to be aggressive and that's what I did today. It was fun. I spun out and maybe I missed a podium finish, but some race we're not going to spin and we're going to win it."
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford) - Finished 8th:
WHAT DID YOU SEE ON THE START? "This guy (teammate Michel Jourdain, Jr.) was all the way across the track and I guess he got hit. I saw a big "Gigante" right in front of me and he was sliding with people going all over the place. I was going to go to the outside, but then it just closed up right in front of me and I couldn't go anywhere so I just stopped. I tried to get going once everything died down but the engine stalled."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford) - Finished 9th:
"I'm pretty disappointed because I thought we had a pretty good car. At the start somebody took me out and we lost several positions, but after that it was just very difficult. We put in some good laps and were beginning to move up through the field, but it was hard because we lost our first set of tires and the ones we had at the end were very worn. It's very frustrating when you know you have everything to finish in the front but you can't get the job done."
YOU'RE STILL SECOND IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND YOU SCORED YOUR BEST CAREER FINISH HERE AT LAGUNA SECA, SO THERE ARE SOME POSITIVES. "Yeah, but you want everything to be perfect. The team did a good job and we had a pretty good car, but that start just killed us. After that we just played catch up all day long and we didn't get any yellows during the race to help us out."
WHAT CAN YOU TAKE FROM THIS RACE INTO PORTLAND? "I think they're very different tracks. Portland is a place that's pretty unique so hopefully we'll come up with a good setup. Max (Papis) won from the pole last year so I think we have a good chance there."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Finished 10th:
YOU WERE PLAGUED BY A LOT OF LITTLE PROBLEMS TODAY. "It was frustrating. The car was good and at the start of the race we picked up a position, but then in the pit stop we lost three and that's a major thing that we need to fix. And then the traction control shut off (faulty wheel sensor) and we had some other problems related to that, like difficulty downshifting. Without the traction control we had to remove some front wing from the car because it was very loose and we did our best. But it's disappointing because it's not finishing in 10th place all the time that wins championships."
MAX PAPIS (#22 Sigma Autosport Ford) - Finished 13th:
"We really struggled to put the car back together after the morning warm-up and it looks like we had a little bit of a brake problem at the beginning of the race that lasted all day long. We were really slow on the first set and a half of tires and the car was really sliding around a lot. We also had the boost dropping off and that's when Michael (Andretti) got a good run and got past me at the top of the hill. Overall it was not a very exciting race. It was a lot of work for not getting even one point and that's a bit discouraging. But we lost our point, especially in the beginning, when we were really, really slow. We were decent near the end of the race, so I guess we'll have to accept that and try to make the best out of the next race."
TALK A LITTLE ABOUT THE PASS ANDRETTI MADE ON YOU. "The boost dropped about an inch on that lap. I was going up the hill and I had no speed, so Michael just went by. I knew he was going to come in, and since I had a brake problem that would prevent me from braking too deep, I just let him go. It was an unfortunate situation, but I don't think we lost a point there."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Competition Ford) - Finished 15th:
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE INCIDENT IN TURN THREE? "Townsend (Bell) spun right in front of me in the middle of the track and I had nowhere to go so I stopped. I thought I had gotten through, but then Adrian (Fernandez) crashed into me and we got stuck together and we couldn't move and had to wait for the safety guys. By the time I got going again I was two laps down and we were just driving to finish the race. This was basically a practice race for me and for the team as we got to work on our pit stops and work on getting better. As far as I knew I only had a flat tire, but the handling was a little off during the race and I probably bumped some stuff out of alignment. It's disappointing, but it's a long season and we've got another race to look forward to next weekend in Portland."