CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterey: Ford Racing Saturday quotes

Player's/Forsythe drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani qualify sixth and seventh, respectively, at Laguna Seca. Notes: CARPENTIER SCORES TOP-10 START - Player's/Forsythe drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani led the Ford-powered...

Player's/Forsythe drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani qualify sixth and seventh, respectively, at Laguna Seca.


CARPENTIER SCORES TOP-10 START - Player's/Forsythe drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani led the Ford-powered teams in Laguna Seca, qualifying sixth and seventh, respectively, for tomorrow's Bridgestone Grand Prix of Monterey. Carpentier lapped the 2.238-mile permanent road course in 1 minute, 10.255 seconds, while Tagliani completed his lap in 1 minute, 10.269 seconds. Cristiano da Matta claimed pole position with his effort of 1 minute, 9.473 seconds before his engine blew up in Turn six, while Kenny Brack qualified second (1 minute, 9.575 seconds) and Bruno Junquiera qualified third (1 minute, 9.759 seconds).


PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Qualified 6th

DID YOU ENCOUNTER ANY FLUIDS ON THE TRACK AFTER CRISTIANO DA MATTA'S ENGINE EXPIRED? "I think I was one of the first ones to come through there and I think I spun for about half a mile with the wheels locked, so when I got going again the tires were flatspotted and it was really vibrating. We were on our second set of tires and we couldn't change them, so I came around and the back end was so loose because it was shaking so badly and there was nothing I could do. We stopped to take some wing out, but my tires were done."

WHERE DID HE BLOW UP? "Turn six, going up the hill. That's the fastest corner on the track too."

DO YOU THINK HE SHOULD BE PENALIZED FOR THAT? "Yeah, you have to. At this level you know you have to move aside and you have to do something. It's ridiculous."

DO YOU THINK HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING? "Oh yeah. Look where he is! (pole position). Everybody knows what they're doing. Christian (Fittipaldi); what he did yesterday was so bad and somebody could've really gotten hurt. Same thing with (Mario) Dominguez; he moved aside but he still had five feet that he could use and he just stayed on the track. CART and the promoters are making such an effort to make the tracks safer and these guys, like Christian, are the first guys to complain about safety and then he stops in the middle of the track and Cristiano oils down the track. I could've destroyed another tub today just because of that. (CART) needs to do something. When somebody intentionally stays on the race line he should get a penalty."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Qualified 7th

"We're okay, but I'm a bit disappointed because our first outing was a five lap run and we got shorted because I got blocked by Max Papis. And then at the end we had a little problem on the car; when I exited Turn six I went in the dirt and damaged the bottom of the car (skidplate). Then when we came out (Cristiano) da Matta had just blown an engine and he was running on the racing line, so it was impossible to improve. I think the car was capable of being fourth or fifth, but I think we can do a good job in the race."

MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford) - Qualified 11th

"We made some changes on the car and it's much better than it was yesterday. At the end we had a pretty good lap going and then (Cristiano) da Matta put oil all over the track, which screwed us up. It's a shame because I think we could've put the car into the top 10."

HOW DO YOU THINK THE CAR WILL BE IN THE RACE? "We'll be fine. The changes we made will help us for the race and I think we have a good racecar tomorrow."

MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Competition Ford) - Qualified 12th

"I was going up the hill and the engine just stopped, so we'll have to see what happened there. But we got into the backup car, which was pretty good, and managed to put a few decent laps in before the end of the session. Unfortunately I lost my best lap when I brought out the red flag, and that would've put us into the top 10, but we'll take what we've got and get ready for tomorrow."

JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford) - Qualified 15th

"The car's not too good right now. It's not very good under braking and it's got some mid-corner understeer. We've got some handling issues that we need to get settled before the race tomorrow because right now the car is very unimpressive."

MAX PAPIS (#22 Sigma Autosport Ford) - Qualified 17th

"We're still trying to figure out how in practice we had a top-10 car and it seems like when we go in qualifying people are able to pick it up so much more than we can. We had a pretty good setup this morning and the car was quite quick, so right now we're just trying to find out what happened. It was kind of a surprise that we did the fastest lap of the weekend and I thought that would've been good enough for 10th or 12th. We had a couple of tenths left in the car, but I ran into some traffic on the last lap so I really had only one good lap on the car. But even if I hadn't had traffic that lap wouldn't have been to put us in the top six, which is where I thought we'd end up."


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Max Papis , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Kenny Brack , Cristiano da Matta