McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS SECOND FAST IN PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING FOR TECATE GRAND PRIX OF MONTERREY; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER JUNQUEIRA FIFTH Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "You know, if not for the ...
McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS SECOND FAST IN PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING FOR TECATE GRAND PRIX OF MONTERREY; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER JUNQUEIRA FIFTH
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "You know, if not for the result, I'd call it a miserable session for the McDonald's team. It was really bad. The first run we went out, I was just about ready to start and go fast. I caught Mario. He was definitely not willing to let me by. It seems to be the story of the season so far. Then I got pissed, made mistakes, one small one and couldn't clean the tires, got into somebody else, backed off, made another mistake. I just couldn't seem to put it together. The last two laps were going to be good but I did one good one and made again another mistake. It was like, it's going to be really difficult. I came in the pits and was a little surprised that we had pole although it was very, very slight because Justin was one-hundredth of a second or something like that behind us. I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I was pretty confident the car was good. We went back out, did one lap. The McDonald's car felt really good but the red flag came out. You know, from there on, it was kind of the end anyways because Justin was on option tires, and they seemed to be a big difference this weekend. They went back up to speed extremely quickly. I kind of did the sweeper for him in turn 10 and 11. I just couldn't do it on the last lap. When I can get it right, it seems to be working exceptionally well. Congratulations to him. This week and this year I think RuSport has definitely closed the gap. We should see that throughout the whole weekend. I hope we are still a little bit ahead. We'll check it out tomorrow."
- FAST FACTS: Will be his fourth race here. Started from his second consecutive pole in the series in his rookie season in 2002 as well as set a track record. Led the first 16 laps but a faulty radio led to a missed pit stop. Also had a troubled pit stop and later brushed the wall entering the pits, which ultimately led to retire from the race in 17th place. Again started from pole in 2003, led 43 laps as well as set the fastest race lap en route to victory. Started from third pole in 2005 and led the first 17 laps but contact with Paul Tracy while attempting to pass him caused an extra pit stop to replace his flat tire and ultimately limited his finish to fifth place...Currently leads the series point standings with 18 over Mario Dominguez...Will attempt to become the first open wheel driver to win three consecutive championships since Ted Horn did so from 1946-1948.
Bruno Junqueira, No. 2 Hole in the Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Qualifying was just okay. We had some problems this morning and were a little behind where we wanted to be. I made a small mistake on my best lap on the first set of tires in qualifying so I knew there was more in the car. Then on my second set I couldn't get a good lap time in because of the red flags. We're going to work hard to get a better starting position in final qualifying. Overall it's close we just need to work a little to improve the car."
- FAST FACTS: Will be his sixth race here. Retired in 22nd place from a mechanical problem in his first race here in 2001. Started seventh and finished 11th after contact with rookie Townsend Bell in 2002. Set the fastest race lap and finished fifth in 2003. Started fourth, led five laps and finished second in 2004. Hindered by boost problem in final qualifying in Monterrey, Mexico and started fifth but led the final 9 laps to win and take the points lead last year...Was leading the '05 championship when he sustained a season-ending injury after the second race of the year.
- NEWMAN/HAAS RACING FACTS: NHR has earned FOUR WINS, SIX PODIUM finishes and THREE POLES in the five events held here. (WINS by Junqueira 2005, Bourdais 2004, da Matta 2002, 2001; 2nd place finish by Junqueira 2004; 3rd place finish by Fittipaldi 2002) (POLES by Bourdais 2003, 2004 & 2005).