CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterrey: Newman/Haas Racing Friday report

Bourdais & Junquera 1-2 in First Round of Qualifying in Mexico Overall: The Champ Car World Series officials implemented a new qualifying procedure for Monterrey. The field was divided into two sessions, which ran 15 minutes each. The top five...

Bourdais & Junquera 1-2 in First Round of Qualifying in Mexico

Overall: The Champ Car World Series officials implemented a new qualifying procedure for Monterrey. The field was divided into two sessions, which ran 15 minutes each. The top five from each session qualified to participate in "Session 3" which consisted of a 15-minute "shoot out" with the fastest driver being awarded one championship point as well as a guaranteed position in Saturday's top-10 shootout. Sebastien Bourdais was the fastest driver in Session 1 while Junqueira was the fastest in Session 2. Bourdais was the fastest driver of the Session 3 shootout. The fastest driver from Friday's qualifying session does not receive a guaranteed front row start as in the past nor do the lap times set on Friday carry over to qualifying on Saturday.

Fastest -- Session 1: Sebastien Bourdais 1:16.468
Fastest -- Session 2: Bruno Junqueira 1:15.834

Session 3 (Shootout among top 5 from each of the first two sessions)
Prov. Pole: Sebastien Bourdais 1:15.978
2nd: Bruno Junqueira 1:16.881

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I think that since the car touched the track this morning it has been good. I'm very happy for the McDonald's team because the season didn't start as strong as we hoped for. I'm disappointed that we don't have the front row guaranteed tomorrow. It's everything for Saturday and Friday doesn't matter anymore so I hope we can repeat P1 again tomorrow when it counts. We're working as a team and I'm glad both Bruno and I are here (in top-three). If everything goes like this for the season we can bring the crown back to the team and that's the goal."

* FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here...Won his second pole in the series in Monterrey as well as set a track record. He 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...Earned one point for being fastest in final qualifying in Long Beach although he started second to his teammate Junqueira, who set the fastest overall time in qualifying. Ran the fastest lap of the race and finished third in Long Beach. He earned one point for setting the fastest time in Friday qualifying in Mexico. Has 28 points to leader Paul Tracy, 32, and second place Junqueira who has 29.

Bruno Junqueira, No. 6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I think the PacifiCare car was good today in both qualifying sessions. For sure the red flag hurt us in the third session. I actually set the fastest lap in qualifying but didn't get pole because of the new system. I prefer the old qualifying format over this one. The PacifiCare car was good in the race last year and I think we are more confident this year. This is one of the most difficult tracks. It's easy to make a small mistake and a small mistake can turn into a big mistake here. Those mistakes make for more passing opportunities."

* FAST FACTS: Will be his fourth race here. He started 7th in 2003, ran the fastest lap of the race but settled for a fifth place finish after a spin dropped him to 9th place. In 2002 he started 7th but Townsend Bell ran into him on the start limited him to an 11th place finish. Started 20th and finished 22nd in 2001 due to a mechanical failure...Started on pole and finished second in Long Beach. Has 29 points to leader Paul Tracy's 32.

NEWMAN/HAAS RACING FACTS: NHR has won TWO of the three races at this track (Da Matta 2001 & 2002) and ONE pole (Bourdais 2003). They have earned a total of THREE podium finishes (3rd place Fittipaldi 2002).

-nhr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Townsend Bell , Sébastien Bourdais