Junqueira 2nd until damage led to leak - 4th in Mexico; Bourdais sixth fastest. OVERALL: Junqueira ran the fastest time in the 10 minute pre-qualifying practice session and was second fastest to Paul Tracy after completing his fifth lap (fourth...
Junqueira 2nd until damage led to leak - 4th in Mexico; Bourdais sixth fastest.
OVERALL: Junqueira ran the fastest time in the 10 minute pre-qualifying practice session and was second fastest to Paul Tracy after completing his fifth lap (fourth fast lap) in qualifying on only his first of two new sets of tires. He was beginning his sixth timed lap (fifth "fast" lap) when he went over the curb and off course in Turn 1and cut across the grass. His excursion resulted in damage that led to an oil leak and he was unable to continue after only utilizing six of his 15 allowable laps (four "fast laps," one "in" lap and one "out" lap). Bourdais ranked as high as third after his third timed lap but dropped to eighth before his 12th timed lap moved him up to fifth. His final attempt to better his time ended after he spun in Turn 1 on the slippery track. Michel Jourdain's final lap was fifth fastest and Bourdais dropped to sixth. Tracy locked in a front row start for Sunday's race by virtue of setting the fastest lap today.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I'm pretty disappointed because I could have fought Paul for the pole. The PacifiCare car was good. I had a little understeer but we could have fixed that for (our run on) the second set of tires. I'm disappointed for sure because we had a car capable to fight for pole. We will have to wait until Saturday now. I went through the grass like everybody else but the car was damaged somehow and we had an oil leak and didn't get to make a second run."
NOTES: Junqueira started 20th in the 2001 race in his debut in Champ cars and retired in 22nd place due to a mechanical failure. In 2002, he started the race in seventh place but was held up due to a multi-car accident started by rookie Townsend Bell and dropped to the back of the field. He charged back to sixth place by the final lap but he suffered an engine failure and retired in 11th place. This will be his THIRD race at this track.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Newman/Haas Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "The car didn't feel like my car. I think something could be wrong. We should have been higher (in the running order). The car didn't fell normal this morning but it was hard to tell because there was no grip because there was no rubber on the track. I thought that with more grip on the track, it would have helped us in qualifying but the car was still different. It is reacting much differently than it did in St. Pete or in testing. We will work hard overnight to find a solution and make progress tomorrow."
NOTES: This will be his first event in Monterrey and second in Champ Cars...Won the pole in the CART season-opening race in his Champ car debut in St. Pete, Bourdais and became the first driver to accomplish the feat since Nigel Mansell won the pole for the '93 Australian event - also while driving for NHR...Bourdais led 30 laps in St. Pete and became the first driver in the 25 year history of series to lead the first laps of his inaugural Champ car race...He also set the fastest race lap...He is currently ranked 10th in the point standings with four points....He won two of the three bonus points in St. Pete after setting the fastest times in both qualifying sessions.
TEAM NOTES: NHR driver Cristiano da Matta won the only two Champ car races held at this track. NHR driver Fittipaldi finished third in 2002.
ON TAP FOR TOMORROW: The morning practice session will take place from 10:00-11:15 AM CT (local time) which will be followed by final qualifying from 1:45-2:45 PM ET. SPEED Channel will televise qualifying live.