McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS EARNED FOURTH CONSECUTIVE TECATE GRAND PRIX OF MONTERREY POLE; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER JUNQUEIRA TO START FOURTH Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Well, it was a little bit...
McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS EARNED FOURTH CONSECUTIVE TECATE GRAND PRIX OF MONTERREY POLE; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER JUNQUEIRA TO START FOURTH
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:
"Well, it was a little bit of a crazy session. We went out there and didn't really know what to expect with the option tires. But Bridgestone had pretty similar compounds, just a little grippier. We didn't guess it exactly right, so we got the red flag, pit, made a change, went back out, and definitely the balance was a little better. We really capitalized on that. I had clean track, two laps in a row. That was exactly what I was looking for. We just got it right. I could not be any happier for the McDonald's team. I think it's quite an achievement to do that four years in a row. I just really like this racetrack. I hope it's going to be good to us tomorrow because it's always been a bumpy ride for the race. We'll see what happens. I just think track position is extremely important here. You really want to start from the pole. We just made sure we were going to be right there. For sure you'd like to save the tires, but as I said in Long Beach when we did it, you look like a star when it succeeds. But when you miss the pole because you got greedy, you sat down for the second set, you really look awful stupid. It's a tough call. You've got to decide. We played it safe this time."
- 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. Earned his FOURTH CONSECUTIVE POLE HERE TODAY and 20th in 48 races...Currently leads the series point standings with 19 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:
"The car was pretty good. I think I could get really close to Sebastien. I think it could have been P1 and P2 for Newman/Haas for sure in the session. It was frustrating to get so much traffic but mostly because it was intentional traffic. On the first run I started the lap and Mario was in front of me and my second lap was a pretty good lap but he (Mario) made a small mistake in Turn 11, the last turn, and put so much dirt on the track so I just tried to survive there. I lost so much time. On the next lap my tires were dirty in Turn 1 and I went off. Then on my last lap I put everything together and put the car in P2 for the session so I was pretty confident I could get really close to Sebastien and challenge him on the second set. Then I got Oriol in front of me the whole time on my second set. He was trying to run a lap then would slow down which would block me, then run a lap, slow down and I would have to slow down as well. This happened all three laps. I tried to back off to open a gap but he would too so I was never able to put a lap together and give the team and myself some good results. We have a great race car. It's going to be really hot and it will be hard on the drivers. It will be very easy to make a mistake so we will need concentrate very hard."
- 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 FOUR POLES to date 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 & 2006).