A.J. Allmendinger, ...
A.J. Allmendinger, #10
Qualified 12th 1:17.644 / 97.554-mph
Allmendinger took to the roadways of Fundidora Park for the Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix in the second group of initial qualifying posting a quick lap of 1:17.644. However, he was 7th fastest in his session so he did not advance to the final top-10 qualifying session. Allmendinger ended up 12th overall for first-day qualifying.
"The new qualifying format lends itself to creating a new set of challenges, but I personally like the format and think it will be even better tomorrow when everyone goes out in one group. For us, the format didn't have much to do with our qualifying effort. Right now we're struggling to come to grips with the car on such a slippery race track. Once again every track we go to is new for us and we have no set-up notes, except where we're able to test, so we have a lot of work ahead of us this race weekend. I have every confidence in the RuSPORT team and we'll just keep plugging away at it to move forward."
Jeremy Dale, Team President
"Definitely a challenging day for AJ. He missed quality time in the morning session as we had a small problem with the car and it wasn't handling right. They are playing catch-up. This new qualifying format puts a lot pressure on the guys to just go out and lay a lap down. It's difficult to break that first group of five to get to compete for the top-10 qualifying positions for the day. He wasn't able to manage that, but he was really pedaling hard but the car's just not there yet."
Michel Jourdain Jr., #10
Qualified 8th 1:19.136 / 95.714-mph
Champ Car's new qualifying format for the Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix proved to be an exciting display of on-track speed and a new challenge for the Champ Car teams. Jourdain went out in the first of two initial qualifying groups posting his fastest lap and the 5th fastest of the session (1:17.873/97.266 mph) on his last lap to make it into the final top-10 qualifying group. All previous times were erased for the final session to set the top-10 grid positions for first-day qualifying with Jourdain posting the 8th best time in his #9 Gigante Champ Car.
Michel Jourdain Jr.
"The Gigante car is better than it was this morning, and it's definitely better than it was in Long Beach. RuSPORT has made great improvements to the car, but we can still improve a lot. We had a little bad luck in qualifying. I had fast laps going at two separate times that I lost in traffic and then with Paul Tracy's red flag. The new qualifying format does not affect my approach; it's still my job to push the pedal down as hard as I can and get the fastest lap from the Gigante car."
Jeremy Dale, Team President
"It's such a big weekend here in Monterrey for Michel. There's so much for him to do and so pressure that I'm sure just getting in the car is a relief. The Gigante crew had a good morning session and was able to squeak through in the first group of qualifying, Michel being the 5th fastest in that group. That was a good solid effort. We just need to keep chipping away at the car. With all the demands on Michel's time this weekend, it's a testament to his experience and talent that he can turn all that off and do the great job that he's done on-track."