Molson Indy Montreal Post-Race Press Conference Mario Dominguez - Third Patrick Carpentier - Second Bruno Junqueira - Race Winner ERIC MAUK: We'll start with our second place finisher from today's Molson Indy Montreal, Round 10 of the ...
Molson Indy Montreal Post-Race Press Conference
Mario Dominguez - Third
Patrick Carpentier - Second
Bruno Junqueira - Race Winner
ERIC MAUK: We'll start with our second place finisher from today's Molson Indy Montreal, Round 10 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Patrick Carpentier. He becomes the first driver in the three years we have run here in Montreal to finish on the podium twice. This is his 20th career podium finish, his third of the year. Pat, this has got to be a big one for you. How does it feel?
PATRICK CARPENTIER: It feels really good. I'm really happy because Friday didn't start too well. We didn't run qualifying, but it gave us the opportunity to save a lot of tires for the race. All we had for the race were stickers. So it worked out well for us. We did a little bit better on Saturday, but still improved the car for this morning. The car was fast in the race. At the beginning of the race, we kind of knew everybody was going to start with the soft compound, then we decide to start with the harder compound. We were hoping to stick with them in the pit stop and later in the race we throw the red labels, which is the soft compound, on the car.
Behind these cars, the guys were really good and we saved a lot of fuel. At the end we stopped quite a few laps later. Our pit stop was really short because we didn't need a lot of fuel. When I went back out at the end, I had to save quite a bit of fuel. I kept arguing with the team. They wanted me to save fuel. I saw Mario coming behind me pretty quickly. I don't know if he had 'push to pass' left or not, but I didn't want to find out, so I was pushing pretty hard, but trying to save fuel at the same time. Bruno was a little bit too fast for us to catch. So it worked out really well. I know some guys had some bad luck, but I've had a but of bad luck in the last few races. So I'll take this one.
ERIC MAUK: What did you see on the start there?
PATRICK CARPENTIER: Yeah, I was kind of trying to save myself from what was happening. I tried to pass on the outside, and I felt a couple of guys didn't seem to stop, and Alex hit Paul, then Paul went in the grass. Paul maybe hit AJ. A few guys hit each other. Tried to go to the inside, but Paul started spinning towards the inside. I was going to get caught like in Elkhart Lake. I kind of slowed down and Alex went by. Only lost one place, but gained one because AJ had a flat tire.
ERIC MAUK: Congratulations. We are joined by our third place finisher, driver of the #55 Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Herdez Competition, Mario Dominguez. His second podium finish of the season, the seventh of his career, his first since Monterrey, Mexico this year. Mario, third place finish, tell us about the way it went.
MARIO DOMINGUEZ: Obviously I'm disappointed, you know. I never thought I'd be disappointed finishing third. But we really had the race covered very well. I passed Sebastien after the first pit stop, then pulled away from him. That just shows you how good of a car we had. He's been the fastest driver all year. To actually pass him, the Herdez team and I were just working together very well. Then I got to the pits and had a problem with the wheel gun. Went to change my tire, I think I look like something over 20 something seconds, 28 or something in the pit. So that's where we lost the race. That was too bad, but we managed to bring it back home on the podium. Very happy about that.
ERIC MAUK: You guys had a great battle, you Patrick and Paul going for second for quite a number of laps right about the halfway point of the race. Tell us about that battle.
MARIO DOMINGUEZ: Yeah, it was pretty good. Running really close together, the three of us. Just basically I couldn't pass them. I could run really close, but couldn't pass them. They were both having a very good battle between each other. I was hoping they would both make a mistake and I could go by, but that didn't happen (laughter). It was fun. It was fun racing like that. It's too bad. I really wanted to win, especially for my friend Antonio, my manager, their son passed away last week. I wanted to dedicate this win for them. That's why I was pushing so hard, pulling for it. But I'm still glad to be on the podium.
ERIC MAUK: You had a bit of a back problem after the race. Are you all right?
MARIO DOMINGUEZ: Yeah, I had a cramp in my back. It hurts a lot. Having a hard time moving around.
ERIC MAUK: Congratulations. Great result. The winner of the Molson Indy Montreal, driver of the #6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Newman/Haas Racing, Bruno Junqueira. Bruno gets his first victory of the year, the sixth of his career, and becomes the first driver since Bobby Rahal in 1982-1985 to win races in each of his first four years on the Champ Car World Series circuit. Bruno, the series had owed you one probably all year. You took advantage of it today.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: I mean, today was a very close race. I had a very good start, passed AJ, almost passed Mario. I was just behind Mario saving fuel. Then the yellow flag came. On the restart, I did two good laps. I tried to save fuel, the tires, I let Mario go away a little bit. My car wasn't handling that well after the restart. But I was like two seconds behind him. I was in an okay position. He did a very good pit stop. I'm sure that they short fueled it. Gave him the opportunity to go and pass Sebastien, although he stopped one lap earlier. I don't think he was saving fuel when me and Sebastien were saving fuel.
Then I didn't know what happened to him. I know that I just passed him in the pits, then I saw the thing what happened with Sebastien and AJ. I was just calling Sebastien, see if he was well. The PacifiCare car was really great. I was just waiting for the end of the race to attack and to see where I am and who I need to race with. When Sebastien came out of the race, Mario had the problem in the pit stops, gave me a big lead. Actually, the two strongest guys at that point on lap times and on the racetrack had problems and gave me the opportunity to lead the race.
Then it was really hard. I mean, put in some fast laps. I had like a 10-second lead and I just kept it. Then I got down to eight seconds because I got some traffic. I just kept the concentration high and tried to push hard to get good lap times, but without making any mistakes. This track is very easy to make mistakes because you get very high speed and very hard braking. Then I drove very secure, without pushing too hard, but a good pace. The PacifiCare car was great. Brought the first win of the year. I'm very, very happy for me and my whole team. We've been working so hard this year. Most of the races been very competitive, fighting for the win. I got a lot of second places this year. For some reason, never got the win. Today everything came our way.
Maybe, I said before, there was at least three races that I was the strongest guy out there and that deserve the win, and didn't. Today I felt that I was strong as Mario and Sebastien. We were pretty much on the same level. One of the three of us could win the race. I think the luck came to my side at least once, and I'm quite happy of that. Gave me good position in the championship, on the fight of the championship. I'm never going to give up, work very hard, try to catch Sebastien for the championship. I think I can. I can reverse it. Like four races ago, I was leading. I had three bad races. He had three good ones, and he pass me, open a big gap. I hope I can get another three good races. Last I want to really thank my mom and my girlfriend who came all the way from Brazil to bring the good luck to get the first win of the year. Je suis tres felice.
ERIC MAUK: Which is more important for you coming out of this weekend, getting that first win of the year or lopping 28 points off Sebastien's lead, you're unofficially now 34 points behind him?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: Getting the first win. I think the boys been working very hard, and someone asked me if I took the monkey off my back. I guess that's the right American slang to say because I did a lot of good races this year. For some reason I didn't got the win. Today to get the first win is going to give me, myself as a driver, and my whole PacifiCare team a lot of confidence towards the last race of the year.
ERIC MAUK: Congratulations. Unofficially after 10 events, Sebastien Bourdais is our points leader with 258, Bruno has closed to 34 points behind with 224, Paul Tracy third with 203, Alex Tagliani fourth with 183, Patrick Carpentier fifth with 181, and Mario Dominguez right behind them with 176, just five back in the sixth spot. We'll take questions from the media.
Q: Do you believe in momentum? How important was it to stop the gap and close it down?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: I mean, I've been taking that a little bit on the last few races. I mean, even the last session, that last race, Toronto, things were not going right for me and going very well for Sebastien. He had a really good momentum. Gave him and his team a lot of confidence. Now I hope with this win is going to give us momentum, as well. I don't want to take his momentum. I want a fair shot, but that going to give us confidence.
I know that we can win, but we didn't on the first nine race of the year. Now I show that we can win and I think that's going to give us the momentum of the last four race of the year for us to fight on the championship.
Q: Pat, I realize you've been thinking this could possibly have been your last race in Canada in this series. Does that make this podium finish that much more important to you?
PATRICK CARPENTIER: Yeah, we haven't made a decision yet. But it's fantastic. I'm really happy. I'm more happy because Alain worked so hard to put this event together, and he had a few things going wrong. And it seems like the event was not going to happen at one point. Five weeks ago there was nothing, no grandstands, the fences. He had to do a double work to finish that. Alain is my agent also, so he did the race here.
He did a great job. I was really happy for him not to have rain today. People showed up, filled out the grandstand. That's what he was hoping for. So I'm kind of happy for that. I'm really happy to have another podium. The first year we were running second behind Dario Franchitti. The engine gave up. So we got that second place back.
Continued in part 2