CART FedEx Championship Series Bridgestone Potenza 500, Twin Ring Motegi, Japan Friday, April 26, 2002 - Qualifying Bruno Brings Bridgestone the Pole in Tire Maker's Namesake Event Bruno Junqueira delivered under the most intense conditions...
CART FedEx Championship Series
Bridgestone Potenza 500, Twin Ring Motegi, Japan
Friday, April 26, 2002 - Qualifying
Bruno Brings Bridgestone the Pole in Tire Maker's Namesake Event
Bruno Junqueira delivered under the most intense conditions today to capture the pole position for Saturday's running of the Bridgestone Potenza 500. In the highly competitive battle among Japanese-based engine manufacturers, Junqueira put his Target Toyota/Lola on Bridgestone tires atop the speed chart with a lap of 215.108 mph (25.907 seconds).
It is the second pole position of Junqueira's CART career, which began last season. He edged Tony Kanaan, driver of the Pioneer Honda/Reynard/Bridgestone, by 0.144 of a second for the top spot. All 20 cars in the starting grid are equipped with Bridgestone Potenza racing radials. The tire maker serves as the Official Tire of CART this year and is title sponsor of a FedEx Championship Series event for the first time this weekend.
As excited as he was to win the pole, Junqueira was just as enthusiastic when discussing his chances in the race - in great part due to the performance of the Bridgestone tires in their namesake event. "My car is very good in race trim," Junqueira said. "All of the drivers have noticed that there is very little difference between new tires and old tires. The difference is only like three-tenths (of a second per lap) maximum from new tires to old tires. I did like 68 laps on a set of tires yesterday and was still running really good. The Bridgestone tires will help us a lot because they're going to keep us really consistent and we won't have to change the car too much through the race - just a little bit for the fuel and in traffic. I think my car will be really good for the race."
Quote from Joe Barbieri, Bridgestone/Firestone Motorsports Project Supervisor:
"We're extremely pleased to be here and proud of the tire performance in the Bridgestone Potenzas' debut at Motegi. Despite the cold temperatures, the Potenzas provided teams with the grip they needed to make for a very exciting qualifying session. Congratulations to Target/Chip Ganassi Racing and Bruno Junqueira for a most dramatic pole-winning effort. We expect a very close and exciting race tomorrow, as the drivers will once again count on the durability and consistency of the Bridgestone tires to help get them to what could well be an even more electrifying finish."
Qualifying track temperatures ranged from 68 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit and 20 to 23 degrees Celsius.
Qualifying ambient temperatures ranged from 59 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 to 17 degrees Celsius.