Patience and timing will be the order of the day for PacWest Racing drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell in tomorrow's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix at Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania. Gugelmin, driver of the ...
Patience and timing will be the order of the day for PacWest Racing drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell in tomorrow's Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix at Nazareth Speedway in Pennsylvania. Gugelmin, driver of the #17 Nextel PacWest Mercedes-Benz, and Blundell, pilot of the #18 Motorola PacWest Mercedes-Benz, have qualified 12th and 19th respectively for tomorrow's second round of the FedEx Championship Series. Both drivers again struggled with major "push" in their cars in the qualifying session, but believe they have the engine horsepower and reliability to make their way through the field and open their championship points account tomorrow. Juan Montoya qualified fastest for tomorrow's race with a lap of 19.255 seconds and he was followed by Christian Fittipaldi (19.306s) and Helio Castro-Neves (19.3459s).
MAURICIO GUGELMIN - # 17 NEXTEL PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 12th Morning practice session: 19.481s -- 13th; Qualifying session: 19.666s
"The car had a push through all three turns and I think it was an effect of the wind," said Gugelmin. "It is unfortunate that we had a loose car at Homestead and now here because I think we really have all the ingredients for a really strong racecar.
"Depending on when we run the race, because of the predicted weather, I think we are going to be pretty good. "If we can get the balance right I think we will have the horsepower and reliability to do the job. The engine Mercedes-Benz has given us today has provided every indication that it is good enough to help us win the race. "You always would have liked to have qualified higher when you are not on the pole, but I think if we settle down from the opening lap tomorrow, and pick off the others one by one, we will be in good shape to score some points."
MARK BLUNDELL - # 18 MOTOROLA PACWEST MERCEDES-BENZ -- 19th overall Morning session: 19.630s -- 17 th; Afternoon session: 19.969s
"There is no doubt that we are disappointed with that result," said Blundell. "It certainly was not the birthday present I was looking for. "We made a couple of changes after the morning session which we all agreed should help the car. We got it wrong and could not even reproduce the times we set in the morning practice. We had a bad push and just did not have the car to match the others. "What made it more disappointing is the fact that we had a strong engine package thanks to the Mercedes-Benz engineers who made a couple of small, but positive, changes overnight. "Tomorrow is a long race and I think if we make the right set-up changes overnight we will have the engine power and reliability to get right among the points. "It will all be a matter of patience and timing."