Junqueira Collects 1st Bridgestone Pole Position Award since 2004 Bruno Junqueira pronounced his recovery from serious injuries last year nearly complete after he captured the Bridgestone Pole Position in final qualifying today. In a...
Junqueira Collects 1st Bridgestone Pole Position Award since 2004
Bruno Junqueira pronounced his recovery from serious injuries last year nearly complete after he captured the Bridgestone Pole Position in final qualifying today. In a scintillating closing few minutes that saw the top three qualifiers separated by a mere 15-thousandths of a second, Junqueira took top honors with a lap of 57.631 seconds (122.684 mph).
It is the Brazilian's first pole position since Long Beach in April 2004, and the ninth of his Champ Car career. Junqueira edged out Forsythe Racing's A.J. Allmendinger (57.639 seconds) and Newman/Haas Racing teammate Sebastien Bourdais (57.646) for the Bridgestone Pole Position Award, which includes $5,000 and a black crystal trophy. Bridgestone also donates $2,500 to the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps in each pole winner's honor this season.
* From Bruno Junqueira, Hole in the Wall Camps Ford/Lola/Bridgestone: "The car was really good in qualifying and I put together a good lap, so I am quite happy with that. The Bridgestone tires were really good, especially the red ones (alternates), the soft ones. I mean, 57.6 (seconds) on this track, in this heat, is quite fast. It was impressive how much grip the tires gave me, even with the track not at its best. I wish I had four sets of the Bridgestone red ones for this race because the red tires are really good. Unbelievable!"
* Bridgestone Tire Performance Summary: Bridgestone Motorsport brought new tire compounds to Portland for both its standard and alternate specifications. Each car receives six sets of standard Potenzas and two sets of the red-sidewall alternates to use during the weekend, but at least one set of each spec must be run during Sunday's race. The alternate tires feature a slightly higher grip compound ("softer") to yield faster lap times at the potential expense of less durability. Each car also receives four new sets of the Bridgestone rain tire if conditions warrant. The dry-condition tires fall in the highest-grip end of the Bridgestone road-course family. The Potenza rain tires for this weekend are the softer of the two possibilities.
* From Joe Barbieri, Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport: "Congratulations to Bruno, a driver certainly deserving of some good fortune. PIR is notorious for constantly changing conditions and not necessarily getting faster through the weekend, but everyone improved their times in final qualifying. The Bridgestone tires certainly played a role in that, particularly the alternate Potenzas that had Bruno raving. Of course, the alternates are designed to go faster but maybe not last as long as the standard-spec tires, so we'll have to see how things play out in the race. That's the beauty of the Bridgestone alternate tire concept, to have varying race strategies develop in relation to tire use and to make the outcome more unpredictable and exciting."
Qualifying temperatures ranged from 114 to 120 degrees track and from 74 to 76 degrees ambient (F).
Qualifying temperatures ranged from 46 to 49 degrees track and from 23 to 24 degrees ambient (C).