CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland Ford First Round Qualifying Notes

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ - Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - QUICKEST FIRST SESSION - "The track was slower because the NASCAR guys had left about an inch of rubber. It was bad. But, it was the same for everybody. Unfortunately, we don't know where we...

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ - Tecate/Quaker State Ford-Cosworth - QUICKEST FIRST SESSION - "The track was slower because the NASCAR guys had left about an inch of rubber. It was bad. But, it was the same for everybody. Unfortunately, we don't know where we are right now. We were the fastest in this session, so we may think we're pretty good, but the truth is, I don't know if the car is better than this morning because the car behaved much worse than this morning, but we also had to deal with the track. This is the first time I've dealt with a problem like this, so it's hard. It's the same for everybody, but in a way, it's not the same for everybody since the guys in the second session will have a clearer track."

ALEX TAGLIANI - Team Player's Ford-Cosworth - FIRST SESSION "The track was bad. There was bad rubber from everybody before us (CART QUALIFYING). But we're struggling. We just don't have a good car right now and it makes it worse."

PATRICK CARPENTIER - Team Player's Ford-Cosworth - "It was a very good day. I believe it's the first Friday where we've ended up in the top three. The team did a good job. The car was a little loose this morning, and I know the track this afternoon was a bit more slippery. The car for me was a little bit more stable and it was a little bit more easy for me than this morning. The Player's crew has done a very good job, and with the Ford package, it's just been very good.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LAST YEAR AND THIS YEAR'S TEAM. "Player's is injecting a lot more money into the team and we've added a couple of guys to the team. And, we don't just do testing at the track, we've been testing for the aerodynamics and stuff, outside the race track. It's starting to pay off and you're starting to see that there's a greater effort going on than what it was last year. We've tested more road courses. Player's always had very fast cars on the ovals, but the road course was lacking."

MICHAEL ANDRETTI - Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth - "The car's fine. Unfortunately, my second set of tires, I only got one lap in. I could have gotten more, but I ran into traffic. It was slippery out there, but it got better as the session went on, but it was good to be in the second group."

CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI - Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth - "My day has been very good. We've really not had any problems. We had a small engine problem with one of my cars this morning, so we swapped cars and it worked out okay. The afternoon, as everyone saw, was more difficult in terms of conditions out there. It got better, especially during the last 10 minutes, but it was the same for everyone. We ran solid all day, and tomorrow will be a much tougher day, but I'm pretty confident we have a shot at it (POLE) now. I'm pretty sure we're going to see more speed (SATURDAY). I think the track wasn't in very good shape, and it's more because of the NASCARs. It was like a different tire out there, and it got mixed up with our tire on the ground and it didn't do much good for us. As you could see in the first session, they cleaned up the track a little bit and it got quicker and quicker. If the track was breaking up, then the more cars that got out there, it would get slower and slower. I think there are six or seven cars with a shot at the pole."

ROBERTO MORENO - Visteon Ford-Cosworth - "I was extremely happy. There was great improvement since this morning. This morning, we came with a new development on the car, but it needs some more work, so we had to go back on that this afternoon. So we tried and saw what that did this morning, and it was good to be able to recover from this morning with a car that is much quicker now and handles much better. Now that we know the direction, we can improve the car tomorrow."

KENNY BRACK - Shell Ford-Cosworth - "The heat must have made the track slick this afternoon. We were really sliding around out there. Due to a penalty from Detroit (LOSING EIGHT MINUTES IN THE QUALIFYING SESSION), we had to move up our strategy for running this afternoon. And the track was improving at the end. So that hurt us today, not getting to run the final eight minutes. I'm starting to get used to this track, though. We tested one day here in April and conditions were different - not as hot. I think we can make improvement for Saturday. We'll have a full practice and qualifying session to get better and make a run at these guys."

MAX PAPIS - Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth - "There was no grip at all for us this afternoon. We had understeer and oversteer. Unfortunately, I couldn't get power to the ground. I drove to the apex of the corners and then turned and applied the power. It's not the correct way to drive the circuit here. You need a rhythm and I wasn't able to get it today. I think everyone had a little trouble with the slippery conditions today. I believe the track will be better on Saturday. Somehow, the NASCAR cars leave a different rubber compound on the track and it made our cars slide a lot more."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar