Patrick Carpentier scores second straight top-five result with fifth-place finish. Notes: CARPENTIER RECORDS FOURTH TOP 10 FINISH OF SEASON - Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier finished fifth in the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland ...
Patrick Carpentier scores second straight top-five result with fifth-place finish.
CARPENTIER RECORDS FOURTH TOP 10 FINISH OF SEASON - Player's/Forsythe driver Patrick Carpentier finished fifth in the G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway to notch his second straight top-five finish (Laguna Seca - fifth). Cristiano da Matta scored his second consecutive victory, and third of the season, while Bruno Junquiera finished second and Dario Franchitti finished third. Carpentier led all Ford drivers with his fifth-place finish, while Michel Jourdain, Jr., was sixth. Jourdain slipped to third in the championship with 54 points, behind da Matta (74 points) and Junquiera (54 points), who holds the tiebreaker (won in Japan).
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Finished 5th
"The car was much better in the race than it was during qualifying. We took Alex's (Tagliani) set up and it was better than what we had. Obviously he was more comfortable with it than I was, but it was fine. We ran okay and got more points than I thought we would and that's great. We made a great pass at the start and passed six or seven cars during the race and that's where we made up ground. I'm pleased."
YOU NOW HAVE TWO TOP-FIVE FINISHES IN A ROW AND HAVE JUMPED IN THE POINTS STANDINGS. "We're sixth in the points and that's fantastic. We're closer to where we want, and hopefully we'll continue to have good cars like the ones we've had in the last two or three races."
DO YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTER RIGHT NOW ON A ROAD COURSE OR OVAL? "It doesn't matter. We ran really well in Laguna Seca and I think we were one of the fastest cars out there. Some tracks we're going to be fast and some others we're going to struggle. We might not be fast in Chicago, but we'll see."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford) - Finished 6th
WHAT DID YOU SEE AT THE START? "I arrived and I saw the yellows and what looked like a mess. Jimmy (Vasser) went straight and I thought he must have seen something because he was in front of me, so I went straight as well and came out in my position in front of Mario (Dominguez). But CART decided to send me to the back and we lost quite a bit of time there. It was very, very hard to pass, but I got by Shinji (Nakano) and Mario (Dominguez), and then after that the car was pretty decent. At the end we were trying very hard, especially out of the pits, to be as fast as possible and that was our key today."
YOU HAVEN'T QUALIFIED VERY WELL IN THE LAST COUPLE OF RACES, BUT HAVE MANAGED TO FINISH STRONGLY. HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR STARTING POSITION? "Yesterday morning we were fast and I think we had a pretty good car, but then we had some fuel pressure problems during qualifying and that killed us. We just have to keep working hard to get everything right and I'm sure things will get better."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Competition Ford) - Finished 10th
"It was very important for us to score points here today. This is not my most favorite track and we knew it would be a struggle for us all weekend. But just being able to bring the car home and score some points is great for us. The guys gave me some great pitstops, but I didn't have a very good stint on the second set of tires. I had a huge oversteer and the car was virtually undriveable. It was so hard to control that I went off the track, but I didn't spin and managed to keep it going. It was a tough race. I've never done a race with this many laps and I'm glad that I'm in pretty good shape because these cars are not easy to drive."
WHAT WAS KEY FOR YOUR SUCCESS TODAY? "Consistency. I knew that if I could be consistent, and I was very consistent on all my laps except for that second set of tires which was practically undriveable, we'd be okay and we'd manage to get score a strong finish.
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Finished 12th - "My car was fast but I couldn't get into the fight because I was a couple laps down and would've screwed up other people's race. We got a lap back in the pits and after that my car was good, but there were always other cars between me and the ones I needed to pass to move up."
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE WHEEL ON YOUR PITSTOP? "I don't know. I went out of the pitlane and felt a vibration so I radioed the crew and came in. It's too bad that happened because I think we could've had a strong finish and scored more points."
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford) - Finished 16th (mechanical) - "On my second to last lap I lost third gear and then I lost fourth gear coming out of Turn 10 and that was it. I thought I was spraying fluid and I wasn't sure and then they came over the radio and told me to pull off. It's a shame because I thought we had a good car and had a chance to score some good points with a decent finish."