Alex Tagliani leads all Fords by qualifying fourth at Portland. Notes: TAGLIANI TO MAKE SECOND BEST START OF SEASON - Player's/Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani qualified fourth for tomorrow's G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway by ...
Alex Tagliani leads all Fords by qualifying fourth at Portland.
TAGLIANI TO MAKE SECOND BEST START OF SEASON - Player's/Forsythe driver Alex Tagliani qualified fourth for tomorrow's G.I. Joe's 200 at Portland International Raceway by lapping the 1.969-mile road course in 59.185 seconds and an average speed of 119.767 miles per hour. Championship points leader Cristiano da Matta claimed pole position (58.679 seconds; 120.800 mph), while Target Chip Ganassi driver Kenny Brack qualified second (58.963 seconds; 120.218 mph) and teammate Bruno Junquiera qualified third (59.026 seconds; 119.767 mph).
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Qualified 4th
"I'm very happy. This morning we didn't have a chance to run on a new set of tires, but the changes we made were good and I really liked the car. We were confident that with a little fine-tuning of the car we could be fast. We wanted to try some big changes halfway through the session, but something got stuck and we had to forget about it and just fine tune what we had. We're pleased, we're starting up front and hopefully we can finish this race and score a lot of points."
HOW DO YOU APPROACH TOMORROW'S RACE FROM WHERE YOU'RE STARTING? "You cannot do many predictions with this track. There's a very tight turn at the start so you just want to cross your fingers and hope everybody can make it through."
HOPEFULLY YOU CAN STAY OUT OF TROUBLE IN THAT FIRST CORNER. "Well, that's it. You're trying to be aggressive, but you just want to get through the first two turns with all the pieces still on the car."
YOU'RE THE QUICKEST OF THE FORD AND THE REYNARDS AND HALFWAY THROUGH THE SESSION YOUR CAR WAS PULLED APART. HOW DID YOU PULL THAT FAST LAP OFF? "We thought this morning that the car had some potential to be fast, so we wanted to make a big change in the set up during the session. But something got stuck in the suspension and we had to go back to what we had. I think it was a good decision because the new tires we put on in the end gave us better performance and we were able to put in a good lap."
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford) - Qualified 10th
WHAT CAUSED YOU TO GO OFF IN TURN ONE? "I was trying to get just a little bit more out of the car and I pushed it a bit too far. On the lap before I did our best lap of the weekend and I don't know if it was going to be our fastest lap but it was going to be our last and I pushed it. But I'm really thankful that I didn't cause the session to go red. I tried to get the car out of the way as best I could and it really wasn't in anyone's way. If CART had thrown the red I would've lost my fastest lap and my next lap wasn't very good, so I'm thankful for that."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford) - Qualified 13th
HOW WAS YOUR SESSION? "It didn't go well at all. The car was moving around a lot and on my fast lap and (Tora) Takagi kept going off and put a lot of sand on the track in Turn One. I ran over it and lost the front end, which forced us to stop. Then I went for another lap, but the tires were already gone. You basically get one really good lap out of it and after that the performance really drops off."
YOU WENT OUT KIND OF LATE IN THE SESSION. WHAT WAS THE STRATEGY BEHIND THAT? "Some of the guys waited until the end yesterday and we thought if we get a clear shot there might be more rubber down on the track. Obviously it didn't work because Takagi was in front of me, but if we would've been behind another car I think it would've been a little bit better."
MICHEL JOURDAIN, JR. (#9 Gigante Ford) - Qualified 17th
"The engine had a misfire in it for the whole session and that really hurt us a lot. It looks like we had a problem with the fuel pressure or something like that, but hopefully we'll be okay for tomorrow. We had a decent car this morning and I felt pretty confident going into qualifying so this is pretty disappointing. We lost some grip from this morning, but this is certainly not where we wanted to start the race tomorrow."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Competition Ford) - Qualified 18th
"We improved our car today, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to improve our position. We're constantly working to get better and we're closer than we have been so we've just got to keep working at it. Tomorrow is a long race and we've got to remain focused on finishing the race and scoring some points."