Paul Tracy Paul was pleased to make the podium for the second time at Portland, if frustrated by a lot of fighting backmarkers during a hot and demanding race chasing the two Newman Hass drivers, Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira. "The ...
Paul was pleased to make the podium for the second time at Portland, if frustrated by a lot of fighting backmarkers during a hot and demanding race chasing the two Newman Hass drivers, Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira.
"The Newman Haas guys are always quick on the smoother permanent road courses - so they were always going to be the real competition here at Portland. I started on my qualifying tires and thought would be hardest set to keep pace with ... I think Bruno and Sebastien were on sticker tires? I was about keeping pace with them and we'd decided to stay out as long as possible and try to catch up time, but then we got into the backmarkers ... first Mazzacane, then Sperafico, Tag - each period when I was trying to leap frog the leaders as they pitted earlier than me, we got held up."
"We changed our pit stop strategy for the last stop and came in right behind Bruno and kept the position and maintained the gaps, even in the traffic - I never saw any blue flags the whole time ... all day I feel like I've been basically fighting backmarkers."
"But I'm pleased to get 3rd here at Portland, I've never had great success here, so that's great and its good to be going to Cleveland after a podium."
Patrick Carpentier and his Indeck Forsythe Racing team were pleased with their gritty performance, making up nine positions during a long and very hot race in Portland. "Finishing 4th made the weekend worthwhile for me having started from 13th after gearbox problems yesterday, and getting no chance to qualifying" said Patrick. "The changes Eric [Zeto, Chief Engineer] and the crew we made were great and the car was flying; my Ford engine was strong all day long, and the Bridgestone tires coped really well with the roasting (178 degree) track temperatures."
"There was a lot of traffic and fighting the backmarkers - that definitely held me up, but I pushed the whole afternoon ... I think we had I had 'fastest race lap' right until two laps before the end! My crew did great stops each time around ... frankly I'm just glad to have had such a strong finish from 13th".
Unluckily and unfairly taken out of the race, Rodolfo was stoic, "What can I say? I was feeling good about the race today - my car was good ... but there is nothing you can do in that situation. When a car spins out and rolls back in front of you at such high speed you just have to fell lucky if you get away without a really serious hit. There was nothing for me to do except get as close to the wall as I could and hope to be past it before the accident hit me. We had bad luck ... very, very frustrating for me and my Corona Forsythe Racing crew."