MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. ( ...
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "The car was really great. Since we came to the test here it has been very good. We learned some things at Laguna Seca about the car and it feels very good. It is a good feeling knowing we go into tomorrow with a guaranteed front row spot, but the key in Sunday and hopefully we came get a strong finish and score some more points."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We made some great changes and all worked together very well to get the car right after the first practice. It was a bit dicey with the rain. You could see the rain on your visor and I really had to build up to it. We kept putting fastest and faster times in but Paul [Tracy] ruined my last lap and he wouldn't get out of the way. I couldn't have been any madder about it."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We're very pleased. We thought we might have a pretty good car here. Ryan tested here and was good and we were pretty optimistic. It was a little tricky trying to play the rain drops, but we are pleased with how the car has run today."
ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am happy with the Visteon/Patrick Racing Team's qualifying session today. You would always like to do a little better when you are fast like we were today, but overall I am pleased. The Visteon/Patrick Racing car was very good on the first set of tires. In fact, I thought we could have had a pole time during the first stint, but we got a red flag. On the second set, I don't know what happened, but we started to get a little bit of a push (understeer). The good thing is that we have been competitive all day and we learned a few things, which will help us for tomorrow's final qualifying. At Laguna Seca were spent the whole time searching for the setup. Here it is just a matter of fine-tuning the car."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We had a good lap going there towards the end and I was blocked by [Paul] Tracy. I think the car is good. It started raining a little bit but I was able to improve my lap time. I don't know if Paul was making a gap because someone was in front of him or not, but he should have let me by because he wouldn't lose anything there. It's frustrating because we were a tenth off [our lap time at that point] and maybe we could have ended up second."
DARREN MANNING (#15 RAC/Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We'd hoped that testing here earlier in the season would allow us to be in the top-ten by the end of the day on Friday and we're there, so that's good. The RAC Walker Racing car was really good. It's nice to be just be fine tuning the car at this point rather than making massive changes like we normally have to do. We need a bit more front grip, which should be easier to find, and ultimately go faster."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We were sitting in the pits waiting to run our second set of tires but about the time we were going to make our second run the rain came. The car was good enough to run a 59.4 which would have put us much higher in the provisional grid but one good thing about it is the fact that now only four cars have an extra set of new tires they didn't use today. Unfortunately Jourdain is guaranteed a front row start and also has an unused set of tires so I need to get pole tomorrow to start ahead of him because he is one of the guys I have to beat for the championship. I hope Mother Nature is a race fan and she makes sure it doesn't rain in qualifying."
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It was definitely a weird session with the track conditions constantly changing from lap to lap. Our warm-up lap was good, but we seemed to miss all the spots when the weather was good. We don't really have a good feel for the car yet, because the track was so different every time we went out. The other issue was that quite a few guys weren't paying attention or looking at their mirrors. They'd slow down, stay in the middle of the track and you would have nowhere to go, but hopefully we'll be able to make up some ground on Saturday."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It was a very interesting session, very different from what we've had in the past. It was a challenge to deal with the rain and plan a strategy. That's why we went out early to try and avoid heavy rain. I had a spark plug problem that I came in to fix, then I went out again. I have no idea what's up with Paul [Tracy]. He ran into the back of my car as I was coming in on my last lap. It's unfortunate to end the session like that, but we'll make it up tomorrow."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We needed time to improve the Lilly car from what we started with but unfortunately the rain in practice and in qualifying limited our time. Hopefully the rain will not affect the practice or qualifying session tomorrow so we can put in a full day's work to get the car better and so that I can learn the flow of the track. The car was a tenth place car anyway even if we were able to make our second run if the rain didn't come."
MAX PAPIS (#27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It was definitely a very demanding day, especially psychologically. It was a lot to absorb in a short amount of time. Overall, we are pretty pleased with what we did -- not that it's okay to be P11, but we improved every time and peaked when necessary. Our last session was our fastest. Tomorrow, we will find the remaining half-second we need to be on the front row. I'm pleased to be back!"
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We don't really have the best set up right now. I think we've got a good base line but we really need to fine tune it in order to be able to have a better showing in qualifying tomorrow. We'll need to work hard overnight - I just hope it doesn't rain tomorrow so we can focus on making steady progress. The rain at the end of the qualifying session hurt us a little bit too - it wasn't raining hard but even a little bit of moisture makes in impossible to go 100%."
ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I think we had the car to go maybe another 4/10ths of a second faster if I was able to get the most out of the last set of tires. But I wasn't able to because of the rain at the end of the session - a little too early for us. We still need to find another 7/10ths though to be where we want to be on the grid. The good news is that we already have a really good race car that can save tires. For Saturday, we will focus on improving our starting position on the grid."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Basically, our timing was off the entire session. My engineer (Michael Cannon) wanted me to go out early and try to post a fast lap, but I insisted on waiting it out and it ended up working against us. It was a case of bad luck, as well as getting stuck with traffic and being forced off track. The second time it happened, I got so upset that I ended up moving the slow car out of the way. They are calling for thunderstorms Saturday afternoon, so we might have to start near the back. You can pass here, but it's difficult, so we're hoping that we'll have another shot at it."
TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I think we are pretty close on our set up. We have good balance, we just need to tune it some. We're only 1 second off the pole which is not a lot considering that this was really my first run with a dry setup because of the rain this morning. Obviously I have to improve to improve in a few corners, but I think we're really close to being where we need to be. We're going to work on the set up tonight; I think we should be a 1/2 second faster tomorrow. We're definitely going to be better prepared tomorrow."
MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We definitely have a lot of work to do for tomorrow. We don't have the set up we need, but we'll work on that tonight and come out better tomorrow."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "The Corona car is better than this time shows. The car was feeling great, but every time my tires were up to temperature and I could put in a hot lap, it would be raining in Turns 4, 5 and 6. Hopefully tomorrow we can put up a time that better reflects what the car can do."