Mcdonald'sÂ® Driver Bourdais on Pole for Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland; Pacificare Driver Junqueira Dropped to Second Place Start After Penalty OVERALL: Champ Car officials penalized Junqueira for violation of rule 6.17.41 that concerns ...
Mcdonald's® Driver Bourdais on Pole for Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland; Pacificare Driver Junqueira Dropped to Second Place Start After Penalty
OVERALL: Champ Car officials penalized Junqueira for violation of rule 6.17.41 that concerns interfering with a competitor's qualifying lap. Junqueira had been held up by Alex Sperafico on his attempts to run a clear lap and had backed off the throttle to allow a gap to build between he and Sperafico for another run one lap later. In doing so Roberto Gonzalez, who was behind him, moved closer to him. Although Junqueira believed there was a large enough gap between he and Gonzalez, Champ Car officials declared that he had impeded the qualifying lap of Gonzalez and therefore had to forfeit his fastest race lap. In total Bruno only ran five of his 15 allowable laps in final qualifying.
Bruno Junqueira, No. 6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "The PacifiCare car has been good all weekend and I feel that we could have been on the pole again today. I was on pole by one-half of a second yesterday and could have been on pole today. However, after I was penalized, my team figured there was no point for me to run any more since my best lap would be taken from me and I was already guaranteed a front row start from winning the provisional pole yesterday. It is frustrating, but the PacifiCare team has worked real hard, and the car is good, we should do well in tomorrow's race. I started my first run on regular Bridgestone tires and got a lot of traffic. I came up on Sperafico who is always two or three seconds off the pace. It screwed up my lap that was supposed to be my fast one. I backed off to build a gap and a PKV car (Gonzalez) was not even close behind me. After that run I had been ready to put on the softer compound tires and run a 58-second lap and be on pole but they penalized me. Hopefully the race will produce a much better result."
* FAST FACTS: Will be his fourth race here. Drove to a fourth place finish after a disappointing start from 11th place in 2003. Started third in 2001, set the fastest race lap and finished second. Started sixth in 2001 but retired in 23rd place after contactâ^À¦Leads the standings with 77 points over Patrick Carpentier, 75, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, 66.
Sebastien Bourdais, No. 2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "The Newman/Haas team has been great this whole weekend for both the PacifiCare team and the McDonald's team. Bruno was really fast yesterday and he was probably faster than me today but he didn't get a chance to put up a fast lap. I think we will be in good shape for tomorrow's race because the McDonald's car is handling very well, it will all depend on the temperature tomorrow and how we manage the tire wear. We have plenty of sticker tires to use, along with the alternate tire, so it should be a good race."
* FAST FACTS: Will be his second race here. Started fourth here last year but his tire pressure dropped early in the race and he was forced to pit and return to the event in 18th place. He charged back into third place only to have the mount on his rear wing fail late in the race. Finished 14thâ^À¦Has won two poles (Mexico & Portland) and one race (Mexico) this seasonâ^À¦Is fourth in the point standings with 63.
* NEWMAN/HAAS RACING FACTS: NHR has won SIX races at this track (Da Matta - 2002; Michael Andretti - 1992, 1991, 1990; Mario Andretti - 1986, 1985) and FOUR poles (Bourdais - 2004; Da Matta - 2002; Nigel Mansell - 1993; Ma. Andretti 1984). They have earned a total of 11 podium finishes (2nd - Mansell 1993, Ma. Andretti 1990; 3rd - Christian Fittipaldi 2001, 2000, 1996).
ON THE SCHEDULE TOMORROW: The morning warm-up will take place from 9:00-9:30 AM PT and the race will start at 1:00 PM PT.