Lilly driver Bourdais to start fourth in G.I. Joe's 200; rush hour traffic limited Pacificare driver Junqueira's start to 11th -- both will attempt to bring team back-to-back wins here. OVERALL: Intermittent rain showers throughout the day...
Lilly driver Bourdais to start fourth in G.I. Joe's 200; rush hour traffic limited Pacificare driver Junqueira's start to 11th -- both will attempt to bring team back-to-back wins here.
OVERALL: Intermittent rain showers throughout the day prior to qualifying as well as a threat of continued inclement weather forced teams to apply a conservative strategy on when to attempt their 15 qualifying laps during the 40-minute final qualifying session. All drivers took to the track at the beginning of the session and minimized their time in the pits before their second run on new tires. Due to this it was difficult at best to get a clear lap. Bourdais finished his allowable laps with 20 minutes remaining in the session while Junqueira finished his with 18 minutes left but within one or two minutes it began to rain rendering it impossible to run a better time for those drivers with remaining laps.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I'm happy considering where we were yesterday but frustrated since I feel I have a car that could be on the front row. The lap that they called me into the pits would have been good enough for the front row but I got held up behind Dominguez after completing about 90 percent of it. I would have been stuck behind traffic on the next lap so they went ahead and called me in to save the tires for the race. These conditions are frustrating. It rains, it's dry, it rains, it's dry. I didn't test here and I didn't have much time to drive the car in good conditions to improve it this weekend. The set-up on the car is basically the one that they had last year and I had to get used to it because we didn't have time to build one specifically for me. This track is always physical. You don't have a lot of rest here especially since the back straight isn't really straight. We will continue to work to make the car good for the race and hopefully we can finish in a strong position."
* NOTES: Will be his first race here... He earned three poles (2-road course; 1-oval) and two wins in six events so far. (He started in second place in England and fifth in Long Beach.) Has won a total of five bonus points this season (Friday & Saturday in St. Pete; Saturday in Monterrey, Saturday and Sunday in Germany)...He is currently ranked 5th in the point standings with 53 points.
* TEAM NOTES: The team has won SIX races here (Da Matta 2002; Michael Andretti 1990-1992; Mario Andretti 1985--1986) and THREE POLES (da Matta 2002; Mansell 1993; Mario Andretti 1984) as well as 11 PODIUM FINISHES (2nd - Ma. Andretti 1990, Mansell 1993), (3rd - Fittipaldi 1996, 2000, 2001).
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I had traffic on every lap. I couldn't believe it. When we parked it started to rain so we timed it right from that standpoint but unfortunately everybody was on track at the same time and it was impossible to put together a quick lap. I think we had a car capable of pole but Paul Tracy blocked me every lap on my first stint. I don't know what he was doing. On the second stint I got traffic every lap as well. I'm going to start really far back but the PacifiCare car is good so I'm going to get by people and catch up to Tracy and show him what he did to me and pay him back."
* NOTES: It will be his third race here...Started third and finished second in 2002 (to NHR driver da Matta) as well as set the fastest race lap. Started sixth and retired in 23rd place due to contact in the rain-soaked 2001event...Is currently in second place in the point standings with 83 and is only seven behind leader Jourdain who has 90.
ON TAP FOR TOMORROW: The 30-minute pre-race warm-up begins at 8:30 a.m. PT with the G.I. Joe's 200 set to begin at 12:30 PM PT. CBS Sports will televise the race live beginning at 3:30 PM ET.