CHAMP CAR PRE-RACE QUOTES G.I. Joe's Presents the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland Sebastien Bourdais ...
CHAMP CAR PRE-RACE QUOTES
G.I. Joe's Presents the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "We had a very successful test in Portland; I was very happy with the McDonald's car. We reviewed the mistakes we made in the past and made improvements during the test and just tried to get rid of the bad things and build on all the good things. We've had mixed fortune at that race with tough luck in 2003, a win in 2004 and a disappointing second place finish in 2005 so why not win again in 2006? First and most important, it would be great to win in Portland to build a little larger gap in the point standings because it's still pretty close. And to win five in a row and do something that hasn't been done since before Newman/Haas was even a team (1970, Al Unser) , or I was born, would be a great reward for all the hard work the McDonald's team has put in to get us these results. Obviously RuSport has got a great road course set up. We just beat them barely at the test so we've got our hands full and we know that. As long as we can be right up there with them, we can play with them a little bit during the race. Hopefully we'll be able to display something good on the road course and turn things around. The whole Newman/Haas team, and especially the McDonalds team, has been struggling on road courses last year. I'm pretty confident we made some good improvements, but it's only when you get to race weekends that you can confirm it or not."
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I'm looking forward to getting back to Portland, and hopefully we're going to be quick. Last year, we were very strong, and the car was working well when we were leading the race, but this year we want to win the race. Everyone on the CDW #9 Car team has been working very hard, and hopefully we can be even quicker than we were last year."
Andrew Ranger #27 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone -- "The performance we had in our last road course race, in Monterrey, is a good confidence builder heading to Portland. It's a track I like and I had a good weekend there last year, I'm sure the Conquest Team will do well again. They have been doing a great job and we've been improving at each race. My objective is always the same, to score as many points as possible and I would really like to maintain my third place in the Championship that I gained since the last race in Milwaukee."
A.J. Allmendinger #7 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I have to say I'm really looking forward to the next chapter in my racing career and more importantly, winning races. I think this opportunity with Forsythe Racing is going to give me a competitive chance to stay in the championship hunt and try and chase down Bourdais! So right now, I want to focus on the next couple of races and see if we can gel and get up to speed quickly. This series is so competitive, so that needs to be the immediate focus. I also just want to quickly thank Red Bull and everyone there for supporting me as I move forward."
Nelson Philippe #4 CTE Racing-HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "When we tested here back in April, we left with a lot of confidence in our setup for the race and with our podium finish in Milwaukee, the team is really pumped up. I am looking forward to going back on a road course because my brain and my body are in desperate need of turning right! I am still sore from the shunt from the oval and I had my wisdom teeth taken out last Monday. However, I am well rested and healed quickly so we can have another great weekend!"
Paul Tracy #3 INDECK Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone -- "Portland historically hasn't been one of my best tracks, but I've qualified well there over the past couple of years, and we had a good test there in April. We weren't the fastest car on track but we were steadily in the top four. We have some ideas going into the race. We just have to get the team back on track and start scoring some good points. A golden opportunity to win was lost at Milwaukee but we have ten races to go, I think we still have a good chance to get back to the Winner's Circle and if things work out the right way for us we might still be able to fight for the Championship."
Alex Tagliani #15 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone -- "I'm really excited for Portland and to be able to race this weekend. I like the Portland track a lot. It's always very competitive and challenging, and I really enjoy that. The track is not very long but it has a really good mix of high and low corner speeds, which allows you to get into a good rhythm. Unfortunately last year, we blew an engine six laps into the race, but I'm excited because we have had a really good car this year so I feel more confident that we will finish with a positive result. Team Australia has worked really hard in the last two weeks to get me a good car that would be ready for Portland. I have great engineers, Mike (Pawlowski), Brandon (Fry), and Brendon (Cleave) who have made great improvements to the Aussie Vineyards car. Performance wise we have been doing very well, we have just had a few disappointments. Tomorrow I'm getting my stitches taken out, so I look at that as a good sign for the weekend. I'm excited for the race and ready to give the fans a good show."
Cristiano da Matta #10 RuSPORT Ford Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone - "I am of course very excited, but anxious at the same time. I'm excited about having the opportunity to drive for the team that dominated last year's Portland race, and anxious to be driving for RuSPORT for the first time. I have a lot to learn and lots of new people to get to know better in a short time. I won at Portland the last two times I was there, and I hope my knowledge about the circuit helps me get through this learning curve a bit quicker."
Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I'm looking forward to Portland and getting back on a road course. Team Australia really keeps improving and the Aussie Vineyards car gets better and better each time we get it out on the track. Going into the weekend, I'm feeling really confident and have been working really hard training to prepare for the race. When we tested in Portland back in April we finished with a good setup and have really improved on that. Portland is a difficult circuit to find a good setup on because it's quite abrasive and hard on tires, so you don't get much running time on good rubber. When you put new tires on you find that you have an imbalance, but the team and my race engineer Brandon (Fry) have been working really hard to get me a good car, so I think now we are really prepared for Portland. I've had plenty of time to rest and train since Milwaukee, so I'm ready for the weekend."
Dan Clarke #14 CTE Racing-HVM Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "After our great pace at Long Beach, I started expecting to be quick all the time but got frustrated when I wasn't where I knew I should be. Before Milwaukee, the goal became to finish the races and keep it clean; it really helps my crew's morale too! Milwaukee was a great result for me as it was my first top ten and my first oval experience, but also because we had a clean sheet through the entire weekend! I'm excited to head back to Portland, as it's where we have shown our pace at the April two-day test. This weekend is going to be about keeping a clean sheet and scoring another consistent, mature top-ten finish."
Charles Zwolsman #34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I'm happy to be going back road racing, especially in Portland, it's a good track for me, I did well there in Atlantics last year. I like the flowing nature of the circuit. I'm looking to continue where we left off in Monterrey. We have been improving since Long Beach and moving steadily forward, we've just been unlucky on the track during the races. I want to turn that luck around and get a strong finish."
Bruno Junqueira #2 Newman/Haas Racing Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone/Lola -- "Portland is a track that I like a lot. I did very well in 2004 and but unfortunately I missed the event last year. I finished second twice there and have always been fast and have won the fastest lap a couple of times but never won the race so hopefully I can get the win this year. To have a great race and get a podium or a win is very important especially because of the results we've had so far this year. We have been quick but just haven't been able to get the finishes we are capable of. Portland is the only track that we actually test on before we race there. We tested in Portland after the Long Beach race and we learned a lot of things about the track and I think we are well prepared for the race. Everyone else was able to test there as well so it will be a level playing field and hopefully Newman/Haas will come out on top there."
Nicky Pastorelli #8 Bavaria City Racing/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone - "I am looking forward to going to Portland. I tested with the team for the first time there, so I have experience on this track. Unlike all of the other venues that I will be racing on this season, I have an advantage here because of my testing time with the team in April. Instead of having to go out and learn the track, I can just get started immediately on working on finding a good set-up for the #8 Bavaria City Racing/Rocketsports car. It is a really nice track to drive. I really don't know what to expect, but I am sure it will be fun. The Rocketsports team has been doing a great job for me, I hope we can get another top-ten finish this weekend and work on improving our qualifying position and overall result this weekend."
Tonis Kasemets #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone "I am really looking forward to my first Champ Car race and working with Rocketsports Racing this weekend. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I would like to thank Rocketsports and my sponsor Flexovit Abrasives for their support and believing in me. My goal this weekend is to finish the race, if we can do that in the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports car, then it will be a great accomplishment. This takes time, baby steps is the proper way to go about it with reasonable expectations. I know that we can work well together and help each other out, and it will show. Track knowledge helps extremely for a driver. I have raced and won on this track in an Atlantic car, despite the differences between the two cars, it gives me something to work with. The rookie test for me with Rocketsports on Thursday will give us an idea of how our weekend is going to go. So we will go out there and give it our best, and I will try to have some fun while trying to get the job accomplished!"