MAZDA CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND PRESENTED BY JOE'S SPORTS AND OUTDOOR PRE-RACE DRIVER QUOTES Sebastien Bourdais ...
MAZDA CHAMP CAR GRAND PRIX OF PORTLAND PRESENTED BY JOE'S SPORTS AND OUTDOOR PRE-RACE DRIVER QUOTES
Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"We missed a chance to win five in a row last year in Portland for the McDonald's team. The start was really messed up last year. Basically Bruno, my teammate, thought he was in command and he should have been but the flagman just threw the green flag and the whole right side of the grid never went. It was a disaster and we ended up seventh after Turn 1. It was basically tough from there but we still had a good recovery and made it back to third. We have a very fast McDonald's car but a little better luck would have helped at the start. We tested well at Portland and hope to apply that experience to the race weekend and others after it. Testing is just that; you can't say if it's going to work for sure. I think it is going to be nice to race on the road courses. It's a different stretch during the season. We've had three back to back on the streets and after the Portland road course race it gets pretty crazy again but we'll get back in the groove after the six week break. The Portland track is a fun track. After a full day of testing, it feels good to stop because it's pretty demanding but it's a lot of fun. I like the track. Turn 1 is legendary for first turn incidents and we've been lucky so far so hopefully it will continue to be the case this year. "
Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"Well it's finally time to get back to racing. We're going back to the first track I've ever tested on in the U.S. and in Champ Car, so I always look forward and enjoy going back to Portland. It's been a nice break, we got some good testing in and now we are ready for the road course. Our goal for this race is to qualify up front and I believe we will be up there. I'm really looking forward to getting the new Aussie Vineyards DP01 out on the Portland circuit, it's a lot of fun to drive on a road course and it's good on the fast corners, it will be great around Portland and a good show for the spectators."
Robert Doornbos #14 Minardi Team USACosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"I look forward to the race in Portland for several reasons because for the last couple of weeks I've been just watching too many races and I'm getting very hungry to go back behind the wheel! Also because we had a positive test last week (at Mont-Tremblant) where we improved the balance of our car and this is motivating. During our test in Portland we were unlucky with the weather and therefore I didn't get a complete picture of the circuit and the city but I'm sure when we arrive in town that will change."
Alex Tagliani #8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"I am very excited to get back to racing. The RSPORTS team has really gelled together between the first three races and the tests we ran in May. We were able to learn lots on the car, so now we are ready to get back into racing mode. There is a big difference from when you go testing and when you go racing. When you are testing, the team is really working hard to follow the learning curve process, but when you go racing, we are just focusing on finding speed and going all out. I am feeling confident because we made some great progress during our test at Mont-Tremblant which will be applicable to the race in Portland. Portland International Raceway is a challenging and unique track for the drivers, so it will be rewarding to have a good finish here. We are sitting fourth in the championship standings right now, so that is not bad, but our goal is to get into the top three and fight to win the championship. I think that we have a shot, fair and square; we just have to be perfect on everything. We are getting there and we hope that Portland will be the start to a summer full of great results."
Oriol Servia #7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"It's another good opportunity for me, I want to thank Jerry Forsythe and the Forsythe Team for putting their trust in me and letting me get back behind the wheel of one of their cars. I'm also very glad that Paul (Tracy) is fully recovered; I hope that together we can give Sebastien (Bourdais) a good fight for the Victory at Portland. These last few weeks for me have been no different for me than any other year, I'm preparing mentally and physically as I always do, always ready to go out there and fight for the Championship."
Graham Rahal #2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"I ran and won here in Portland in 2005 in Star Mazda. It was a great race and this track has always been one of my favorites. Portland was also a great event for me last year. We were on pole in the Atlantic series and we ran the five fastest laps in qualifying so we had the field covered. Unfortunately as the race started my main competition, Simon Pagenaud, and I got together in the first corner and it took me out of the race. I think he continued but that was it for me so it was disappointing but I've always had a lot of success in Portland. My first ever national go karting victory came in Portland and my first ever Star Mazda victory, which was my first ever victory in cars, came in Portland. And then I was on pole in Portland last year so I hope the momentum will continue. Basically, all of my firsts that have ever happened in racing have come in Portland. I expect more out of myself here because I'm comfortable on the track. I really like this track. For us it was a great experience to test at Portland before the race to see how physical the place is in a Champ Car since I had never been there in a Champ Car. Although a lot of teams tested there I think it will give us a leg up once we come back for race weekend since we'll have a baseline for the car setup. Any time I can get in the car is good for me at this point. I had school for the six weeks we weren't racing and that was the biggest thing. We tested in Portland and Mont Tremblant during the break and I also did a media day in Edmonton in between it all but I had to graduate so I had to concentrate on that."
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"It is going to be good to get back to racing again, so I am looking forward to this next race in Portland. I am also looking forward to racing on a road course, after the first three races this season were on street courses. I enjoy the Portland venue, it has been a track that I have been quick at in the past, so I hope that I can continue to be strong there and get a win in the #9 CDW/RSPORTS car. It has been beneficial to have this break since our last race in Houston, as we have had the chance to get in some very valuable testing time to continue our learning process on the new Champ Car DP01. Overall, I have a positive feeling going into this race. I feel that we have made some good progress and I think that we are in a good position to achieve better results in the upcoming races."
"The Pay By Touch MegaSpirea PKV Racing team tested twice in May, so I got some valuable time in the car which I really needed. I hadn't raced for about six month prior to signing with PKV Racing and I had very little testing time during the preseason, so the most important thing for me was to get as much track time as possible, work with the car and the team. I think Portland will be a good circuit for us. I am not used to the street circuits, which we ran on for the first three races. The street circuits are bumpy and having raced my entire career in Europe that was new for me. The Portland permanent road course is the type of track I am more familiar with, which should make a big difference."
Simon Pagenaud #15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"We had a good batch of tests during our long break, so I feel very confident with the changes we have made and with getting back in the car. Portland is such a nice track and event and I'm so happy to get back to a road course. It's a good change of pace and at Portland we can use the car 100 percent. Our Aussie Vineyards car is great on the road course and the flowing, fast corners of the circuit will make it even more enjoyable to drive. I can't wait to get back to racing and to show everyone what we've got in Portland."
"I am looking forward to getting back to racing after the long break. The Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing team made good progress with our setups during the first three races of the season, especially at Houston. We also had a good test in Portland early in May (Jani was fourth overall). We didn't get everything done we wanted to at the Portland test because of the rain, but the data we collected will definitely help. I am also looking forward to going to Portland because it is a type of track (permanent road course) that I am much more familiar with and during preseason testing the PKV Racing team had a good car on the permanent circuits, like Sebring."
Paul Tracy #3 INDECK Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"It feels good to be back in shape and ready to drive. It's been very frustrating, we started the year with a strong result in Vegas and we knew we were starting to build momentum but this injury completely interrupted our plans for the Championship. It's going to be tough obviously coming from behind in the points but all we can do is go out there, win races, collect as many points as we can and see what happens. The Forsythe Team has been working very hard on the development of the DP01 and we've proven that we can be up there fighting for the top spots, now we'll just have to pick up where we left off and start building our momentum again."
"Speedy" Dan Clarke #4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"It's good to finally get back to racing after the long break. I'm looking forward to Portland; we've done our homework, and after the two tests, I feel confident that we will have a good showing. It will be nice to be on a permanent road course after the three consecutive street races, and I really enjoy the circuit at Portland. We had a strong race there last year, and I would like to improve on that result. As a team, I think we are as prepared as anyone, and I want to thank my entire crew for their hard work this past month."
Jan Heylen #34 Grand Prix of Belgium Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"I have been working hard to get back into Champ Car, and I am very excited to be racing for a team like Conquest. The team gave me my first test in Champ Car and now I am looking forward to racing with them. It has been quite frustrating to be watching the first few races of the year from the pits, but now I have a good opportunity to compete with Conquest. I'm well aware that it will be difficult in Portland to just have one day of experience in the car before the weekend starts, but we will make the best of it. We will be testing after the Portland race weekend and I am confident we will catch up as quickly as we can."