CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Rocketsports Racing Friday report

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 18, 2004) -- Rocketsports drivers Alex Tagliani and Nelson Philippe completed the first qualifying session for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland today. Tagliani was fifth quickest with a fast time of 59.900 (118.337 mph or...

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 18, 2004) -- Rocketsports drivers Alex Tagliani and Nelson Philippe completed the first qualifying session for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland today. Tagliani was fifth quickest with a fast time of 59.900 (118.337 mph or 190.445 km/h), while Philippe posted a time of 1:01.531 putting him in 17th spot (115.200 mph or 185.397 km/h).

Tagliani, who finished on the podium in Portland in 2003, was confident that the No.8 Johnson Controls Lola would improve and move him closer to the front of the starting grid for Sunday's race. "The car feels good and has top-three potential," said Tagliani. "We're heading in the right direction with the set up. We had better grip at the end of the day, but overshot the tire pressure.

"The Bridgestone Potenzas are really biting into the track, but the grip, temperature and pressure have been inconsistent," explained Tagliani. "We've had great support from Bridgestone and we'll tweak the tire pressure and come out ready for Saturday's qualifying."

Nelson Philippe worked intensely with the LeasePlan crew to make the No.17 car quicker and secure better qualifying results. "We're looking for more speed and better grip from the No. 17 car," said Philippe. "We didn't get the results we expected and we have some work to do to improve the set up for the next qualifying session. I'm feeling comfortable about the circuit and am looking forward to driving it with more confidence in the car."

The fastest time of the day was 59.266 posted by Bruno Junqueira in the No. 6 car. Tagliani and Philippe will make their second qualifying effort in the second session set for 1:45 PM on Saturday June 19, 2004.

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Alex Tagliani , Nelson Philippe