CHAMPCAR/CART: Portland: Saturday quoteboard


PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "As bad as our timing was during first qualifying, our timing couldn't have been better for final qualifying. I had a lot of motivation going in to the session and I guess sometimes it helps to drive angry. I'm thrilled to grab the pole on this track where I haven't had great success in recent years. Even though track position is key in terms of getting a clean start, I have a feeling the weather will be an even bigger factor on Sunday."

MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We waited to go out but immediately there were three cars in the 58s and I figured it was going to be harder than I expected. We were able to find a clear lap and didn't encounter too much traffic on my fast lap. I did run into a bit of traffic later but it was not too much of a problem."

ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Third place is good for us although we thought we had a shot at pole. In the end we didn't have anything for Paul or Michel. The track is wide enough going into the first turn where I should not have to follow anyone into the corner. Third place is actually a good place to start here."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am 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% of it. I would have been stuck behind traffic on the next lap so they went ahead and called me in to save tires for the race. These conditions are frustrating. It rains, its dry, it rains, its 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 setup 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 since the backstraight 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."

ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "The car was fast and we were conservative at first. Just before the rain we made some changes that made us quicker. There was some rain in the back section that didn't allow for a good lap and we needed to play it safe. But I think we have a top-three car. Fifth isn't bad -- we'll try our best tomorrow. (On traffic) Drivers have to respect each other on the track and trust the [CART] officials to take care of issues."

ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "For sure the Visteon/Patrick Racing car was better than yesterday and the track was quicker, so we thought we had a chance at the pole. The car was well balanced, but we just had a little understeer. That is what cost us some time. It was a good car, but a couple of teams made a slightly bigger improvement than we did from yesterday. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team is okay starting sixth. We were about four tenths of a second off the pole, so we have some room for improvement, but we have a good race car and can definitely contend for the win."

RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I am happy to have led the field of Reynards for the second time in qualifying this season. The positive point today being this is my best qualifying result of the season. I had a bit more in the car, but unfortunately I didn't get to show it. In my first stint this afternoon, every lap was ruined by traffic except one, and that ended up being my time for today. We took a gamble on the second stint, we were waiting for the perfect opportunity on the track in terms of traffic and the perfect timing with weather, which has been pretty unpredictable here this weekend. When we went back out the down pour hit and that was it. It is a shame, but not much you can do about Mother Nature."

DARREN MANNING (#15 RAC/Walker Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We were struggling in the session. Firstly, we didn't think (the session) would be faster and it didn't turn out that way. I dropped out the top-ten before we were able to find a couple little things on the car to get a quicker time on the sheets. I got caught in a lot of traffic on my second set of tires and I set my fastest lap when the tire pressures were way over. I'm looking forward to the possibility of rain tomorrow. Being from England, I probably have more experience than anyone racing in the rain, although I haven't done it in these cars. I guess they're probably pretty nasty in the wet with the turbos, but that's always good for a bit of driver skill, you know it will equalize the car performance."

JIMMY VASSER (#12 American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I am a little disappointed with the outcome, especially after we achieved such a strong result yesterday. I have a card in my back packet, I have a good car that we can race tomorrow and that is when they hand out the points and prize money."

PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "The car was definitely better, but we'll never know how much better because I was blocked once again on my hot laps. We didn't have the car to win the pole, but we probably could have placed in the top-5. The way the session unfolded allowed me to qualify 10th on the grid, so it could have been a lot worse. If we're able to avoid trouble at the start and make up some ground on pit stops, we should be able to post a good result."

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."

MARIO HABERFELD (#34 Mi-Jack/Conquest Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "Today we had a much better car. We made lots of changes and now have a reasonable balance; today we only have one balance issue where yesterday we had 3. We made some very good improvement, gaining a full second where most others only gained 1/10 - 3/10. Another 2/10 and we would have been around P8 or P9. I had the 2/10's but caught Bourdais on his out lap, so it didn't happen. The race will be hard as it's hard to pass here. We'll need some good pit stops and good tires which I'm confident we'll get."

RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We did the right thing with timing today by going out immediately at the start of the session. We were able to get in most of our laps under dry condition before the rain came. We were making small changes on the set-up of the Corona car and the times started coming much easier this afternoon. I haven't had race in the rain yet driving a Champ Car, so we'll have to see how it goes tomorrow. Hopefully, we can continue to just get our track time before the heavy rains set in."

ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We actually made a lot of progress. I did get the most out of the car - but it's just not quick enough. I had just set my fastest lap and was going even quicker on the next when I came up on somebody who must have been slowing down. I couldn't back off and try again because the rain was already coming. I thought he would move over and let me through but he must not have seen me. I had to get on the brakes hard and that's when I spun. Of course, since I caused a red flag, I lost my fastest lap. One of the real challenges of this track is the changing weather and I think we have a good race car that will be able to adjust well from dry to wet so hopefully that will help us tomorrow."

MAX PAPIS (#27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "This morning, we tried a lot of different things to make the car better than yesterday, but we couldn't find the right direction to make the car quicker. We are pleased that we improved our lap time compared to yesterday, but we didn't find enough to put us in the top five -- it's a very tight field! I think we leaned a lot in two days; it's difficult to put together something so quickly. In all, I'm quite satisfied with our progress, but not with our starting position."

MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I just got traffic every single lap of qualifying... I just couldn't put a time in. The car wasn't too bad but it's very frustrating that we didn't get one decent lap without being held up or blocked."

TIAGO MONTEIRO (#7 Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "Some days are just like this; it's not meant to be, so it just doesn't happen. The gearbox broke on the first lap out. The guys did an amazing job changing it in around 12 minutes; really incredible. At that point things looked good. We had about 20 minutes left and it looked like we were going to have the track to ourselves as a lot of the field had already used their laps trying to beat the rain. But, like I said, it wasn't meant to be; as soon as we went out, the rain started. Obviously I'm disappointed as I felt we could easily have improved on yesterday's time. I think the set up we have will work well for the race. It's going to be another run from the back to the front, but I think we can still do well tomorrow."


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Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy