ROOKIE ALEX TAGLIANI WILL START THIRD IN TOMORROW'S MOTOROLA 220 AT ROAD AMERICA Notes: Team Player's driver Alex Tagliani will start third for tomorrow's Motorola 220 at Road America. After his Toyota Atlantic track record broken on Saturday,...
ROOKIE ALEX TAGLIANI WILL START THIRD IN TOMORROW'S MOTOROLA 220 AT ROAD AMERICA
Team Player's driver Alex Tagliani will start third for tomorrow's Motorola 220 at Road America. After his Toyota Atlantic track record broken on Saturday, Tagliani posted the third fastest time (1:40.260; 145.350 mph) in qualifying on Saturday. Dario Franchitti claimed the pole with a track record time of 1:39.866 (145.924 mph), while last week's Mid-Ohio polesitter, Gil de Ferran, was second fastest with a time of 1:40.154 (145.504 mph). Altogether, cars powered by Ford-Cosworth claimed five of the top 10 qualifying positions for Sunday's race, including Tagliani (3rd), Michael Andretti (4th), Adrian Fernandez (5th), defending race champion Christian Fittipaldi (8th) and Kenny Brack (9th).
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 3rd - "I'm very happy for the whole team. We had our struggles during qualifying but the team never gave up and worked very hard. We showed up at Elkhart Lake and we had a very fast car and we were able to fight for the first two rows in qualifying, so it's a big achievement for us. I'm happy for the guys and it's a different deal now - we're up at the front."
YOU WANTED THAT POLE (POSITION) BADLY, DIDN'T YOU? "It's exciting to know inside of you and with the car that you drive that you are able to fight for a pole position. We had a lot of motivation in all of our guys and also the engineers, so I gave everything I had inside the cockpit to go fast."
DID YOU SURPRISE YOURSELF THAT YOU COULD PULL THAT ONE (LAP) OUT THAT LATE IN THE SESSION? "We wanted to - that was our goal (and) the car was fast. The team worked very hard to give me a fast car and we tried everything we had. I think things are starting to turn for us right now, and it's a big achievement and everybody's excited."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#6 Big Kmart/Texaco/Havoline Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 5th - ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH YOUR STARTING POSITION? "No - I got hung up in traffic again. Coming on my quick lap, because there is only one lap that you can actually get a quick lap on tires, and I was on it and Oriol Servia comes out right in front of me and that was it. It (the car) was good enough for maybe a front row - I don't think I had enough for Dario (Franchitti), but I think I had enough to maybe have a shot at Gil (de Ferran), so it's disappointing." WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TOMORROW'S RACE? "(We'd) better get the car a little bit better, it's not 100 percent yet, but we'll work on it."
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (#11 Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 8th - ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR STARTING POSITION? "Not happy, but it could've been worse. We had to change cars - we had a small engine problem this morning and I took my (qualifying) from yesterday, so basically we started the session in dead last, and up to about five minutes from the end we were still running 16th or 17th. I popped a reasonably good lap in, but I was expecting a little bit more, (but) tomorrow's another day and we have a huge race ahead of us." GIVE ME YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE RACE? "It's going to be tough. Fuel consumption is going to play a major role tomorrow and we'll see, it's a long race."
ROBERTO MORENO (#20 Visteon Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 11th - HOW WAS YOUR DAY? "It was okay, except we fought a good push in the car today. I only had that one run and then we had to stop with it and try to overcome it, so I sort of pushed hard to change my driving style a little bit, anticipating the corners with the push, and it worked out a little bit for us. We made (up) a couple positions in the process, but we need to just balance the car for tomorrow." WHAT ARE YOUR KEYS FOR SUCCESS IN THE RACE? "I think strategy, fuel strategy hopefully, good car balance and teamwork."
MAX PAPIS (#7 Miller Lite Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 15th - "It really hurt us a lot that we couldn't practice yesterday morning, (but) I feel that now we have made an improvement and are getting better but I lack a little bit of trap time. The car didn't feel bad - we actually regressed a little bit compared with this morning. With the first set (of tires) we had more understeer, and we went back to what we wanted with the second set (of tires), but you cannot give people one day of testing. I don't feel that we are very far (off), but in order to get the most out of the car on a qualifying pace you really need to have everything spot on."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 19th - TOUGH LUCK TODAY? "Yeah, tough weekend - a lot of bad luck. The brake pedal broke at the beginning (of yesterday's practice) and it's been real tough all weekend. And now, something happened - the engine locked up and the rear wheels locked and I went off the racetrack. It's too bad because the engine was going real well before that (and) I was hoping to be in the 40's on the second set (of tires) but we'll never know I guess."
TARSO MARQUES (#34 Panasonic Ford-Cosworth) - Qualified 22nd - HOW HAS YOUR DAY BEEN? "Not very good. Unfortunately we worked a lot on the car but did not have many, many miles today at higher revs. Unfortunately the engine started to lose power and we had a few problems during the qualifying (session) so we couldn't improve our time from yesterday." WHAT CHANGES ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE FOR TOMORROW? "We need to change the engine anyway, and the a fresh one (engine) will help us a lot. We must also change a few things that were not very good during qualifying, but I think we won't make any big changes for the race."