Bruno Junqueira loves the 4.048-mile Road America track at Elkhart Lake, WI and showed it today, placing his ...
Bruno Junqueira loves the 4.048-mile Road America track at Elkhart Lake, WI and showed it today, placing his #1 PacifiCare Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone Champ Car first in provisional qualifying for Sunday's 60-lap Mario Andretti Grand Prix at Road America presented by Briggs & Stratton. If his tour of 103.917 seconds (140.236mph) holds it will be his second straight pole here. "My Lola was fast from the start, but I think with last night's rain, the track wasn't as quick as we expected," Junqueira said. "This race is famous for changing conditions so you have to try different setups. Having to adapt to different tracks and conditions each week is part of the beauty of CART."
Rookie Sebastien Bourdais was second in the #2 Lilly Lola at 104.722 seconds (139.157mph). "We struggled in practice this morning for many reasons but the track became more comfortable toward the end of the day," Bourdais noted. "This track is similar to European circuits and you need a particular style to get used to that."
Points leader Paul Tracy snagged third spot in the #3 Team Player's Lola at 104.725 seconds (139.153mph) running out of methanol on his in-lap. ^ÌIt was an okay today," Tracy remarked. "It just takes small changes to get more speed, but the track was quite slipper today. We'll chase the setup and hope to do better tomorrow." The top three set their quick speeds on their penultimate qualifying laps.
Adrian Fernandez's lap of 104.735 seconds (139.140mph) was good enough to put the #51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Lola fourth on this warm, humid and sunny afternoon. Fernandez's Lola "had better balance than in the morning. It was a nice surprise to have the car fast and we just need to improve it a little bit." Patrick Carpentier rounded out the top five in his #32 Team Player's Lola at 104.814 seconds (139.036mph) and noted, "We had fewer problems with power transmission to the rear wheels during qualifying" than in practice this morning. "I'm very confident we will improve our position for the race."
Michel Jourdain ended what could have been a second place effort in the #9 Gigante Lola with a crash just past the timing shed that negated his quick speed, placing the Mexican ace eighth. "They told me my last lap would have put us second, but I made a big mistake. Hopefully the track will be faster tomorrow and we won't have rain so we can put our car up front." Scattered showers have been predicted throughout the weekend for this area. All activities at this race can be viewed on HDNet. See CART.com for details.