CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America: Newman/Haas Racing preview


SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

- IN ELKHART LAKE: Will be his second race here. Started second and finished second to teammate Junqueira last year.

- LEADS 2004 POINT STANDINGS: Earned one point for being fastest in final qualifying in Long Beach although he started second to his teammate Junqueira, who set the fastest overall time in qualifying. Ran the fastest lap of the race and finished third...Won the Monterrey, Mexico race from his second consecutive pole at the track as well as set a new track record for his fastest race lap and took over the points lead for the first time in his CCWS career...Started second in Milwaukee but crashed on 50/250 laps and dropped to fourth place in standings with 62 points...Won from pole in Portland after he led 85 of 94 laps...Provisional pole was taken from him in Cleveland on Thursday after CCWS stewards ruled he blocked the qualifying lap of Ryan Hunter-Reay. He started third and won his third race of five this season after leading 88 of 97 laps to move him to second in the standings...Started on pole, led 75 of 84 laps, ran fastest race lap and earned his third consecutive victory in the series as well as his fourth of the season to earn the points lead...Failed to match a series record fourth consecutive victory in Vancouver when he started third, moved into second on the first lap but finished fifth in Vancouver due to a different fuel strategy employed by other teams. Set the second fastest race lap...Holds a 27 point lead over second place Junqueira, 186-159.

- SEVEN WINS: ('03-- England, Germany & Cleveland; '04-- Monterrey, Portland, Cleveland & Toronto).

- EIGHT POLES: ('03-- St. Pete, Monterrey, Germany, Cleveland & Australia; '04-- Monterrey, Portland, Toronto).

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

- IN ELKHART LAKE: Will be his fourth race here. In three previous races here, he has won two (2003 & 2001) and finished third in the other (2002). Started 10th and won in his first race here in 2001. Started from pole in 2002 but finished third in 2002 after a slow final pit stop. Also set the fastest race lap. Earned his first of two wins in 2003 here as well as the maximum points-- 23-- after he was the provisional pole sitter, pole sitter, led the most laps in the race and won.

- SECOND IN 2004 POINT STANDINGS: Started on pole, led one lap and finished second in Long Beach...Drove to a second place finish after starting fourth in Monterrey, Mexico...Qualified 10th and finished 5th on the only oval race on the schedule in Milwaukee but moved into the lead of the standings with his finish...Maintained points lead after started and finished second in Portland. Was the provisional pole sitter on Friday but received a penalty in Saturday's qualifying and settled for a second place start. Ran the fastest race lap...Started sixth in Cleveland but finished second despite dropping to 13th due to avoiding an opening lap accident. Was his fourth second place finish of the season and third 1-2 for the team. Also set the fastest race lap...Started third in Toronto but was involved in an opening lap accident with Mario Dominguez and retired in 18th place. Lost lead in standings to teammate Bourdais who won the event...A suspension failure led to a crash in final qualifying and he started eighth and finished fourth in Vancouver...Second in point standings with 159 points to leader Bourdais' 186.

What They're Saying About...

Sebastien Bourdais, #2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I think Newman/Haas Racing historically has been very good in Elkhart Lake. Last year we had a very good car and we tested again this year to prepare for the race. I think the McDonald's car is going to be plenty, plenty fast. I'm not concerned about the speed; I'm more concerned about the weather. It can be on and off. It's definitely the venue that the drivers are expecting the most from because it's probably the best track in the United States so we're going to have fun.

"I was a bit upset last year because I really wanted the race started because we made a good call on the set up with a car that was prepared for full wet conditions and I was ready for it. Race control didn't want to risk losing any cars because of the conditions. If we had lost two, three or four cars at the start it might not have been that good of a show anymore so they made a safe call. I was a bit screwed for the race because we couldn't change the setup anymore. Despite the rain, I think that the excitement was good. The race was much shorter but people stayed there to watch it. They are used to that kind of weather but hopefully we can reward them with a race in good conditions this year.

"Road America is a very long track but it doesn't have much room to make a mistake. There are some runoff areas then there is the grass but the wall is right behind so you have to be careful not to make a mistake. It's definitely the race track that counts the most from the driver standpoint because it's fast, it's challenging, it has a bit of everything and I think it's a really neat race track.

"You need to set up the car well for the inside section which is medium slow speed and you also have to have a very fast car through the fast section where the carousel, the kink and the bridge are. It's demanding. You need to find the right setup and it doesn't take much to mess it up so you have to be careful. We had a good test at Road America but your performance depends a lot on the track conditions which can easily change from the test to race weekend. Last year I was very happy during the test but struggled to find the balance in the car during race weekend. Definitely the rubber that's down on the track is a big influence on what the car does. This year we had warmer conditions on the track for the test which should be more like what we're going to have this weekend."

Bruno Junqueira, #6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Road America is my favorite track of the year. I love the track, I think it's a proper road race track. Every lap that I do there, I enjoy it the most of the whole season. For sure I have had a lot of success there and that is something I am proud of because it's a difficult track. I won there twice and finished third the other time and started twice from pole. I hope I can continue the success this year and put the PacifiCare car in winner's circle. Last year at Road America was a perfect weekend. I earned the maximum points as well as my first win of the season. I was on the pole Friday by a second and had a big (time) difference Saturday as well. Unfortunately it rained during the race and it was difficult for everybody but I still led every lap and won. It is great to win but it's especially great to win at Road America my favorite track.

"Newman/Haas Racing won nine races at Road America and has a good history of success there. I hope I can continue that success for them. We tested there this year and right off the truck the PacifiCare car was good and I was the fastest and I hope that it will be fast again this weekend.

"I really like the Elkhart Lake area, it's also famous for cheese like Belo Horizonte, Brazil where I am from. I remember when I won there last year, I put the cheese head hat on. I laugh every time I see the photo. I love the place, I enjoy everything about it."


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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Sébastien Bourdais
Teams HART