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

Driver Stats and Quotes: BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, ...

Driver Stats and Quotes:

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:J- AT ROAD AMERICA:

It will be his third race here. Earned his first Champ Car victory at this track in rookie season in 2001 after starting 10th.JQualified on pole in 2002 and finished third despite slow second pit stop. Also set the fastest race lap. At the mid-season test here Junqueira ran the fastest lap while Bourdais ran the second fastest lap.

- SECOND IN STANDINGS WITH 141 POINTS:

Was second fastest in provisional qualifying in St. Pete but his fastest qualifying lap in final qualifying (potentially third) was disallowed because he brought out a red flag when he spun and stopped on course. More red flags during the session prevented him from running faster than the time he set on Friday and he started seventh. Dropped to 14th in race due to losing many positions on his first of three pit stops when the air hose of the inside rear tire changer's air gun disengaged. Charged to a 3rd place finish...

More problems in qualifying led to a seventh place start in Mexico despite being fastest in both pre-qualifying practice sessions as he also did in St. Pete. Ran as high as third in the race but spun and dropped to ninth. Many on-track passes enabled him to finish fifth...Started fourth in Long Beach and finished third...Set second fastest qualifying time in England but started third due to Bourdais earning the second-place, front row start by setting the fastest time in final qualifying. Finished second...Started second in Germany and finished fourth after he led 23 laps and ran in top three most of the event...Started eighth in Milwaukee (based on combined practice times due to rain in qualifying) but crashed on the first racing lap in Milwaukee and from a two-way tie for first place in the points to third with 66. The Ford Blue Box indicated that the car took a 70 G-force backward impact while the accelerometer in his earpiece indicated he took a 100 G-force hit...

Earned his first bonus point of the season with provisional pole in Laguna Seca. Started and finished second to take sole possession of second place in standings ...Charged from his worst qualifying position of 11th place in Portland to finish fourth...Qualified fifth in Cleveland and earned his fifth podium of the season with third place...Provisional pole sitter in Toronto but started 2nd. Earned his sixth top-three finish with third place...Provisional polesitter in Vancouver but started second. Led the first 21 racing laps until CART ruled that he had to relinquish the lead due to "jumping the start." Dropped to fourth at one point but finished second. Has a total of 141 points to Paul Tracy's 161 with eight race remaining and 23-point maximum available in Elkhart Lake.

- ON ROAD/STREET COURSE:

Finished in the top-five in all nine road/street course races so far this season including SEVEN podiums. Two of his three wins came on this type of course ('01 Elkhart Lake road course, '02 Denver street course).

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: - AT ROAD AMERICA:

Will be his first race here. Ran the second fastest unofficial time to Junqueira in pre-race testing in July.

- TOP ROOKIE IN POINT STANDINGS IN FIFTH:

By earning the pole position in his Champ car debut in St. Pete, Bourdais became the first driver to accomplish the feat since Nigel Mansell won the pole for the '93 Australian event - also while driving for NHR...Bourdais led 30 laps in St. Pete and became the first driver in the 25 year history of series to lead the first laps of his inaugural Champ car race...He also set the fastest race lap...Won his second pole in the series in Monterrey as well as set a track record. He led the first 16 laps but a faulty radio led to a missed pit stop. Also had a troubled pit stop and later brushed the wall entering the pits which ultimately led to retire from the race in 17th place...

Started fifth in Long Beach, led three laps in the race and retired in 16th place due to engine failure after he completed 70 of 90 laps...Earned his first Champ Car victory in only his fourth event at Brands Hatch after starting second and leading 95 laps...First driver in series history to win from pole in his oval racing debut in Germany after he led 74 laps in the closest finish (0.08) since 2000 Michigan race...Started 13th in Milwaukee (based on combined practice times due to qualifying being rained out) and finished ninth despite an overheating engine in the early stages of the race...Probable third place finish ended when his pop-off valve failed while fourth and he retired after 77 of 87 laps in Laguna Seca...Started fourth in Portland but low tire pressure led to an early stop that dropped him to 18th place but he charged back to third place before a rear wing failure forced him to retire with 9 laps to go. Dropped from fifth to seventh in the point standings after Portland with 53 points...

For the second time this season he won the race from pole in Cleveland and moved from seventh to fifth in the point standings with 74...Qualified 6th in Toronto and finished 4th to retain 5th place rank with 86 pts...Has matched former NHR driver Nigel Mansell's results through first 11 events (3 wins, 4 poles).

- SIX BONUS POINTS: (St. Pete - Fri. & Sat. qual; Mexico - Sat. qual.; Germany - qual. & leading most laps; Clev. - Sat. qual.).

- RANKED 3rd IN LAPS LED -- 252: Led 30-St. Pete., 16-Monterrey, 3-Long Beach, 95-England (victory), 74-Germany (victory), 1-Portland, 33-Clev. (victory). Third behind Paul Tracy (448) and Michel Jourdain (324) for most laps led in 2003.

- OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

Was ranked No. 1 for most poles won at 4 until the previous race in Toronto when Paul Tracy matched the rookie's feat...Leads "Rookie of Year" standings...Second to Paul Tracy for most wins at three...Only driver to have won on a road course and oval this season.

What They're Saying About...

BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"Road America is a big drivers track. It's the most difficult track of the year in my opinion. It has long straightaways and the length of the course is very long so it is very difficult to put one complete lap together in qualifying where you get every corner right. The corners are really fast I just love driving there and I think the track brings out my best. I really, really enjoy every lap, every moment that I spend at Road America. I was really mad when the race was no longer on the schedule because it's my favorite track and I was big-time disappointed.JOn the other hand, I was really happy when it was put back on the schedule. I had a great test at Road America a few weeks back and I just hope that we can continue to be P1 (position 1) for the race as well. We were the fastest in the test in the middle of the season and everybody was there. I have such a great time at Road America and I know the No. 1 PacifiCare car is going to be in first place. The track is where Newman/Haas Racing has had the most success. They won eight races there and I won my first Champ car race at the track in 2001 and was on pole there last year so I hope that together we can continue our success here. I am really confident for the race."

SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone:

"It's good to get a head start entering a race weekend since we tested here and I already know the layout of the course. The test went pretty well and we were the second fastest behind Bruno. I felt very comfortable in the car. Last year Newman/Haas Racing had a strong setup at Road America and we arrived there and didn't change much which was actually a good thing because we got some cuts in the tires so we didn't get to complete so many laps on the track. It looks like we have a very solid baseline and the Lilly car should be very good on this track. It is a neat place and it's a lot of fun to drive but it's unbelievably quick. It's a track where if you put a wheel off in the grass it's over - you crash. It's a tough place. I can see how the driver's who have won here say it's an accomplishment they are very proud of. The race is considered a home event for the team. Many of the guys bring their friends and family. I think that if Newman/Haas wins there will be a big party at Seibkens but I don't want to plan anything yet. Bruno is very strong at Road America and he was very strong in the test. I take the same approach - race by race, step-by-step -- and we will see how it goes."

-nhr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Tracy , Nigel Mansell , Michel Jourdain