CHAMP CAR PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT FROM SAN JOSE WITH SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, ORIOL SERVIA AND TIMO GLOCK ERIC MAUK: All right, Ladies and Gentlemen, we'll go ahead and get started with our top three finishers from today's second practice ...
CHAMP CAR PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT FROM SAN JOSE WITH SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, ORIOL SERVIA AND TIMO GLOCK
ERIC MAUK: All right, Ladies and Gentlemen, we'll go ahead and get started with our top three finishers from today's second practice session for the Champ Car World Series, the inaugural day of the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose, Round 8 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. As you all know, there was no qualifying session today. We will have a regular qualifying session tomorrow as originally planned which will set the grid for Sunday's race. That will be the only qualifying session of the weekend.
We have the top three drivers in today's second practice. We'll start with our third place finisher in today's session, driver of the #8 DHL Global Mail Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Rocketsports Racing, Timo Glock. Timo puts up the third best time of the day a time of 52.835 seconds, 98.662 miles per hour. Timo is currently the leader in the Roshfrans Rookie-of-the-Year point standings for Champ Car. Timo, tell us a little bit about how things went for you today.
TIMO GLOCK: I mean, first of all, it's a shame that we have no qualifying today. But anyway, the car wasn't too bad from the beginning on. I mean, we had a good feeling. The first practice, still every time a top five. At the end I did a mistake in turn eight or turn nine and went out in the runoff area and tried to put the reverse gear in. Looked in my mirror, Paul Tracy came sideways and crashed in my car. My first practice was done after that.
The second one started pretty good from the beginning on. We did a small couple of changes on the car, which improved it a lot. I got used to the track. I mean, it's not easy because there are so many bumps, you have to find the right way, even on a straight line. That makes it really difficult. And I think that's the key for the race: you have to stay on the track, make no mistakes, and then I'm sure the top eight. But we have to look for tomorrow, get the car in the right direction for tomorrow, have a little bit of luck in the qualifying, and then I think we are in the top five.
ERIC MAUK: Tell us a little bit about this racetrack and how you go about learning it, having obviously never had a chance to look at it till yesterday.
TIMO GLOCK: Yeah, I mean, I got used to it because I have to learn every track this year. So that's not a big difference for me. But definitely it's a little bit better for us because on all the other tracks, like Toronto, Long Beach, the top guys like Sebastien or Oriol wait a long time to go out, and I have to go out pretty early to learn the track. So I destroy normally my first set of tires with it and we have a struggle a little bit every time with the tires. But now it's for everybody the same and it looks a lot better now for us. Also in Edmonton, it was a step in the right direction. But we run out of luck in the race.
But anyway, the track, I mean, the first time when I looked at it, I never crossed a railway with a Champ Car, and now I did it the first time (laughter). It's not bad. Every time in the air, especially at the Marriott hotel, the bumps pretty high. After a couple of laps, you're feeling as you're driving in a shaker. It's unreal.
I think we have to discuss it with the drivers overnight maybe and with the guys from Champ Car to change a little bit the pit exit again, to lengthen the wall a little bit maybe because I think that's a point where we have to look for. Then I think we are prepared for the race.
ERIC MAUK: Good luck tomorrow. The second place finisher in today's practice session, driver of the #2 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Newman/Haas Racing, Oriol Servia. Oriol, one of the hottest drivers in the Champ Car World Series in the last month, four podiums in his last five starts. He puts up a quick lap of 52.655 seconds, 98.999 miles per hour. Oriol is fourth in the points after seven races. Oriol, tell us a little about how it went today.
ORIOL SERVIA: I'm very pissed off because I saw P1 all the session and I finish and I have P2. My teammate again (laughter).
It's been going very well. I mean, honestly, the track is quite bumpy for us. But, you know, obviously our cars are going through them better than the others, so it makes me feel good to be in the team I am. Just nothing special. Just trying to improve the car every time we go out.
In the morning we could only do one run because we had a problem on the brakes. But I think we solve it pretty much. It's pretty nice to see the first 14 cars in one second. You know it's going to be very tight qualifying tomorrow. It's going to be just key because overtaking is going to be a little bit tough out there. It's just so close, everybody's going to be so close, that every little detail is going to be very important.
ERIC MAUK: Oriol, you guys took a lot of time off. In that first session, you were taking off in huge chunks. You gained almost over a full second just in this practice session. What do you think a pole time is going to look like tomorrow?
ORIOL SERVIA: I think the track keeps getting better. Honestly, the first time we went out this morning, we were all in a little bit of panic because the grip wasn't there. It's just like any other street race, the more we run, the more grip. The bumps, just because there's more rubber, the cars over the bumps go better. I think it's going to be good.
I'm just very, very excited and surprised to see how many people is out there today. I mean, this morning I came in at 7 a.m. on the track, and already there was so much people, I mean, half of them were workers (laughter). Just kidding. No, there were so many people, I'm just really enjoying it. I think it's great to be here. I feel the energy is very good, like everybody's really welcoming Champ Car, and we as the drivers feel really happy to be here.
ERIC MAUK: Congratulations. Best of luck tomorrow.
The leader of this afternoon's second practice session, driver of the #1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Newman/Haas Racing, Sebastien Bourdais. Sebastien puts up the fastest lap of the weekend so far, 52.615 seconds, 99.074 miles per hour. Sebastien is the defending series champion. He is also the points leader as we enter tomorrow's qualifying. He has a 21-point lead as we hit the halfway point in the 2005 season. Sebastien, you got one at the end and jumped to the top. Tell us a little bit about how it went.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Well, I think we just really tried to push the Bridgestone tires a bit too far. You tend to cook the tire quite badly. We did quite a few laps this morning. We kept working with the same set for a long time. I kept trying new things. First the right front, then right rear. Just was really difficult and I kept running off the track. So, you know, I was getting maybe a bit too excited about it. So at the very end, once we tried a few things to fix the braking issues, we decided to put a new set of tires. That pretty much fixed itself. I could only do one lap.
But I think the car is plenty fast. You know, we're looking very strong. I mean, Oriol and I are really doing pretty similar lap times. It looks like we have a small advantage over the opposition, so it's got to make you feel pretty good. First time here, I think a lot of very hard work for all the organization. You know, it certainly isn't perfect, but they're working really hard to make it happen. I mean, it's definitely a huge task for these guys, first time here, just a really bumpy track. Not an easy setup to work with, I guess. Just when you look at the streets, it's quite narrow. There's not a lot of room they can play with. I think they still made it happen. That's what we need to, you know, kind of remember.
Obviously, as everybody said, the crowd is good. People are excited about the race. That's what really matters. We're just going to try to put the best show on the site. Hopefully everybody's going to enjoy it and it's going to be one of the top venues for Champ Car.
ERIC MAUK: Two 45-minute practice sessions. You ran 45, 50 laps so far. Do you have a handle on where the tough parts of this racetrack are yet?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Everywhere. There's no rest. It's bumpy, extremely bumpy. Very easy to lock wheels in the braking. Actually, the railroads are not that big a deal. The car jumps up and down, but you're pretty much going straight. Actually, the manholes after turn seven and before turn eight are a much bigger issue than the railroads.
It's just a typical street course where, you know, you have to adapt the setup to make the car work better. That's what we're working on. There's no need to complain about the surface. That's street race. That's what it's all about. The guy who is looking the best out of this weekend is going to be the guy who stops complaining and starts working on the car and puts the thing on top.
ERIC MAUK: Best of luck tomorrow. We'll take questions from the media. .
Q: Talk about the possible changes that may or may not be needed to the racetrack concerning the exit to pit lane.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I think there are plenty of things that can be fixed and will be fixed. I don't think it's the place to talk about it. I mean, the organization is going to take care of it. All we have to focus on is the show we're putting on, you know, what we can control. I think it's not good to criticize what the people are doing because they're working as hard as they can. Let's be positive, you know.
ORIOL SERVIA: The main area they are concerned I think is the hairpin. I believe they're going to arrange it.
Q: What is the fastest part of this racetrack?
TIMO GLOCK: Down the straight, I think. I mean, the corners are all second gear, second-gear corners. So down the straight, sixth gear, I'm not sure, I think 160, 170 miles, I think that's the fastest point. Definitely the chicane on the pit exit is quite quick, and that's I think the heaviest part for us.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: It's 175 before the hairpin. They tried to slow the cars down in the chicane. The fact is it's still flat and it's a bit more dangerous than it was, so they're going to come back on it. It's 155 or something like that, that small opening. We might as well just make it bigger and safer.
Q: Are there any road circuits that this course may resemble?
ORIOL SERVIA: Yeah, not surface. Not Toronto. Not Vancouver. Miami, Denver, Houston. It's more on that line.
Q: It looked like you had a lot more steering input than normal. Is that the case?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: It's just like Long Beach, the same radius. The problem is you get in there kind of out of control. You have to slow down from 175 to 30 miles an hour, so it's quite a challenge, especially when you arrive with a four wheels locked and it things like that. You kind of struggle to make it stick at the apex.
It's exactly the same radius at Long Beach, but a whole lot more difficult because you're approaching the corner in Long Beach in third gear, and here you're top speed. I think it's going to be a banzai corner in the race. I'm quite afraid of that.
Q: Can you pass here?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: The truth is, you can try to pass. Are you going to be able to make it stick? I don't know. I think a few people tried to pass at the hairpin. I've been one of them. The truth is, when you try, the radius becomes so tight that you just have to be very agile to spin the car around the apex because basically the car is only going to turn so much, and it's certainly not the line that you have to take when you pass people at the hairpin.
Q: Timo, tell us about how you regained you r confidence after the accident in Milwaukee and a couple of poorer showings after that.
ORIOL SERVIA: A driver will never admit he lost confidence.
TIMO GLOCK: I had the confidence after Milwaukee straight on. In Monterrey, we had a pretty quick car, had the fastest car, had a good race, but we ran out of luck because I got a stop-and-go penalty. After Monterrey, I have a lot of question marks because I have no idea why we had such a bad car in Portland and the other races. I mean, we found a little bit in Edmonton and Cleveland. But every time when we had a good car, we had not the right luck. In Cleveland, we run in the top five and got a stop-and-go penalty because we had to pit on the full course yellow because we run out of fuel and all these things.
Also Edmonton, we had a good car, not a top car, but a car for the top five. Justin, my new friend, put me out of the race, put me out of the qualifying. I mean, he destroyed completely my weekend. But anyway, I mean, that's racing. I'm not angry about Justin any more. That's things which happen in the race. So we waiting only for the luck, you know. The luck has to come back. The car is good. The car is quick enough. We found a little bit in Edmonton in the last race. Now we are in the top five again, and I hope it will be the same for the future, for the qualifying tomorrow and for the race.
Q: Will the tires last for a full fuel stint?
ORIOL SERVIA: I believe there's not going to be a problem.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I think they're going to be consistent. When the track rubber is in, it's obviously a lot easier on the tire. Bridgestone is obviously good coming up with a tire that fits the track. No, I don't think we should be afraid of anything of that.
ERIC MAUK: We will have another practice session tomorrow morning beginning at 10:15, then we go qualifying tomorrow beginning at 2:00. Thank you.