Champ Car Saturday Quoteboard. SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS ( ...
Champ Car Saturday Quoteboard.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 TBA Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It feels really well. Actually, I think it was very difficult to expect a better result. The car has been great all through the weekend. For the moment, we are the really good car. I haven't had a big problem since we started Friday morning, so it's really good. It's so good to start the season that way, after a long wait. I was not sure about getting a good ride. Now I'm there, in US, and on the pole for the first race of Champ Car. So it's great."
PAUL TRACY (#3 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I'm pleasantly surprised. It's been quite a turnaround in the last 24 hours. This morning, the car was good but for qualifying it was great. Unfortunately, there was no rhythm during this session because of the numerous red flag stoppages but I'm happy to be on the front row and happy that both Team Player's cars are in the top 4. This was truly a team effort. Michael Cannon (Patrick's engineer) came over and helped with the set up on my car, with Tony Cicale. This is the kind of start I wanted with Team Player's. Yesterday, I was dejected, but I'm happy now. The car is fast, even on old tires. It's going to be a long race. The track will be slippery and I'm used to that. Bourdais (Sebastien) is very fast and won often in F3000. Now we'll have to see what he can do during a long race."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Well, it went better than yesterday. Yesterday, we didn't have any luck in qualifying. We had too much traffic in our first set [of tires]. The second set, we never really put in any laps with so many reds. This morning, the second qualifying, we waited more. It's just about luck really because you just never know when it's going to be right for you. But this time it worked for us. We had the right strategy. Maybe I needed a couple more laps to put together a better lap. Probably would have happened the same to everybody. But I'm happy for the performance. It's been a while since I've been in a race car. I'm just happy to be here."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I'm happy to see two Team Player's cars in the top-four. The car was quite good, not perfect, but my engineer (Mike Cannon) told me to make the best of what I had today. There was good exchange of information between myself and Paul over the last two days and it paid off for both of us. We really pushed to the limit on that fast lap. During the session, we saw a lot of guys go off track on cold tires and that's a direct result of not having traction control. For the race, I see many opportunities to pass, but it's going to be a long race and we hope that Team Player's experience will pay off."
MICHEL JOURDAIN (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We came here with a goal of qualifying in the top-five and we did that and overall I am pleased because we have a pretty good car. I think we have more in the car we just didn't get a chance to show it today. While we are pleased with fifth I am a bit disappointed because I felt like we could have put the car in the front row. We have made a real commitment to improving in qualifying this year and this is a strong start. It was tough out there today. With everyone worrying about the rain, people were pushing to get in their runs and they were making mistakes which caused all the red flags. There were so many red flags it made it difficult to get into a rhythm. I know it was the same for everyone, but it seemed like every red flag came during one of our runs. I was finally able to get a clean lap on the last run and that is the lap that put us fifth on the grid. Tomorrow I expect a lot of yellow's so it will pay to be patient. I know I have the best pit crew (2002 Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge champions) so I just have to be smart, take advantages of the mistakes of others and pass people in the pits and we will be good."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I couldn't get more than two laps in a row together. It was pretty frustrating. PacifiCare will give me the best chance to win the championship so we're going to keep working hard and things will start to go our way. I would have rather started from the pole to make things easier for me but [2003 Champ Car titlewinner] Cristiano [da Matta] won last year from further back than seventh, so I'm optimistic. The team is one of the best in terms of race strategy and pit stops so that can only help me in the race. I do have a fast car, that's important. Unfortunately, I couldn't show that in qualifying."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 TBA Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "Mechanically, today was much better for us. We struggling, we're feeling the Reynard a bit here. That is something we are just going to have to work with and perfect it the best we can. The team has come a long, long way in a short amount of time, we're just about two months old, so, we are only going to get better. Red flags were the biggest issue out there today. It is so tough to get a good lap in with that many red flags, it really throws off the strategy. I am looking forward to tomorrow. The St. Pete fans are great, there's a lot of energy here, It's great for us."
ORIOL SERVIA (#20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am always very careful when I am driving on cold tires. However, today, on the first lap of the qualifying session I came up on Alex Tagliani. He was going slow and I didn't want to follow him around during qualifying, so I got on the power and just lost control of the Visteon/Patrick Racing car. It was a shame because the Visteon/Patrick Racing car has been very good all weekend and I was looking forward to final qualifying. The Visteon/Patrick Racing crew did an amazing job to get the car repaired as quickly as they did. It allowed us to get back out on the track and a least try for a better position on the grid. Even though the car was not exactly the same, I was still able to run the third fastest time of the session. Unfortunately, the penalty for causing a red flag was we lost our fastest lap. The Visteon/Patrick Racing Team has a good race car and, fortunately, the St. Petersburg street circuit is one that you can pass on. I would feel more comfortable if we were starting on the front row, but this is the best race car I have had in my Champ Car career and I know we can race for the win from ninth place on the starting grid."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#55 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "It's just bad luck really - there was just red after red out there. And when I did get a couple of laps in a row, I'd run into traffic. It's too bad because the car was really good. I just couldn't get a clear lap to post a time."
DARREN MANNING (#15 TBA Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We had a fuel pick-up problem this afternoon, so we had to run on really heavy full tanks. The car was really good. Straight out of the box I think I was second fastest straight away on the out laps, which is a good sign. Then we started having problems with fuel pick-up and had to run on really heavy tanks. And, I ran out of laps and things like that. Not too bad to improve and to run fast with race-type fuel loads. I just need to stay out of trouble in the race and be there at the end of the race. I think that's going to be the big thing around here; it's going to be a physical race."
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (#31 TBA Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "The changes we have made since yesterday are definitely in the right direction. The car was much different from yesterday. We are definitely still looking for front grip. The reds caught me out on every flier, that was unfortunate."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "The real test of character for this team is to remain confident and positive about what we are doing. We have proven ourselves in practice and it's frustrating to get a red flag in your best lap two days in a row, but we work hard to get good results and we do. We're a new team but we're realistic and we'll keep trying."
PATRICK LEMARIE (#27 TBA Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We have improved the car a lot since yesterday morning. The red flags in qualifying didn't help much, but I think it was pretty much the same for everybody. We are learning more each day, so we should have a strong car for the race tomorrow."
ROBERTO MORENO (#4 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "After so many hiccups to this point, I'm glad we've gotten the race car going well. I wasn't able to put a better lap time on the board during qualifying because of the red flags but we have a good race car for tomorrow. The team is working really well together and we're getting better every time we go out."
JOEL CAMATHIAS (#19 Dale Coyne Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "The car was much better in qualifying than it was this morning. I lost my best lap with a spin which also lost my second best 63-second lap. Tomorrow I hope to finish my first race in the points."
ROBERTO GONZALEZ (#11 Dale Coyne Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "This is my first race in these cars and with the limited testing we have done, I am happy to be as close to the field as we are. We had some problems that cost us some track time as I am learning every lap. Tomorrow I just want to run a clean race with good pit stops and get a finish."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#5 Corona Competition Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "We struggling a lot all day with the set-up. Finally for qualifying we found something very important on the set-up. I was trying to get a good lap for qualifying and the car was feeling much, much better. It's a shame that I spun in Turn 8 and touched the tires. The car was feeling much better, much more stable in the rear. I hope to make an intelligent race, to finish the race. It's a long race - 105 laps - so we have time to do a lot of things. We've been practicing pit stops during the sessions this weekend, and I'm getting better. It's a challenge for me to make these pit stops. You have to be very accurate in where you stop the car."