CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Newman/Haas Racing Friday report

McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS SECOND FASTEST IN PROVISIONAL QUALIFYING FOR THE LEXMARK INDY 300; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER JUNQUEIRA THIRD Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Well, we took off and it was pretty...


Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Well, we took off and it was pretty straightforward at the beginning with a pretty good lap for the McDonald's team. I escaped a very scary moment in the first chicane and thought I was going to crash it but made it. But that was actually my quickest lap. So when I went back out after we decided with Craig (Hampson) to switch to the alternate tires, it was looking good. We ran a good first lap. I made a small adjustment in the car and went into turn one and that was that. I made a mistake. After that incident I actually had quite a few cars that I had to avoid holding up so as to not get in the way, and when I went back up for it, I was in the fast lap, like two or three tenths quicker, and when I arrived in the fast chicane, A.J. was in the tires. It's a little bit of a shame. My car is right there this weekend, and great job to the racing team and to Will, and hopefully we'll have another shot at it tomorrow if it's dry."

- FAST FACTS: Will be his fourth race here. Could have clinched his second consecutive series title by finishing last (19th) here in 2005 but earned it with a win from second place after he led 38 of 57 laps. Stayed on track one lap longer than then-leader Tracy for his first pit stop to take the race lead and held it until the checkered flag. In 2004, he could have clinched title here if he gained an additional seven points over his teammate Junqueira (total of 35). Was the provisional polesitter which allowed him to increase his lead to 28 points over second. Set the third fastest time in final qualifying but started second based on his prov. pole. Junqueira was able to gain a position on him after his second stop and he ultimately finished second and lost ground in the points lead (335-313)...Started on pole in 2003 but finished 17th. He and Paul Tracy made contact early in the race but he held second place until he lost control of his race car and crashed when rain began to fall, followed by hail and a temporary halt to the event....Currently leads the series point standings with 310 points to A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Wilson's 249...Will attempt to become the first open wheel driver to win three consecutive championships since Ted Horn did so from 1946-1948.

Bruno Junqueira, No. 2 Hole in the Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It was a good session. The track was very fast today; I enjoyed it a lot. I'm really happy to be back here at Surfers Paradise. This track is very nice. The first stint I had a good lap and was a little behind Sebastien, and decided to put on the red tires for the second round. The first couple of laps, I was in traffic and I made a little mistake. It was a really good first lap, a half a second faster, and I went through really, really fast and I brushed the inside tire on the left. I came out of there and said they're going to have to stick because I have to make the last three corners because this lap is good. Then they called the red (flag). I don't know, I was maybe relieved that I didn't have to do those last corners with the suspension damaged. Unfortunately because of that I didn't improve my lap time on the red tires but I'm quite happy to be third. Will Power, well done. He got the pole, and we'll see what happens tomorrow. I felt the red tires were a little bit better, so I am kind of frustrated at the fact that I didn't get the most out of one of the two sets because of that. But I think they are maybe three tenths faster, four tenths. For sure, they are faster. They have more natural grip, and I like it. We have another one tomorrow to try to improve our position."

- FAST FACTS: Will be his fifth race here. Was unable to defend his 2004 win here in 2005 due to injury sustained in the Indy 500. Won the 2004 event from a third place start as well as set the fastest race lap and led a total of 18 laps. Was the prov. polesitter in 2003 but started second. Led a race high 29 laps in the 47-lap event but crashed late in the event and finished 15th. Lost pole position to da Matta by a mere 1-1000ths of a second in 2002. Started second, led eight laps but finished 14th due to strategy in the rain-shortened event. Started and finished 21st in 2001 due to contact...Is ranked 6th in the point standings with 177 points.

- NEWMAN/HAAS RACING FACTS: NHR their previous 15 years of racing here, NHR has earned FIVE WINS (Bourdais 2005, Junqueira 2004, Da Matta 2001, Tracy 1995, Mansell 1993), SEVEN POLES (Servia 2005, Bourdais 2003, Da Matta 2002, Mi. Andretti 1995 & 1991, Mansell 1993-1994) and NINE PODIUM finishes (2nd -- Bourdais 2004; 3rd - Fittipaldi 1998, Mi. Andretti 1997, Ma. Andretti 1994).

ON THE SCHEDULE TOMORROW: The morning practice will take place from 10:00-11:00 while final qualifying will take place from 2:00-3:00.

-credit: nhr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Sébastien Bourdais , A.J. Allmendinger , Will Power