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

DESPITE CRASH IN QUALIFYING McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS TO START SECOND FOR THE LEXMARK INDY 300; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER JUNQUEIRA TO START FOURTH OVERALL: Sebastien had set a lap of 31.53 on his second to final lap on his first set of...

DESPITE CRASH IN QUALIFYING McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS TO START SECOND FOR THE LEXMARK INDY 300; HOLE IN THE WALL CAMPS DRIVER JUNQUEIRA TO START FOURTH

OVERALL: Sebastien had set a lap of 31.53 on his second to final lap on his first set of (standard) tires and as he had set a time near the Friday pole time of Power he pushed harder but lost control of his race car exiting the Turn 2 chicane and made contact with the bundled tires. Due to bringing out the red flag he lost his fastest lap time although he maintained his second place start based on the lap time he set on Friday. Due to extensive damage the team withdrew Bourdais primary car and he will race his backup. The front of the grid did not improve their lap times but Junqueira dropped from his third place position from Friday to fourth after Paul Tracy, who did not qualifying due to a damaged car on Friday, set the third fastest time.

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 1 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Well, I guess I'm the first one to be surprised to be here because you know, when I wrecked the car and I just came in the pit and was expecting to find myself somewhere in the Top-10, but nowhere near the front. So it's a bit surprising. I know the car is in pieces; that's just the way it goes. Maybe I was a little over-optimistic, but at the same time, probably just over shot the apex point by, I don't know, five centimetres or something like that. And the plastic belt wrapped around the front tire and by the time I knew what was happening, the car was stopped without the left side. I think we went for it obviously. I think everybody saw that we were trying pretty hard, got pretty close for a minute, but got taken off because I caused the red flag and I was on the Bridgestone black tires. So it is a little bit of a tough break for the McDonald's team on that front, but very good starting position. You know, it's just up-and-down from yesterday and today and we're going to start second, so not that bad a day really. If I had ended up in the middle of the pack, I probably would have asked if I could start dead last so I might have a chance to survive the start. I think we've had a very good car and the team has been doing a good job again. But I made one small mistake yesterday on the braking for turn one and ruined my chances and today, I've got to call it a mistake. But I paid pretty expensive for it; at least the invoice is going to be pretty expensive. So, you know, it just too bad, because it's a lot of wrecked stuff for avoidable reasons I think. But now that we're starting in the front row, it's a little bit of a different game. Obviously we'll start with Will and Paul and Bruno, so I guess Will's pretty experienced with how it goes around here. We'll try and hopefully be smart about the whole situation."

Bruno Junqueira, No. 2 Hole in the Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "I was up 3/10ths of a second on my last lap at the last turn, slowed down due to the red flag and still ran a 32 second lap. It's a shame the red came out but that's racing. The car was much better today; I felt a big improvement. I thought the track would be the same as yesterday and not faster which is what happened. I was surprised my fastest lap was on the standard tires though. I ran three laps that were a lot faster but the red flag came out for those. It's difficult to start in fourth place especially for Turn 1 on the start but I think the car is pretty good on old tires so I expect a good race tomorrow. It would be great to be the first repeat winner here. I love racing in Surfers. The race will be pretty exciting."

-credit: nhr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Paul Tracy , Sébastien Bourdais