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

Lilly Driver Bourdais on pole for Lexmark Indy 300 in Australia; Pacificare Driver Junqueira to start second SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, ...

Lilly Driver Bourdais on pole for Lexmark Indy 300 in Australia; Pacificare Driver Junqueira to start second

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

"This is the fifth pole for my Lilly car and that is good. To be one and two for Newman/Haas Racing is also good. It was frustrating yesterday but P3 overall wasn't that bad I guess. Today was another day. The car was good today, but it did take quite a while to build up the speed we needed. It could have been a catastrophic session because it was hard to get a clear lap. Once you did there was a lot of pressure to get a complete lap that was perfect. With one lap left in my first stint I brushed the wall and still managed to pull out the 1:31.7. On the second stint we never really get a clear lap but my previous lap time held. The Newman/Haas Racing crew did a great job today but we still have a long ways to go to get to the podium tomorrow. There was so much pressure to put in a good lap here. You had to keep the speed, keep patient and watch traffic. It was a very tough qualifying session. I was still shaking after I got out of the car. There's no one area of this course you have to get right to go fast, it's basically every chicane around the course. This track is tough and that's just the way it is."

NOTES:

Will be his first race here...The Australian pole was his FIFTH in 18 Champ Car races as well as his FOURTH on a ROAD/STREET COURSE. He won the pole in St. Pete, Mexico, Germany (oval), Cleveland and TODAY...In total, he earned five poles (4-road course; 1-oval) and three wins so far this season...He is currently ranked 4th in the point standings with 159 points.

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

"This morning the car was pretty good overall. I felt we were faster than everyone else today, but in my first run [Patrick] Carpentier spun in front of me. On my fastest lap, a piece of paper flew from the wall between one and I had to slow down and caused me to lose two or three tenths. Unfortunately, on the second set of tires [Rodolfo] Lavin slowed me down and I had cars behind me so it was really frustrating because I couldn't break free. Based on his best qualifying time, he was four seconds off of the pace. It is hard to run behind that pace. To be fast again and lose the pole here for the second straight year is very frustrating. It will be fast tomorrow on track because of the weather, so I'm looking forward to a good race."

NOTES:

Will be his third race here...Lost pole position to da Matta by a mere 1/100ths of a second in 2002. Started second, led eight laps but finished 14th in the rain-shortened event. Started and finished 21st in 2001 due to contact...He is currently ranked second in the point standings with 198 to Tracy's 226 (-28).

TEAM NOTES:

As of today, NHR has earned THREE WINS (Da Matta 2001, Tracy 1995, Mansell 1993), SIX POLES (TODAY, Da Matta 2002, Mi. Andretti 1995 & 1991, Mansell 1993-1994) and SIX PODIUM finishes here (3rd - Fittipaldi 1998, Mi. Andretti 1997, Ma. Andretti 1994)...It was the 14TH pole in the past 33 CART Champ Car events for the team. Former driver da Matta won his first of seven CART poles 32 races ago in Monterey, Calif. and went on to win the pole another six times before the end of '02. Bourdais won the pole in '03 races in St. Pete, Monterrey, Germany, Cleveland and TODAY and Junqueira won the pole in Elkhart Lake and Denver...

LAST YEAR IN AUSTRALIA:

Cristiano da Matta started on pole, set the fastest racing lap and led all laps under racing conditions in rainy Australia but finished 8th after the race was shortened due to the rain. Christian Fittipaldi started 12th, led one lap and looked set to finish 2nd until CART shortened the race and he finished 11th.

ON TAP FOR TOMORROW:

The 30-minute morning warm-up will begin at 10:45 am local time and the race will begin at 2:30 p.m. Live coverage of the Lexmark Indy 300 will air on SPEED Channel beginning at 12:30 a.m. ET on Sunday morning.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Christian Fittipaldi , Cristiano da Matta