Lexmark Indy 300 Pre-Race Driver Quotes SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS ( ...
Lexmark Indy 300
Pre-Race Driver Quotes
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"For sure, it would be really nice to be able to wrap this up (the Championship) in Australia. But what can I say? It's not the main target. Bruno is going to be right there. It's going to be a fight until the end. Obviously, it would be really cool. But if we have to wait until the very last lap of the last race, it will still be as good as ever. For sure I would be very happy to celebrate the championship over there because there is always a big party at the end of the weekend but I have no problem to wait until the end of the season.
We have things pretty well under control. We've been strong pretty much in any race. I'm looking forward to the last two races. The closer you get to the end of the championship, the important each race gets but you have to treat each as one event. They pay the same points and you're just trying to get them all. All you can do is be fast on the racetrack and stay out of trouble and that's our goal. We need to finish every race in the top five and we should be all right. I don't want to risk everything to win it in Australia. If the circumstances are all together right there to allow me to win it, then for sure I'm going to take it. But, you know, if Bruno wins the race and we finish second, then fine, we just score big points again, and it would be hard for Bruno to win it still. The very important thing, as my engineering said on the Champ Car website, I think the goal is to both finish and we should be able to put a strong 1-2 for Newman/Haas Racing. That would be really cool."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I think it's been a pretty good season for the PacifiCare Newman/Haas team. We've been consistent. We're getting great results and doing a big fight with Sebastien for the championship. We are a little bit down with two races to go; now we need to have a very good two races, finish strong, and hope that Sebastien has a bad result for us to win the championship. So I'll try to do my best. I think the whole PacifiCare team is doing a good job. We had a good start at the beginning of the year but some that were not so good in the middle. We are starting to put the results together again and I hope we can continue it until the end of the year. I'm quite happy that every year I've been competitive. I'm fighting for the win, fighting for the championship. That keeps me motivated. It is very important to be consistent like that. I've been very lucky to have a great team to give me a good car to always fight for the wins.
I like a lot to race in Australia. I like the track. The last two years I was leading the race, dominating the race but in 2002 the weather dictated the winner and in 2003 they closed the pit when I was going to pit and it put me in the back. I was leading the race there and I hope I can lead the race until the end and have a good race result this year."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I love Australia -- it has one of the most beautiful street circuits we race on and the whole weekend is such an incredible event with so much going on for the fans and sponsors, and although it's a long flight its always worth it! We were fast last year, and we've quick this year, so I'm confident that we will be chasing for the trophies this year on the streets of Surfer's Paradise."
PAUL TRACY (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"The atmosphere in Australia is always fantastic; its an amazing country, Surfer's is an extraordinary event and the fans are simply great - I love racing in Australia! In terms of the race -- it's a difficult one, the proof being that no one has ever had a repeat win. My goal is to be the first to achieve that - I won the race in 1995 - and to improve my position in the Championship."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#8 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
Strong finishes in these final races are important for the Johnson Controls team to stay ahead in the championship standings. The No. 8 Johnson Controls car has been consistent all season and I'm confident in the Rocketsports team and my engineer, Brian Ma.
A win in Bronte's home would be awesome and just as special as a win in Montreal or Vegas, but I do my best to approach each race as the most important race. It's necessary to stay focused on this fast, busy track. We were quick in Surfers in 2003 and had a solid car in wet or dry conditions. We have a positive experience to build on and I'm hoping for great results this weekend.
A.J. ALLMENDINGER (#10 Western Union Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I'm really excited about my first race in Australia. From what the other drivers have been telling me, I've been looking forward to this one all year! Seriously though, I am really looking forward to this race because every weekend we've been getting better and better and it just makes my enthusiasm even greater every race. I've got the defending race engineer here with David Brown and there's never been a repeat winner at this race, so I think it's just calling out my name for a win. I think we've got a good shot to be right there."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Without a doubt, the Australian race is the event I look forward to more than probably any other all year. The weather is almost always excellent, with the exception of the unfortunate downpour the last few races, and the fans are just incredible. I won this race in 1996, and there has never been a repeat winner. So of course I would like to be the guy to break the curse in the Gulfstream car this year. As far as the circuit is concerned, it is exceptional. It's most certainly one of the best street circuits in the world."
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Last year I was running a great race in Surfer's Paradise; I was leading the race and was much faster than Bruno (Junqueira) and Adrian (Fernandez) that were behind me. I thought I was going to win the race easily until suddenly they closed the pits, although they told us before the race that that was not going to happen. After that decision, all of us that were in the front and hadn't stopped a lap before were sent to the back. I am really willing to go back and win that race. This race is just like Long Beach for me: both are great races with a lot of things going around them, but last year I thought I was going to win both of them without a problem until at the end I couldn't (win) because of several situations. I hope this year we have better luck because I know that with a little bit of it I can get to the top of the podium."
JUSTIN WILSON (#34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Almost every track we have raced on has been new to me this season, and this weekend in Australia will be no different. We have been doing as much as we can to prepare ourselves in advance of the weekend to be as competitive as possible straight away and progress through the event. Going from a high-speed oval at Las Vegas to the temporary Surfers Paradise circuit is a special challenge for me and the team, but its also what makes this championship so exciting. You have to be prepared for some very different tracks and track surfaces, so it's a lot to learn from weekend to weekend, but it's very satisfying as a driver. I know that the track has a history of producing first-time winners, so that will hopefully be true again this year!"
RODOLFO LAVIN (#3 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I'm anxious to get there -- Australia is a great place and all the Champ Car drivers love the track and racing in Surfer's Paradise. The Australian hospitality is really special and we've been waiting all year for this race; its one of the best street course in the Series, with its quick and demanding race course. I can't wait to get there and to getting out onto the track and improving over last year."
ROBERTO GONZALEZ (#21 Nextel Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I think the season has been a positive experience for me and the PKV Racing team. Although the numbers might not show it, I believe we've come a long way this season. We've struggled at times, but have either reached, or come close to reaching our goal of running in the top-10 all year. As far as the last two races are concerned, we hope to carry the momentum we gained after a top-10 run in Las Vegas into Surfers Paradise, and in turn, to the finale in Mexico City. I think the focus will be on qualifying better, and building on the experiences I have shared with the team and my engineers through the first 12 rounds. If we are able to continue to grow that relationship and learn from those experiences, we will be a contender in Australia and have a chance at a positive result for Nextel Mexico in November."
NELSON PHILIPPE (#14 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"It looks like a really fun track, with some curbs that you can really attack, and also there are some big braking areas, and we are very strong under braking, so hopefully the track will suit my style," said Philippe. "It will be the first time racing there for me, so I've been watching in car videos to prepare for the circuit. The main goal for the weekend is to continue building on what we have been building on since I joined Conquest Racing. We have a strong car, and with the help of Justin and my engineers, I think we can have a good weekend."
GUY SMITH (#17 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
As this will be my first time racing in Australia, it'll be quite a thrilling experience and I'm looking forward to it. I understand the street circuit has fast chicanes and cars are liable to tap the curbs, making it a challenge. Apparently, the course is quite long and demanding too, especially for rookies, but a rookie won last year, so anything's possible. I'm told Surfers Paradise is a great place to race and visit. Australian fans seem keen on racing and very supportive of Champ Car. I expect this will be a very fun weekend for drivers and fans alike.