Lexmark Indy 300 Saturday Final Qualifying Driver Quotes PAUL TRACY ( ...
Lexmark Indy 300
Saturday Final Qualifying Driver Quotes
PAUL TRACY (#1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"It was good and bad luck for us this afternoon. We waited for ten minutes before heading out on our first stint, when we went out the red flag came out. When I headed back out, I ran into a lot of traffic. During my second stint, I had two good laps left on tires and fuel and I just pushed real hard. On that last lap, the tires were gone, and I knew there was nothing more I could do. I was lucky to put down a fast lap and even luckier to be on top when the red came out at the end of the session. It will be an interesting race tomorrow, we have three of the most aggressive drivers of the circuit starting out in front and we will all be charging very hard heading into the first corner."
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (#2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"It's a good thing to be fastest on Friday because you can still start on the front row no matter how your final qualifying goes. I made a mistake that the McDonald's team cost me the pole and that is disappointing. I locked up the right front in the last turn of my fastest lap and nearly put the car in the wall. It's so easy to do because you are pushing so hard. The lap would have been a 1:33.2 which would have been good enough for pole and another point. You walk a fine line between being a chicken and being too hungry and I was too hungry today. It was a frustrating session for everyone because of all the red flags. I think it will be mathematically pretty difficult to pick up seven points on Bruno in the race because he is going to be so close. We are going to more or less try to put the McDonald's car up and see if the race comes to us. If the championship goes to Mexico City, I'm fine with that."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I enjoyed qualifying; I think we put on a good show. I was fastest then someone beat my time. I moved back up then someone beat it again. I was very happy with the PacifiCare car today but I left a little bit on the table. I was on a very good, mega lap and hit the tires and it cost me some time. It's a shame that the red flag ended the session with three minutes to go. After having the gear problem yesterday it was good to be able to make runs on both sets of tires today and that helped us improve our position. We were faster than Sebastien but are starting third because he guaranteed a front row start in provisional qualifying. It's a shame that the red flag ended the session. I need to finish in front of Sebastien but I'm going to try to win the race. I'm not thinking about the championship; I'm just thinking about getting the best result possible in the race."
A.J. ALLMENDINGER (#10 Western Union Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"First of all, I have to say I'm really proud of my crew today. After the crash this morning in practice, my crew went to work on the spare car and not only got it ready for qualifying, but gave me an even better car than yesterday. I didn't hit every corner exactly the way I wanted-the esses through Turn 7 are still giving me a hard time, but I feel much better than I did yesterday or this morning. The start of the race tomorrow is going to be really tough, and every year in collects a lot of cars. I'm starting behind Sebastien (Bourdais), so I'm going to be right there on his gearbox and hopefully slide through and race to a top finish."
JUSTIN WILSON (#34 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I'm pretty pleased with the lap I put in-it's always good when you can get your fastest lap during qualifying when it counts. I just kept braking later and later each lap, and we were able to close the gap to the pole time, so we are going in the right direction with the car. There is still room for improvement, but we got everything out of the car we could today. This should be an interesting race start, as it gets very tight in the first few corners, so hopefully we can get through cleanly and attack from there. There are certainly some places for overtaking, so it should be a good race tomorrow."
JIMMY VASSER (#12 Gulfstream Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"We'll start eighth tomorrow in the Gulfstream car, so it's not a total loss. We just couldn't get a clean lap in today. It was either traffic or red flags, back and forth all session long. It was difficult for us to find a good spot on the track, but sometimes you have to take what you can get."
MICHEL JOURDAIN JR. (#9 Gigante Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"We're having a lot of problems with the brakes this weekend, so I was really never comfortable enough to put a great lap together. The good thing is that is 90% of our problem, so solving that issue will give us much better performance for tomorrow. RuSPORT came out of qualifying with both cars in the top-ten again and A.J. (Allmendinger) did a great job and put his car inside the top-five on just his first visit here. This is a great street-course, and as I have said before, I am really looking forward to having a great race here and getting my first Surfer's Paradise win that I came so close to last year."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#8 Johnson Controls Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I'm disappointed to have to start in the middle of the grid for the Indy, but I've moved ahead from the back in past races and hope to have another decent finish tomorrow. We were quick here in 2003, but we're struggling to get better grip and can't be as aggressive as we were then. It's also been tougher to deal with the tires in the chicanes than last year. It's a difficult circuit to pass on, but I'll do my best to get the No. 8 Johnson Controls a strong finish."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Things just didn't work out the way the #7 Indeck Forsythe Championship Racing team had hoped it would. It has been a tough weekend for us. We had problems in both practice and qualifying yesterday then we had a suspension problem in this morning's practice. Basically, we just didn't get enough track time to improve the car as much as we felt we could have. The #7 Indeck Forsythe Championship Racing car is going to start 11th tomorrow, but this is a circuit where you never know what is going to happen. I am just going to be patient, pass when I can and hopefully at the end of the day we can be on the podium."
RODOLFO LAVIN (#3 Corona Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"The Corona Forsythe Championship Racing team has struggled in practice, but we made some changes today and the car was much better in qualifying. My teammates, Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier, have been helping me learn to drive this track, especially how to go over the curbs. That is the key to going fast on this circuit. The help really paid off today. I ran a lap in qualifying that would have put me about eighth on the starting grid, unfortunately, on the next lap I was trying to go a little quicker, just .1 or .2 faster, and I brushed the way at the exit. That caused a red flag, so I lost my quick lap and will have to start 12th. The whole Corona Forsythe Championship Racing team has done a great job preparing my car and I think I have a very good race car. It is going to be a tough race, but I believe we can finish in the top-six. The thing is, on this circuit, you have to really be in the right place at the right time. I would also like to congratulate Paul (Tracy) on his pole. He ran a great lap today."
NELSON PHILIPPE (#14 Mi-Jack Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone)
"It isn't what we were hoping for, but we have been improving every session and ran our fastest lap of the weekend in final qualifying, so it's good how much progress we've made so far. This is a very challenging track, but I think it's one of the best street circuits we race on. I feel more comfortable-and more importantly, faster-with each lap I do around here. Mi-Jack Conquest Racing always prepares an excellent race car, so now we will just focus on getting ready for the race on Sunday. It's going to be a long race, and this place has had some unpredictable results in the past, so we'll just try to get through the start without any problems, and go racing."
ROBERTO GONZALEZ (#21 NII Holdings, Inc. Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"I just can't believe it. For the second straight day, we couldn't put in a good lap. It's very frustrating. On my first run, the tires weren't even up to temperature, and one of my belts came undone. I had to literally hang on when I was turning my fastest lap. After I came in and got the belt refastened, we went back out and it happened a second time. On the third and final stint, when we thought we had had everything straightened out, the red flag came out and ended the session. Tomorrow will be difficult because of the lack of information we have at this point."
GUY SMITH (#17 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"The Rocketsports crew made improvements to the shifting of the No.17 car and it ran better today. Between two red flags and traffic it was difficult to get the maximum from the car and a good lap. I've learned the course, and it's challenging to maneuver at speed, but I've managed to steer clear of trouble and hope for the same in the race tomorrow."
ORIOL SERVIA (#11 yokeTV.com Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone)
"Obviously I am very disappointed. The whole yokeTV.com/Dale Coyne Racing team has worked very hard and I thought we had a car that could compete for the pole. We were working our way through the qualifying session, taking our time, when I crashed. I was only going about 30 mph when I hit the wall, but the impact ripped the front wing from the cockpit. Unfortunately it damaged the cockpit and I had to switch to my backup car. That means we have to start from the back of the field. Everybody is telling me to be patient in tomorrow's race, but the yokeTV.com/Dale Coyne Racing car is fast and I feel very confident. So, tomorrow, I going to be smart, but I am going to go for it from the minute the green flag drops."