Molson Indy Toronto "Quoteboard" CRISTIANO DA MATTA ( ...
Molson Indy Toronto "Quoteboard"
CRISTIANO DA MATTA (#6 Havoline Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "Everyone on the Havoline team - from the engineers to the mechanics to the pit crew are working very well together and the Toyota engine, Lola chassis and Bridgestone tires are a strong combination. We ran very well (on the streets) in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach but the fact is that the Toronto street course is a very different track even though they are both on city streets. The track has many different surfaces so not a lot of information from Long Beach applies so just because our car was good in Long Beach it will be good in Toronto but hopefully some of the information does because the car was very good. Toronto is probably the most different street course we go to so we have to keep our eyes wide open beginning with the first session and adapt our set-up to that type of track but the team has won many times there so that's a pretty good indication that they will know what to do when we get there."
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA (#4 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "We have had a lot of success so far this year. It's been great to work with such a great bunch of guys. Everyone has worked really hard this year to give me good cars and it shows on the track. It feels great to be so competitive this early in the season, but we still have a long way to go. Toronto is a great city and it's an awesome place to have a race. I had a good run going last year until I was caught up in an accident with a few laps to go. It's a neat track and I think we have a good chance to win this weekend."
DARIO FRANCHITTI (#27 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "It's great to be going back to Canada. Toronto fans are extremely passionate about Champ Car racing and it's always great fun to see the grandstands packed with supporters. I'm particularly lucky in that the crowd gets behind me, there must be a lot of Scots in Toronto. Of course we're getting close to the mid-point of the season and all of us at Team KOOL Green are extremely focused on doing well here and moving up in the points. If we can get the car working properly early in the weekend, there's no reason why come race day we shouldn't be on the podium. I know I can win here (Dario won Toronto in 1999 after leading all laps) and I'd like to do it again this weekend."
CHRISTIAN FITTIPALDI (#11 Lilly Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "After not scoring any points in the last two races and for a total of three so far this season, we need to go to Toronto and score a good chunk of points to make up for some lost opportunities. Losing a wheel in Chicago was a big disappointment for the team but those things happen when so much pressure is put on the guys to make up positions. Obviously Newman/Haas Racing has been strong on road and street courses this season so we need to qualify up front in Toronto so the guys don't have to make up so many positions on the pit stops. The Toronto race is a tough one to get a good set-up for the car because of the different racing surfaces. We didn't run very well there last year but we started to improve our car on street courses after running there last year and the progress has continued over from the off-season testing into this year so we know we can run well this year. The Championship is really heating up now and everyone is going to dig deep to try to get a one-two finish for the team not only in the Toronto Molson Indy but also in the Championship. Each year it has gotten harder and harder to score each point and this year is definitely not an exception although we seem to be in a better position to be competitive at most of the races."
SCOTT DIXON (#44 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone) "Toronto is one of my favorite stops on the CART circuit. The people are great and they are huge fans of our sport. I finished fifth last year up in Toronto and I'm hoping for an even better result this weekend. I've had four solid finishes since joining Team Target and I feel us improving our chemistry each weekend. We had a few problems last week in Chicago and we still finished on the lead lap in 6th place."
PATRICK CARPENTIER (#32 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "I know that Michael Andretti has dominated our home race in Toronto over the years, but we've had a Canadian driver on the podium in each of the last two years, with my teammate Alex (Tagliani) last year and Paul Tracy the year before that. I figure I'm due, and it would be fantastic if Toronto was the place where I could get my first podium of the season. People have asked me quite often whether there's more pressure for Team Player's racing in Canada, but I've never felt that is the case. Sure, we want to do well there, and once qualifying and the race begin, we do what we always do, and that is focusing all our attention on giving our best performance. Toronto is a street course that is especially tough on your equipment package. Only 12 cars out of 26 were able to finish the race last year, so that's some indication of the toll that this track can take on your car. It's a circuit that has quite a few bumps and you have to really be careful because it changes from an asphalt to a concrete surface in some of the sectors. I got some first-hand knowledge of the bumps last year when I hit one of them and the wheels locked, and suddenly I was out of the race on lap 52."
PAUL TRACY (#26 KOOL Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "Toronto is a fun place for me to run. There's a bit more pressure because it's my hometown, but that's all a part of racing and I just go with it. I've had some success here (Paul won Toronto in 1993 and finished second and third respectively in 1999 and 2000) and the goal of course is to get a win here for Team KOOL Green. And personally I'd really like to win again in Canada. The race has stood the test of time in Toronto and everyone knows that it's a great summer week when the Molson Indy is on. There are parties in the street and everyone comes out to have fun. It's become a great tradition."
ALEX TAGLIANI (#33 Player's/Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone): "Last year in Toronto was certainly one of the finest moments of my life. Getting my first career podium with the second-place finish was a very emotional time, and it's something that I'll never forget because my family, friends and Canadian racing fans were in the stands to witness it. Would I like to have that feeling again this year? Absolutely. But this is another race and another year and I know that the Toronto street course is going to be as tough as ever. I always breathe a sigh of relief when we're able to get past that tricky first corner without incident. We only have a few races in Canada and you certainly don't want to be out before you've even done a lap. For the Canadian drivers, we know that we have a hectic week in store when we go home for Molson Indy Toronto. It's an extremely busy time but I have to say it's a fun week. The fans are into it, and Canadian fans really know their racing. They have supported us through the good times and the rough times, and I know that all of us on Team Player's and it's a team with quite a few Canadians on it, appreciate the terrific response from the fans."
MICHAEL ANDRETTI (#39 Motorola Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "Toronto is an absolutely awesome event. The city and fans are so enthusiastic and they are very knowledgeable about racing so when we come to Toronto the Indy is a real happening and it makes it very exciting for everyone involved. We're hoping for a good result this weekend in Toronto and if we can count on history, there's a good chance for a podium finish. It was disappointing not to finish last weekend in Chicago because I felt like we had a good race car and as competitive as CART is, you can't not finish races and still expect to be in the fight for the championship at the end of the year. So now, Team Motorola has turned their focus to this weekend and we'll be hoping for a good result because it would be really nice to make it an even eight victories in Toronto."
KENNY BRACK (#12 Target Toyota/Lola/Bridgestone): "I'm looking forward to getting up to Toronto this week. It's a great city and a great place to have a race. We have been really strong on the road and street courses so far this season. We ran near the front at Long Beach, Laguna and Portland. I've had good cars week in and week out, we just need to stay focused and keep working at it. I have a lot of confidence in this team and I know that we can win races. Hopefully, we can start winning this weekend."
ADRIAN FERNANDEZ (#51 Tecate/Quaker State/Telmex Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "I am looking forward to Toronto. It's a good track for us and we are definitely looking for revenge for the last three races. [On-track incidents at Laguna Seca and Portland followed by a brake problem in Chicago have kept Fernandez from scoring a single point in the past three events.] It is one of those circuits where I have always done well in the past, and our expectations are high for another strong performance this weekend. We finished third at Toronto last year and that was the first podium for Fernandez Racing. If you ask me what my most memorable accomplishment in racing has been so far, it was that podium. It really meant a lot. Hopefully we can build on that achievement this weekend."
JIMMY VASSER (#8 Shell Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "We were fast at Long Beach and Toronto is a similar track. Of course, we have to make sure we stay ahead of Michael (Andretti, who has seven wins in Toronto). That guy has owned that place. Even last year he came from last to win. I don't think you can do that this year with the new pit stop rules. Qualifying at Toronto is very important because passing is limited. Passing on the front straight and the back straight are the prime spots to pass. You can't force things in other places because you will get in trouble. I got taken out last year because some guys tried to force the issue in some tight quarters. Now with the cars so close in qualifying, it will be tougher to pass this year. (On Alex Zanardi coming to Toronto): "I talk to Alex every week. He is an amazing guy. Even after the accident, he was positive and his usual upbeat self. I don't know if I have ever met a guy like Alex. I think everyone is excited to see him in Toronto. I know it too will be very emotional for everyone."
SHINJI NAKANO (#52 Alpine/Mitsuba Honda/Lola/Bridgestone): "I really like the Toronto circuit and the atmosphere around the event is great. It is one of my favorite races. I had a really good car last year, but I made a mistake in qualifying and crashed my primary car. We started last but we finished ninth, and I want to improve on that this year. We just have to work on a good setup like last year and not make any mistakes. We had a good race in Chicago this past weekend [Nakano finished fifth -- his best finish in Champ Car competition to date] and the motivation for myself and the team is getting higher and higher. Now we are ready."
TONY KANAAN (#10 Pioneer/WorldCom/Mo Nunn Racing Honda/Lola/Bridgestone) "It's another race weekend and we just going to keep trying. Obviously, it's not been a very good season, so far. We have to get our act together, our whole team, everybody. Toronto is a place where I did pretty well last year. I had a little misfortune during the race, but we had a good car. Alex (Zanardi, last year's teammate) did really well, too. He finished fourth, and if it wasn't for my misfortune, we both could have been in the top five. I'm looking forward to the weekend in a big way. Obviously it's a special weekend with Alex being there. I asked him to bring us some luck. If it turns out that we win or something, then we'll have to bring him back every race. It will be so good to see him. We'll definitely have a few surprises for him."
MARIO DOMINGUEZ (#16 Herdez Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone): "Toronto is a city that I really enjoy and this is a track that I really like to race on. Even though this will be my first time there in a Champ Car, I have raced there twice before - and I finished on the podium in second place last year! The Canadians really love their racing so the atmosphere is fantastic for the whole event. I'm really hoping that we can catch a break in Toronto and get some results to match how hard we are working. It's been a little frustrating because we haven't really been able to show how well the team is doing and how fast we've been. Toronto is a tough track to pass on - but not impossible - so we'll just keep working hard and hope for the best!"