Pacificare driver Junqueira second in final qualifying for Molson Indy Vancouver; Lilly driver Bourdais dropped from third to fifth. OVERALL: Late Friday, Paul Tracy was penalized by CART Stewards and had his best lap of Friday's provisional ...
Pacificare driver Junqueira second in final qualifying for Molson Indy Vancouver; Lilly driver Bourdais dropped from third to fifth.
OVERALL: Late Friday, Paul Tracy was penalized by CART Stewards and had his best lap of Friday's provisional qualifying session taken off the time sheets. CART Champ Car officials penalized Tracy following violations of Rule 5.4.8 of the Champ Car Rule Book which states, "During qualifying sessions, drivers not running at full qualifying pace should be aware of overtaking drivers, and should give way to all overtaking drivers." The loss of Tracy's fastest lap dropped him to second place behind Junqueira who was guaranteed a front row starting spot as well as one championship point. On Saturday Tracy earned the position by setting the fastest overall lap time over the two days.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA, #1 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "Today was okay. This morning the car was good. We felt that I had a very good car. Then came qualifying and I pushed my best. Unfortunately, I just had three laps on the last outing. I ran one-tenth short of PT. He was fast today, and so was Moreno. I think the PacifiCare car is very good, and I hope it can do a good race tomorrow. On the last set of tires I was behind Michel. I was pressing on him because I knew if he pushed hard on the out lap, I could do four laps instead of three. But he might not have realized that so when I saw we wouldn't get the extra laps, I tried to find space. But Michel didn't push on the out lap, then didn't get the extra lap. I think it took from me a chance to improve a little bit. Anyway, it was okay.
Unfortunately, I just had three laps on the last outing. I ran a 10th short of PT. He was fast today, and so was Moreno. I think three of us were like half a second step from the guy that's in fourth. That was very impressive because this track is not that long. But anyway, I think the PacifiCare car is very good, and I hope it can do a good race tomorrow. For sure yesterday, after qualifying, I was frustrated because I thought that I could do well or better. But I felt really surprised for what happened. Today I really try to be on the pole even harder, as Tracy tried, because he tried to prove that he had the pole, and I tried to prove. I mean, I knew today the track would be much faster, today would be the day that decides. I really pushed hard, but I just went a little bit short. Well done for him. But anyway, the most important is tomorrow, it's the race. Let's see who can get a good race. I think what happened yesterday was something that I wasn't even expecting. I think Paul maybe is not happy - maybe with me, I don't know why. But anyway, sure I wasn't happy with him going slow yesterday. But I going to try to race the same way I always race and try to win. I know that's difficult because he's being fast other weeks, as well. But I going to try to race as usual, fair as possible."
* NOTES: It will be his third race here... Junqueira's previous highest start came in his rookie event here in 2001 of sixth place (finished 12th) and his highest finish came last year of ninth place after a late race multi-car crash after running fourth after he started 12th....Is currently in second place in the point standings with 125 and is 15 behind leader Tracy who has 140.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS, #2 Lilly Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone: "It's always a frustrating situation when you think you or the car is capable of a better result. I had too much understeer on the first run so we came in and tried to improve the car for our second run. We waited in the pits as others ran so we could go out at the end on hopefully a clear track when it was at its best but the red came and now everyone was forced to wait until the end. The strategy didn't work well because we got only three laps when the track went green with three minutes to go. We thought we could fight for the pole or a better starting position than fifth but we will have to work hard in the race and have great pit stops. Now we have to work to have a good car for the race which is going to be another hard one."
* NOTES: Will be his first race here... He earned four poles (3-road course; 1-oval) and three wins in 10 events so far. (He started in second place in England and fifth in Long Beach.) Has won a total of six bonus points this season (Friday & Saturday in St. Pete; Saturday in Monterrey, Saturday and Sunday in Germany; Friday in Cleveland)...He is currently ranked 5th in the point standings with 86 points.
* TEAM NOTES: The team has won three races (Mi. Andretti 1991, 1992, 1996), four poles (Da Matta 2002, Mi. Andretti 1990-1992) and six podiums (2nd - Mi. Andretti 1998; 3rd - Fittipaldi 1996, Ma. Andretti 1990) here. LAST YEAR IN VANCOUVER: NHR's da Matta won the pole last season but both he and Fittipaldi retired with drive shaft failure on the same lap.
ON TAP FOR TOMORROW: The pre-race warm-up will begin at 9:00 AM PT. SPEED Channel will televise the pre race show on a tape-delayed basis beginning at 9 PM ET with coverage of the Molson Indy Vancouver set to begin on the same network at 9:30 PM ET. Live audio of the CART Champ Car World Series is available for the Molson Indy Vancouver on Sunday, July 27 - 4:00 p.m. ET, on the official web site of the CART Champ Car World Series, www.champcarworldseries.com.