Pacificare/Secure Horizons Driver Junqueira Satisfied With Handling of Car in Final Practice for 88th Indy 500 on Sunday OVERALL: The team had planned to run no more than 25 laps today during the final practice prior to Sunday's 88th Indy 500...
Pacificare/Secure Horizons Driver Junqueira Satisfied With Handling of Car in Final Practice for 88th Indy 500 on Sunday
OVERALL: The team had planned to run no more than 25 laps today during the final practice prior to Sunday's 88th Indy 500 but were satisfied with their results after 18 laps and concluded the session. After his first run Junqueira was P1 (fastest) and reported to the team once in the pits that "The car is great." Once the overcast skies slightly cleared and the temperature rose he reported that he had a little too much understeer so the team discussed ways to improve the handling. He made one final run in order to check a few settings as well as allow his pit crew to simulate a stop. When the team stopped running, Junqueira was ranked seventh fastest. He will start fourth for his third Indianapolis 500. Following is the fastest lap time for Bruno and the session leader when Junqueira ended his run:
Fastest: Kosuke Matsuura 219.225 mph
7th: Bruno Junqueira 215.861 mph (ran 18 laps)
Bruno Junqueira, No. 36 PacifiCare/Secure Horizons Honda/G-Force/Firestone: "I'm quite happy with the PacifiCare car. Already on the second lap we moved to P1 and I told the team the car was great. Maybe I had a little more understeer than I needed but it's hard to guess what the conditions will be on race day so we will develop some things to help the car in different situations. I want to win this race and I think the PacifiCare Newman/Haas team is able to put together a good car that's capable of having a good chance."
* BRUNO'S FAST FACTS: Will be his third race here and first with NHR at this track. Will start in fourth place for the 2004 event. Started 20th and finished fifth in his Indy 500 debut with Ganassi Racing in 2001. Won the pole position in 2002 and led the first 32 laps of the race before his engine failed. Retired in 31st place.
* PIT CREW ARRIVED TO TOWN / DEPARTS TODAY: Bruno's regular Champ Car pit crew arrived in town yesterday afternoon to participate in Carb Day today. They will drive back home tonight in order to report for work in Lincolnshire, Ill. at 7 AM tomorrow to prepare racecars for Junqueira and his teammate Sebastien Bourdais for an upcoming test at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. on Tuesday, June 1. They will return to Indianapolis on Saturday. Once the race concludes on Sunday night they will report to Road America on Memorial Day for the test on Tuesday. After the first weekend of qualifying, Bruno's race car was transported to Lincolnshire so that the crew could practice pit stops on Monday, May 17, which fell on their day off prior to the Tecate/Telmex Monterrey GP May 21-23, which the team finished 1-2 with Bourdais and Junqueira, respectively. Five of the six over-the-wall team representatives are on his Champ Car pit crew. Indy-based employee Mark Shambarger is filling in for outside front tire changer Brian Rizzo who broke his foot prior to the race in Mexico.
* NEWMAN/HAAS RACING INDY FACTS: The 2004 race will mark the 14th for HR in the Indy 500 and first since 1995. Prior to 2004, the team prepared a total of 20 entries for drivers such as Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Paul Tracy. NHR's highest finishes in the Indy 500 were second with Mario Andretti in 1985 and Michael Andretti in 1991 and third with Nigel Mansell in his first attempt in 1993...NHR drivers have led a combined total of 773 laps on the famed 2.5-mile Superspeedway (Mario Andretti - 402; Michael Andretti - 337; Nigel Mansell - 34)...Mario Andretti brought the team it's highest start in the event when he won the POLE POSITION in 1987.
* WHO'S WHO AT NHR/INDY: Jim McGee, Director of Special Operations for NHR, is in charge of the Indy 500 program. He is the winningest manager/chief mechanic with a total of 89 victories; race engineer Tim Wardrop currently holds the record for the fastest practice lap, fastest qualifying lap and fastest four-lap average at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Mark Shambarger is the chief mechanic. He has 20 years of experience in the racing industry. The combined total of experience for NHR's Indy group is: 221 years of racing experience, 125 Indy 500's and 26 Indy 500 victories. A complete list of team employees is available that includes hometowns and history for each member.