SONOMA, Calif. (August 23, 2008) - Teammates Bruno Junqueira and Mario Moraes are friends on and off the track, but that does not mean they do not compete on the track. Both raced each other hard in qualifying Saturday and before the afternoon...
SONOMA, Calif. (August 23, 2008) - Teammates Bruno Junqueira and Mario Moraes are friends on and off the track, but that does not mean they do not compete on the track. Both raced each other hard in qualifying Saturday and before the afternoon was all done the two Brazilians qualified 12th and 13th for Sunday's Peak Antifreeze Sonoma Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway.
The pair raced each other hard in the first round of qualifying with Moraes making the cut (down to 12) edging Junqueira by one-tenth of a second. Moraes posted the sixth-fastest qualifying speed (in the first group) overtaking Junqueira for the final spot in the final few minutes of qualifying. That allowed the rookie driver to advance to the second round of qualifying.
"We both ran well," said Moraes. "I like this course. We're going to be very competitive on Sunday."
In the second round, Moraes (No. 19 Sonny's Bar-B-Q) was a few tenths of a second shy from moving into the "Firestone Fast Six" group of qualifying and a run for the overall pole.
The IndyCar® Series "Firestone Fast Six" qualifying format starts with two groups of 13 cars. Each group goes out for a 20-minute first round qualifying session. The fastest six cars in each of the two groups advance to the 15-minute second round qualifying. The fastest six out of the second group duel it out for 10 minutes and the pole in the "Firestone Fast Six" final qualifying session.
Junqueira (No. 18 Z-Line Designs) put forth a great effort in the first round of qualifying, but came up just short of joining his teammate in the second round. The 31-year-old veteran had to settle for a 13th starting position in the 26-car field.
"We were blocked by a few cars in final few minutes of qualifying which kept the Z-Line Designs car from advancing to the second round of qualifying," said Junqueira. "It does not matter where you start the race all that matters is where you finish."