Belgium Champ Car Grand Prix - Race quotes from Zolder Circuit

Belgium Champ Car Grand Prix - Race quotes from Zolder Circuit

26.08.2007: Belgium Champ Car Grand Prix - Race quotes from Zolder Circuit

PHOTOS on automobilsport.com under www.automobilsport.com/american-series--86.html

Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (1st) – "It was a great weekend once again. It wasn't exactly the target to go after the win but we would obviously go for it if we could. The team did a fantastic job – Graham's drive through the field is a pretty good example of how good our cars were.

It was really good to be back here in Europe and be racing in front a bit of a home crowd. There was a large number of French-speaking people around so that was really enjoyable. It is great for me that Robert and Will didn't finish on the podium.

I guess we got it all this weekend but there are still four races to go we have to keep on plugging away and hopefully we can wrap this up before the end of the season."

 

Bruno Junqueira #19 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (2nd) – "I am very happy for get a podium for the team. All the guys work very hard, especially the mechanics. I only have two full time guys so they have to work three times as hard as any other team because there are not enough people to do everything.

At the start of the race I worked very hard on trying to save fuel but then had some problems in the first pit stop and dropped around 10 spots. I just keep my head down and concentrated on saving fuel after that.

I drove as hard as I could at the finish and kept an eye in the mirror on Graham – it took a lot of concentration. It's my first podium of the year. I am used to getting about 10 every year, so this one is very sweet for our team."

 

Graham Rahal #2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (3rd) – "The end of the race was very exciting for me. We had to work awfully hard because I got a horrible start and lost another spot so I was trying to make up time the rest of the race.

At the end it was difficult because when I was caught behind Bruno because I wasn't quite quick enough to get by him. Then to keep Justin and Will behind me was awfully tough. Justin did get past at one point and then he almost lost it.

It was a bit of hard dicing but I managed to pull a little gap on them and I managed to cruise to the finish which was nice."

 

Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (4th) – "We accomplished part of our mission for the race and we finished in front. As far as having a real quick car, doing a real good job on fuel save, and great stops, fourth, for us is a bad result and to be honest I’m very disappointed.

The guys did a great job and did excellent pit stops, I wish I could have given them a podium. The important thing is that we finished ahead of the people we needed to catch up with, except for Bourdais and now we aim to be on podium in Assen."

 

Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (5th) – "I picked up a bug going into the weekend and felt awful before the race, so between that and the crash on Friday, I guess the result wasn’t too bad under the circumstances. The car felt pretty good and the #9 CDW crew gave me some great pit-stops.

But with the different fuel strategies, it felt like one step forward and two steps back. Dropping from P3 to P5 when I tried to pass Bruno was frustrating. As soon as I got on the brakes both fronts locked up and I knew it wasn’t going to stop. I got bad flatspots on both wheels, so they locked at the next turn and Graham got through, and then Will got by down coming out of Turn 4.

The vibrations were terrible, so after that it was just a case of damage limitation and bringing it home. For the fans it should have been a great race and as a driver the whole Zolder event’s been a lot of fun. We’re looking forward to Assen."

 

Oriol Servia #7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (6th) – "Well considering everything that went on today I guess I should be happy to finish sixth. We were never the fastest car out there but I could run comfortably with the cars around me while saving fuel.

The yellows were just crazy today, nobody understands how Bruno made it to the end but I’m happy for him. We managed to pick up some points for the championship so that’s a positive, now we just have to go to Assen and try to qualify higher up the grid and go for the podium."

 

Robert Doornbos #14 Team Minardi USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (7th )- "We had a great start, I got a run on Will and we were side by side into turn one, which is a great moment for a driver. I fortunately got the best out of it. I was running close with Sebastien and saving fuel but I still had to pit one lap before everyone else.

Our second stint on reds was not so good, and the timing of the safety cars didn’t help out either. Guys were coming out of the pits right in front of me, blocking me – I guess it’s allowed since we’re in Europe. Hopefully we’ll have a better race next weekend at home, but I want to thank all of the fans for coming out. For sure I’ll try very hard and hopefully get a better result."

 

Neel Jani #21 Red Bull-Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (8th) – "The Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing team had a good first pit stop. We gained some positions and ended up running in fifth place. We were looking good. The car was going good.

I was getting good fuel mileage. And I was catching the cars in front of me. But, unfortunately, during the second stop the yellow flags played against us and that put at the back of the leaders queue. At that point I just couldn’t overtake anymore. I was quicker, but it was just not enough. That was the race done."

 

Alex Tagliani #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (9th) – "The Rocketsports team did a really good job all weekend. We had a good car, but it was a really weird call at the beginning of the race to come in when we were already in the top five. From that point on, we never got our position back.

The strategy was wrong and this is a track with a small amount of straight-away, so it makes it very difficult to pass. We got stuck behind and we never could make it back to the front. It was very unfortunate that we chose this strategy considering that we had a car that could have finished on the podium today.

It is a little bit sad, but we just have to think about next weekend. Hopefully we will have as good of a car and we can finish on the podium at the next one."

 

Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (10th) – "That was a difficult race. Something happened to the diff at the beginning of the race, I would get on the power during the cautions to heat up the rear tires and only one tire would spin.

That made the car extremely difficult to drive, I was spinning the tires for a hundred yards coming out of the corners. I was trying to keep up with everybody else and save fuel at the same time but that is very difficult to do with an ill handling car. I’m glad we could get a top ten result out of it and now we’ll just move on to Assen and hope for better luck there."

 

Katherine Legge #11 Dale Coyne Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (11th) – "We were disappointed with our result today because we had a really good car today. But the positive is that we have a good car going into the next race in Assen next weekend. We should have finished sixth in the race, but I made a mistake and hit a curb and some damage to the car.

I think that if we don’t make any mistakes next time and do better in qualifying we should have a good result next race. I had a bad start to the race which wasn’t a good thing for us. Overall, I’m happy with my performance and look forward to Assen next weekend."

 

Simon Pagenaud #15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (12th) – "We had a rough day. We had a very good car overall, we were P1 in this morning’s warm-up. We had the second fastest lap in the race, so the car was good and we had a great gap when we were leading and we were able to show the Aussie Vineyards colors up front for a while.

It’s a shame, because we had a radio problem during the race and at one very critical point we should have pit and we didn’t, because I didn’t have any information. I stayed out and unfortunately we didn’t have enough fuel to make it to the end. We tried to pit as late as we could, but I think the race was over for us at that point."

 

Jan Heylen #34 Grafiprint Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (13th) – "I am definitely more disappointed than ever with our finish today. At first we had bad luck on Friday with that four car accident but fortunately the team was able to get everything back together which allowed us to do a decent job in qualifying on Saturday.

We had a pretty strong warm up this morning and initially appeared to be doing pretty well with our pace and our fuel saving was on par with the leaders. Unfortunately, we lost seventh gear and weren’t able to save fuel any longer which led us to change our entire pit strategy.

It is never a good thing to happen during a race but it is even tougher in front of a home crowd. We all feel this is another missed opportunity and could have finished higher than where we did if we had not had the problems. We’re now looking forward to going to Assen and showing them what we can do there."

 

Tristan Gommendy #22 Pay by Touch / MegaSpirea Cosworth/DP01/ Bridgestone (16th) – "During the first stint I tried to save fuel and find a good opportunity to go out of sequence. Then we had a good first pit stop and we gained some positions. We started on the black (primary) Bridgestone tires, but switched to the red (alternate) tire during the first stop and it was quicker.

So the car was running good. It is always difficult to start 15th, but we definitely improved our position. Unfortunately, at the end we developed an oil leak and that was the end of our race. Hopefully, next week will be better for the Pay By Touch MegaSpirea PKV Racing team."

 

Mario Dominguez #4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (17th) - "It’s just unfortunate that things didn’t work out today. I had a good start, the car felt strong and I was able to run at a good pace while saving lots of fuel. We then lost a lot of positions during my second pit stop, but I was able to get quite a lot of them back as the race progressed.

The car was running well at this point, but then, on the out lap after my final stop, a wheel came loose, and in doing so, broke the input shaft, which meant I couldn’t get the car back to the pits. I’d just like to thank Paul Stoddart, Keith Wiggins and Harry Muermans, however, for the opportunity to work with Minardi Team USA. It’s a great team, and hopefully, we can do something with them again in the future."

- Karina Redmond -

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26.08.2007 / MaP

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