Zolder - Belgium Champ Car Grand Prix - Friday Qualifying quotes

Zolder - Belgium Champ Car Grand Prix - Friday Qualifying quotes

25.08.2007: Zolder - Belgium Champ Car Grand Prix - Friday Qualifying quotes

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Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st) – "It is really good to get a point, but the best thing about qualifying on the front row today is we can concentrate on fine tuning the set up for the race in tomorrow's session. On the first run on new tires, I really didn't get a lap at all and my tires weren't up to temperature. We decided to put 'reds' on because we got caught out badly at the last round because we didn't try them on Friday and they turned out to be slower. I did one lap, it wasn't that neat and the balance wasn't what I would have liked but it was good enough to get on the front row and I'm very glad about that."

Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 2nd) – "Not being fastest today is a shame but in the meantime, we did not use our Bridgestone alternate tires, which look like they are half-a-second faster so tomorrow when we have two sets to use we should be good. I think the McDonald’s team did well today, it is our first time here and some guys have raced here before. For us, we don’t need to gain in the championship, we just need to keep running near the front to finish off this championship."

 

Simon Pagenaud #15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 3rd) – "We had a good session this morning trying to get used to the track. I do know the circuit from back in 2005 when I did World Series by Renault so I have some experience here. It's great to be back at Zolder. They have resurfaced the track and it is very gripy which is exactly what I like. We worked this morning on the balance and traction to make sure we had a good set-up for qualifying. We put new tires on for qualifying and everything went well so it’s great to have both of us up here."

 

Graham Rahal #2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 4th) – "Our practice session ended this morning due to a shifting battery that went dead, which also happened to Sebastien one lap earlier, but we ran well in qualifying. The Medi | Zone car definitely feels pretty good so I’m pretty happy. We should have been maybe a touch quicker but at the end of the day, a tenth, if that’s what it was wouldn’t have been close enough to (Will) Power. He’s definitely got something on us. We’re good on the Bridgestone’s -- both black and red so if we just keep it consistent we should be fine in the race. The track is pretty cool and pretty quick."

 

Bruno Junqueira #19 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 5th) – "It was a good day today with this being my and the teams first time on the track here in Zolder. I’m very pleased with a P5 today. We went out on the black tires and everyone but one driver quicker than me went out on the red tires.

I’m very close to Sebastien (Bourdais) time which is a good indicator on how good our car was today. We had a P4 time in the first morning practice which was a great way to start out our weekend on a new track. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully improving on our time today."

 

Tristan Gommendy #22 Pay by Touch / MegaSpirea Cosworth/DP01/ Bridgestone (Qualified 6th) – "It was a difficult qualification for the Pay By Touch MegaSpirea PKV Racing team because we decided to go out for the first stint a little bit later. Just as we were about to start the first run there was a red flag. With so little time left we had to do a short run with the first set of new tires. I used that run to learn the track a little more because I only ran five laps in morning practice.

My braking points weren’t very good and I was touching in the front with the first set of tires, so it was impossible to brake late. Then on the second set of tires I made a mistake on the last lap otherwise we would have been four-tenths quicker. But, I think we can do good things this weekend. The car is not bad right now. We are in a good place, definitely."

 

Oriol Servia #7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 7th) – "We are not where we want to be yet. We had some mechanical issues this morning and I was only able to get one run, so I still need a few more laps because we’ve just been basically catching up. So overall it’s not that bad considering the problems we had this morning, we still need to improve to be able to catch the front runners but I believe we’ll be strong tomorrow."

 

Neel Jani #21 Red Bull-Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 8th) – "On the first set of tires I caught a red flag. Then we went back on the same set of tires and caught a red flag. On the new tires (second stint) I had three good laps, but on my quick lap and my last lap I ran into some traffic, so I lost a little bit of time. I think the Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing car could have been a bit quicker. I am suffering from some understeer, so we have to fix that for tomorrow."

 

Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 9th) – "We’ve definitely made a lot of improvements to the car from the previous events. We still need to find more speed but the car is pretty good and now we have something that we can work with.

My fast lap wasn’t really that good. I didn’t get the most out of it through the first two corners and lost a lot of time there. The car has a lot of understeer so I have to wait to get back on the throttle in most corners, I think that if we can fix the balance we can get more aggressive and pick up some time tomorrow."

 

Alex Tagliani #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 10th) – "I really like the Zolder track. It is a lot of fun to drive, but I think that we missed the set-up a little bit on the #8 Rocketsports car.

I feel that the car could have been quicker then where we ended up this afternoon, but we probably just ran the car a little bit too conservative and we had to fight a lot of understeer. We should be able to get it back tomorrow; after all, this is the first day that we are running at this circuit, so there is definitely a learning curve.

The weather looks good for tomorrow, so all should go well. I think we have a shot of getting the #8 car in the top three, top five tomorrow."

Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 11th) – "We definitely did not have a good start today here at Zolder. It is a shame; I did not have the chance to get to know the track this morning in the #9 CDW/RuSPORT car after the incident, which took me out on my first lap.

That also caused my crew to have a lot of work to do, but they did a great job on being able to get me a car that I could run this afternoon. Then, just as we headed out for our first run this afternoon during provisional qualifying, a red flag came out.

I knew it was just going to be one of those days. We did the best we could, but we just weren’t able to get it done today. We will try again tomorrow and hope for a better day on track."

 

Ryan Dalziel #28 Pacific Coast Motorsports Cosworth/DP01/ Bridgestone (Qualified 12th) – "I am thrilled to be driving the Plain Jane Couture car. I am sure a logo that looks that good is going to make both Alex and I faster all weekend! Had a brake issue with the car in the morning.

The team worked hard over lunch and the brakes were much better this afternoon. This is a fast track, I think we are heading in the right direction and I am looking forward to a better result tomorrow."

Katherine Legge #11 Dale Coyne Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 13th) – "Our P13 today was not a true representation of what our speed really could be because I didn’t know that it was the last lap of qualifying and I was trying to cool and conserve my tires when the checkered flag came out.

We could easily have been a whole half-second faster, that would have put us in the top 10. This is my first time on this track and I’m very impressed with it. This is a great start for our team this weekend. The car is the best it’s been in a while. I think that we can easily get a starting spot in the top-10 tomorrow."

 

Alex Figge #29 Pacific Coast Motorsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 14th) - "We got some understeer out of the Plain Jane car this afternoon and we will continue to work on that tonight. It’s great to be here in Belgium and the fans sure seem to be enjoying Champ Car. Wow, what a race track, this place is fast and furious that is for sure"

Robert Doornbos #14 Team Minardi USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (did not participate in qualifying) - "It was a very unfortunate day for the team, as they worked very hard to get the car competitive in practice. The engine blew in pit lane just before qualifying, and there was nothing we could do about it.

I did my job today, which is to drive the car as fast as possible, and we were quickest in the second session. It’s not the way we wanted to continue our fight for the Championship, but we’ll give it another go tomorrow for the pole. I hope all my fans still come out to support me for the rest of the weekend, as anything is possible in Champ Car.

There is quite a bit of racing left in the season, and I think we are going to have a strong fight for the Championship."

Jan Heylen #34 Grafiprint Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (did not participate in qualifying) - "It is very disappointing to have the car damaged on the first lap of the first practice session this morning. We were unfortunately unable to participate in this afternoon’s qualifying session but the weekend is just starting and the guys are working hard to get the car back together for tomorrow’s sessions.

More than ever we are going to be considered the underdog, but I’m confident that the entire Conquest team will pull together to have a great session tomorrow."

 

Dan Clarke #4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (will not participate in this weekend’s race) - "I’m sorry that today’s incident happened, but I fully accept Tony Cotman’s decision. It’s part of the learning process, but I want to apologise to the fans, the other drivers involved, and particularly to my team.

I am determined to take the positives out of this, however, and to focus on doing the best possible job in the remaining four races of this year, as well as build on what I’ve learned this season with Minardi Team USA in 2008. I genuinely hope the other drivers involved in this morning’s incident go on to have a positive weekend here in Zolder."  

 

- Karina Redmond

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25.08.2007 / MaP

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