Zolder - Belgium Champ Car Grand Prix - Saturday Qualifying quotes

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

PHOTOS SLIDESHOWS here...more to follow american-series--86.html


Sebastien Bourdais #1 McDonalds Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 1st) – "It was a little harder than I thought. The 15 minute practice went really well with the standard tires. I thought when we put the red tires on it was going to be easier and the lap time would come really fast but we got a little bit of traffic and I made a couple of mistakes and didn't hit the tires when they were at their best.

Then it got a little harder to get the lap time. I am just glad that it was sufficient today but it was a little stressful until the very end. I was on the limit. The sweet spot on the red tires was on lap two or three and I was stuck in traffic at that stage.

Then when I started to push it was past the window – probably cost me a couple of 10ths but the McDonald’s car is very consistent."


Will Power #5 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 2nd) – "That is exactly how we thought it would play out today so we used the red tires yesterday to try and guarantee a front row start. We decided to not use them today to save a set for the race.

I think the time we did on blacks was only 3/10ths off so I think we are in pretty good shape for the race. We are thinking of tomorrow – we need to win a race and everything has played out exactly as I wanted, no problem.


Robert Doornbos #14 Team Minardi USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 3rd )- "Yesterday I was confident we would have a quick car. The car was fast in both sessions – third in the first session and fastest in the second. I was just waiting for qualifying but then we had an unfortunate engine blow up. You just have to stay professional and focus on the next day.

Today went really well. It is an amazing circuit to drive with Champ Cars, it’s really fast – turn one and two in particular we have been going faster and faster. I'm feeling really comfortable around the circuit. In the afternoon I tried the red tires in qualifying for the first time and felt the car was really quick.

 I produced a good lap time – good enough for second today – unfortunately because of Will's time yesterday we have to start third. I hope I have a better finish than the last race when I started third. I want to thank the team and all the fans for coming out – I am really looking forward to a good race."


Bruno Junqueira #19 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 4th) – "It was a little difficult qualifying on the reds today. On my second lap the red flag came out which hurt my time. On my last run the tires weren’t up to temperature and that hurt me as well.

I turned in one great lap today and it was good enough for me to get a P4 for tomorrow’s race. This is the best starting position we have had all year and I hope to make the most of it in the race tomorrow.

 I really like this track and I think that we have a great chance for a top three finish in the race."


Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 5th) – "The #9 CDW car in qualifying was pretty good. I was up a few tenths on my last lap, and I lost a little bit in the second chicane, a little in the third, so it was quite frustrating.

 I felt that we should have been a little bit quicker and a bit higher up on the grid. Overall, I am pleased with the progress, especially considering the late start yesterday. Hopefully the race is going to be good.

Hopefully we can stay out of trouble, have some good pit stops, and see if we can make the car a little bit quicker yet. It is definitely a tight track, so we need to be a little bit quicker and good on fuel mileage and go from there."


Alex Tagliani #8 Rocketsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 6th) – "I am happy; it was a good team effort today. The #8 crew did a very good job. We had a really good car today. On the first set of tires, we were second, and I am very happy about that. Then on the second set, the car continued to be good, but we might have overshot on the tire pressures.

The temperature rose, and the sun came out, and I do not think that we compensated enough for those conditions towards the end of the session. Overall, I think the #8 Rocketsports car is good for the race.

The top six cars are really close to each other, so I think that we are going to have an amazing race with the car that we have. We just have to get a good strategy and we should be alright."


Paul Tracy #3 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 7th) – "That was a frustrating session. We made a really good call going out early for the first stint and we had clear track and managed to put in a quick lap. During that lap I lost some time in a couple of spots so I knew that we could still go a few tenths quicker on our second stint.

We went out with a few minutes with traffic all around us, (Tristan) Gommendy was in front of me and I kept catching him every time I tried to go fast and just couldn’t put a lap together. Our car is good, we are close, we still need to do some work but it’s nice to know that we are in the ballpark."


Simon Pagenaud #15 Aussie Vineyards Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 8th) – "We had a great Aussie Vineyards car and it had a pretty good balance. I don’t really know why we couldn’t make the lap time.

I was held up by Katherine (Legge) in the last lap, so that didn’t help, because that was my fastest lap. I think that would have put us on the first two rows, which is quite a shame, but that’s how it is and we’ll try to have good record during the race tomorrow."


Neel Jani #21 Red Bull-Gulfstream Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 9th) – "The Red Bull Gulfstream PKV Racing team had a good pre-qualifying session on old tires. On the first set of Bridgestone red (alternate) tires we ran decent times.

We just felt we needed to make a little improvement to the front of the car and we could get to 73.3 or 73.2. But, then on the second set of tires we developed some understeer, which in the end prevented us from getting the lap time we needed.

The good thing is that we were good on old tires in pre-qualifying, so I think I have a good race car."


Oriol Servia #7 Indeck Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 10th) – "It was quite disappointing today. I’m a little confused because we didn’t have a bad car, actually I’m pretty happy with my car.

We just couldn’t put a lap together. I had a couple of laps that could’ve put us on the top five but just couldn’t finish them. We just need to improve for tomorrow and look for a good result."


Jan Heylen #34 Grafiprint Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 11th) - "I don’t think we were able to get enough laps in today but the team did what we could. With the day we had yesterday, we have to be happy with the eleventh position we’ll be starting in for tomorrow’s race. We are not too far off the pace but I am definitely a little disappointed.

 I was hoping to do a little better here in Belgium coming here from Road America but I think we couldn’t expect a lot more than this after yesterday’s incident. The practice session this morning went pretty well.

We just didn’t improve enough to make a difference in the final qualifying session. The guys worked very hard on the car last night and they know what they are doing so this morning when I got in the car I knew it was going to be ready for today’s sessions."


Mario Dominguez #4 Minardi Team USA Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 12th) - "I’m very happy to have the opportunity to drive for Minardi Team USA. I’m new to the team but there are a lot of old faces, so it’s a bit like coming back home.

I’ve suffered a little bit from not running yesterday, but the more laps I do, the better I get. I think I have a strong racecar to get to the front tomorrow and I will do my best to get the result that the team deserves. It’s been a busy weekend driving the two-seater and the Champ Car, but I’m enjoying it to the max."


Graham Rahal #2 Medi | Zone Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 13th) – "We went out on black Bridgestones and it immediately went red. Then on the second run we went out on the alternate tires and I was up four to five tenths of a second from my best pre-qualifying time which would have been a 13.0 or 13.1 but I lost it coming out of Turn 10.

There was stuff going on in front of me with Sebastien trying to get around Ryan (Dalziel). It didn’t cause me to go off but I tried to brake later to gain some time and locked up the rear wheels and went off. I had to drive through the escape road.

I lost the momentum and on the next, and final lap, I wasn’t able to repeat it. The track is very narrow so it’s going to be tough to pass in the race but the Medi | Zone team will give me good pit stops and we can work our way to the front. We have a good car for the race."


Katherine Legge #11 Dale Coyne Racing Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 14th) – "The team did a terrific job getting the car ready for qualifying today. I'm very appreciative of all their hard work they have done this weekend. We had a great car today, but we just didn’t get the chance to show it. I just couldn’t get it together to run a good lap because of the traffic on the track and the red flags. I like our chances in the race tomorrow."


Tristan Gommendy #22 Pay by Touch / MegaSpirea Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 15th) – "It was a disappointing qualification for the Pay By Touch MegaSpirea PKV Racing team. I am not sure what the problem is, but we will go over the data and I am sure we can improve the car for the race tomorrow."


Ryan Dalziel #28 Pacific Coast Motorsports Cosworth/DP01/ Bridgestone (Qualified 16th) – "Today’s sessions didn’t go so well, we had a carload of problems and never got a decent run. We had a headrest fall off then a bolt come loose on my sticker run.

On the development side of things, we made great gains today in developing the car and I think we are sneaking in around a 10th or 11th place car, so I am hoping for a better session tomorrow. The only problem here is we have to pay to go to the bathroom and its getting expensive!"


Alex Figge #29 Pacific Coast Motorsports Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone (Qualified 17th) - "Obviously the weekend is not going the way we had hoped, I lost my fast laps both days for causing a red. We had a gearbox issue today, so it hasn’t been very lucky for us so far. Hopefully some good luck will kick in tomorrow and we can get a solid result here in Belgium" 


- Karina Redmond-

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25.08.2007 / MaP

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