Champ Car World Series: Molson Indy Toronto
Topics: Molson Indy Toronto
ERIC MAUK: Ladies and Gentlemen, we will go ahead and get started with our post-qualifying press conference for the Molson Indy Toronto, race number six of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. We will be joined by all three of our top qualifiers for tomorrow's event. We are joined by the second and third qualifiers at the moment. We'll start with our third place qualifier, Bruno Junqueira, driver of the #6 PacifiCare Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Newman/Haas Racing. Bruno put up the second fastest lap of the day by turning a lap of 58.842 seconds, 107.732 miles per hour. He will start third tomorrow. Bruno, you took your very last lap around this place to post your best one. How do you feel about the way things went?
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: I think today was a very, very difficult qualify session. I was very much under pressure. Was a lot of traffic. The first set of tires didn't get -- the last lap was clear, but still not at full speed. And at one point, I was eight. I went to the second set, and I said, "Going to be difficult." (Audio interruption.) Things are looking very difficult. I tried to pass, I brushed the wall out of 11, very little, but to have a good exit going to pass him going into turn one. Then I had like a lap left, and I knew that I had to improve my position. At that time I was fifth. I knew that maybe I couldn't go too fast, otherwise if I make a mistake, I would start fifth. Then I put a safe lap that guarantee me the second fastest on the session, but third for the start. I think was okay. I think the PacifiCare car today was good, maybe not good as yesterday. This morning, the track was not that good, and then I was not as confident as I was yesterday. But I think those are the difficulty of qualifying. Manage to be top three again, was good. At one point I said, "I need to be top three, I need to be top three," and the final lap I got it.
ERIC MAUK: Congratulations. Best of luck tomorrow.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: Thank you.
ERIC MAUK: Our second place starter starts on the outside of the front row here, our defending Molson Indy Toronto chapmion, Paul Tracy, driver of the #1 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Forsythe Championship Racing. Paul put up a best lap today of 59.026 seconds, 107.038 miles per hour. Paul, you start on the outside of the front row tomorrow. Tell us about the way you feel about things went today.
PAUL TRACY: Well, I think it was a little bit frustrating. We didn't have the type of car we had yesterday. It was quicker, but we made some changes this morning. The car just really didn't respond as well as we wanted it to. Again, like I said, it was faster, but it was a lot of work to drive it. It wasn't as easy to do the time as it was yesterday. A little bit of a mixed bag of everything, handling, a little bit of oversteer, a little bit of understeer. Obviously, it was a fantastic lap by Sebastien and we weren't close enough to it. But we got the job done on Friday, which puts us on the front row, which is great.
ERIC MAUK: Tell us a little bit about your thought process once a session has started. Six, eight, ten minutes in, a couple guys will go out. The track gets better the more people go out, but at what point do you start thinking, "I need to get out there"? What sets you to get off of pit lane?
PAUL TRACY: Really, we were waiting. Everybody's waiting. But as soon as somebody goes as close to quick as the day before, or faster, I think the first guy to do it was Pat, then we said, "Okay, we're getting in the car." Then Dominguez went quicker, so we knew the track was good. You go out there and you try to do the time. We just didn't have the balance in the car to do the type of time that the three guys did.
ERIC MAUK: Congratulations. Best of luck tomorrow.
PAUL TRACY: Thank you.
ERIC MAUK: Our polesitter for the Molson Indy Toronto, winner of his third pole of the year, the eighth pole of his career, tying him with Jimmy Vasser and Bruno Junqueira for 15th on the modern era all-time pole positions mark, modern era being from 1979 to the present, Sebastien Bourdais, driver of the #2 McDonald's Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Newman/Haas Racing, who put up a best time of 58.558 seconds, 107.893 miles per hour, a time that was faster than the pole time here from one season ago. Sebastien, you knew the track was going to be faster coming in today, but 58.5, did you have any idea you were that quick?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: No, I think everybody got quicker and quicker and quicker. That's why everybody wants to wait really. I think when we tried the first time, the track was at its best pretty much, and I think I've been able to put like three laps in a row very clean and clear and just building at the speed, and that's working pretty well with these tires. You know, I'm just glad that the setup was pretty correct. I really thank the McDonald's team because they did a great job.
ERIC MAUK: When you saw the time on the dash, did you think, "That's it," or did you think somebody might be able to get up and catch that?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: No, you never know. You know, when you're in the car, I did like 58.7, then 58.5. I did a small mistake in that lap, so I think maybe somebody is going to catch me on the second set of tires. But you never know. You just try as hard as you can. If it's good enough, then, you know, I guess it's good.
ERIC MAUK: Congratulations. Best of luck tomorrow. We'll take questions now from the media.
Q. Paul, you're going to be starting from the outside in the first row. What advantage or disadvantage does that present with Sebastien on the pole?
PAUL TRACY: Obviously, he's going to be the guy that's going to set the pace into the first corner. You know, all the action really is going to be on the back straightaway. It's sometimes very difficult in the front straightaway. But, you know, the bottom line, we need to get to the end of the race to be able to be in position to win the race. So should be a good start, but I wouldn't say anything too crazy.
Q. Bruno and Sebastien, your cars are particularly good in turn one under braking, is that true? Any particular place on the track where the cars are good? You say the balance and grip is particularly good.
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I think to be 1 and 3, 1 and 2 on the session, you've got good cars. So it is good everywhere. It might be the best place of the car is turn one, yeah.
BRUNO JUNQUEIRA: I don't know. I think yesterday my car was really good throughout the whole track. Turn one was good. This morning wasn't. I lost a little bit confidence, especially turn one. And on qualify the last lap, last two laps that I got clear, I build up some speed there. But I guess, I mean, I think the car was -- to be top three, you need to be good overall. I think most important tomorrow for the race is will be a car that is good after 20 laps on the tires, not fast in one lap, doesn't mean much.
Q. Paul, could you comment how important the 'push to pass' button will be at the start of tomorrow's race?
PAUL TRACY: Well, I think it's always important. It's maybe not so effective here at the initial start. But on the back straightaway, it's got a very long straightaway. But, you know, it's difficult. It sometimes can be quite difficult to pass here on the Lakeshore because it's pretty narrow. If you stay in the middle of the road, you know, you kind of block the road for the guys behind. I mean, it's no Cleveland here. For sure the 'push to pass' is a very effective tool if you're close enough to a guy. But there's really only one line down into turn three.
Q. Sebastien, before you came in, Bruno was saying today the track was really tough, traffic was a problem. Would you echo that after running today the fastest time?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Well, as I said, I think my first run was really good. We were in a good window. There were not so many cars on the road. But the second one, I just couldn't put a lap together, you know. Ryan was catching I think a bit Oriol Servia, then he was backing off, then I was backing off because I was too close. You know here, if you're not in clear air, there's no way you're going to improve your lap. The second run was just a disaster. Basically when you have 15 cars on the racetrack, you can't expect anything different.
Q. Paul, was traffic an issue for you, too, for the end of the session? Were you maybe gambling trying to put together a faster lap?
PAUL TRACY: Yeah, I had -- not really, no. My car, we didn't get the balance right. The car didn't pick up the way we wanted it to. I had two pretty good shots at it, and that's pretty much all we had.
ERIC MAUK: That will wrap-up our qualifying press conference. We go racing tomorrow here starting at 1:30. Thank you very much.
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