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Champ Car World Series: Lexmark Indy 300

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Lexmark Indy 300

Champ Car World Series: Lexmark Indy 300

Sebastien Bourdais
Will Power
Oriol Servia
Justin Wilson
October 19, 2007


SURFERS PARADISE, QUEENSLAND

THE MODERATOR: Sebastien, a couple quick questions. Explain to us what happened out there. How are you feeling physically?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: I'm feeling good, no problems. Just seems like it's my corner over there. Crashed three times already in five years. Kind of getting used to it. Actually the less amount of walking you can make when you crash a car, so it's not that bad.
No, seriously, I feel bad for the guys. The McDonald's car was pretty good. It's just unfortunate. Pretty hard in the chicane. Just got the tire on the left side and it grabbed the whole suspension and that was that.
We'll give it another try. At least Justin didn't get the pole point. You know, congrats to Oriol. Give it another shot tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Sebastien.

Q. (No microphone.)
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: No, obviously it's better if you don't crash a car. But I don't quite know yet whether the tub is damaged or not. We'll see what happens. It's always the same situation where you've got to push and we're giving it a real try out there. I would really like to start on pole, but there are quite a few guys that are trying to. If you don't try, you're not going to start there. It's a step back, for sure, but it's not in final qualifying, so it's not too damageable.

Q. Sebastien, what is it about that corner that makes it so difficult?
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS: Last year it was a little bit of a different accident. Obviously I clipped the tire mat on the right side at the apex. That sent the car airborne, ripped up the whole left side when I landed.
This year it's a little bit as usual. The tire bundle kind of sticks out onto the racetrack. It's not aligned with the wall. You kind of aim at something on the racetrack, and for the most part that wall you're looking at, and I kind of forget about being clear of these tires. Usually you just kind of slide on it. This time it just happened to grab the whole suspension. It's a little bit of a stupid game sometimes. Doesn't take much one way or the other.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Sebastien, for coming in.
First, why don't we have Justin tell us a little bit, you ran fastest in practice today. Obviously you feel good out there. How did you feel this afternoon?
JUSTIN WILSON: Yeah, you know, this morning went very well. The #9 CDW car was working good. I was feeling very comfortable. The session right before qualifying, we went out and did a time that came pretty easily, so I was very confident. When it came down to the real deal in qualifying, I just wasn't feeling quite as good. Couldn't get into a rhythm.
It's the same routine. You just need to get a good clean run on the first one and you'll feel much better. That didn't happen. And then the second one, it was crazy for everyone. You know, disappointed we didn't get pole, but pleased with the performance so far today. We've got chances to do it again tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Obviously last year was disappointing to not compete with the wrist injury. You obviously are psyched about participating, being there the next couple days.
JUSTIN WILSON: Yeah, it's a lot better to be racing. We did that warmup session before qualifying like we did last year. Just made sure that we didn't hit the tires or the wall, kept all my limbs in one piece, give ourselves a chance for the rest of the weekend. It felt pretty good.
Even though we didn't get qualifying today, just to be quick in both practice sessions, I think we're in a good position for the weekend.
THE MODERATOR: Will, great run today. You obviously must have felt you had it. Tell us a little bit about how it went there at the end. Did you think you had it?
WILL POWER: Yeah, unfortunately we were in a pretty bad pit position so we had a lot of cars in front. We decided to wait. My last lap, I still got traffic. I was surprised that Oriol was able to get a time-out there.
Yeah, we had the car speed. We were plenty quick enough. We just had a mixed session. The first run, it was a reasonable lap time. Obviously on my last lap of that run, I was a 10th up. So, yeah, nothing we can do about it. We'll come back tomorrow and have a shot at pole.
THE MODERATOR: When you're racing around that course, do you see all the green and yellow in the stands or are you too focused on what is right in front of you?
WILL POWER: Pretty focused, mate. Fast chicanes, you don't really want to look up. I think that's what Sebastien was doing, wasn't it? He must have been looking up (laughter).
No, yeah, you see it on your out laps, but you're pretty focused when you're getting stuck into it.
THE MODERATOR: And our provisional pole holder, Mr. Oriol Servia from Spain. Obviously one of the most popular drivers in the Champ Car World Series. Great to have you here. Tell us about what happened on that so-called flyer.
ORIOL SERVIA: Yeah, it was a one-lap shootout at the end. Couldn't have more drama. A lot of things to write about. Could make your job easier. Me changing teams, more drama. Coming here and having pole, starting to look like NASCAR (laughter).
It was great. It was a great effort from the team. Although I just changed teams, it's the same crew I worked with last year, same engineer. It kind of started quite easy. The car was quite good in the morning practice also, just behind Justin. We knew we had a good car. In qualifying it's all about putting a good lap together. It was becoming very hard.
The first set of tires, I didn't do one lap. It was looking like we're not going to be able to do it in the second either. It was just one of those times that you have one lap and you have to do it. It was just good enough to get pole from Will. I'm very happy for the team and myself.
Obviously we have to do it Sunday. But when it counts, I learned that in '05. I'm just very happy how things are going.
THE MODERATOR: Is there something about the team, about Champ Car generally, that made it possible for you to transition and then obviously drive so quickly with a brand-new team, engineer, manager? What would you chalk that up to, besides your great experience and skill?
ORIOL SERVIA: Exactly. Well, I mean, the truth is, you know, I mean, as I said, we worked together last year. We did the first test of the season together at Sebring. We were fastest also. We kind of knew that this combination, the Panoz, PKV and myself, was working. But to be fair to Forsythe, every street race this year, I've been actually fighting for the win, too. So we've been competitive with their car, too, in street races.
I don't know. I think I've always liked this track also. So that helps. As I said, with the drama and all, it's just one of those situations that you just had to put a lap together and we were able to do it.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks. We'll open it up to questions from the media.

Q. Will, obvious question first. What is your reaction to Champ Car's decision to dismiss the appeal of the 'push to pass'? Secondly, can you win this race without the full compliment of 'push to pass'?
WILL POWER: Yeah, it's a penalty that not only I got. It's the way it is. Nothing I can do about it. And, yes, you can win the race without 'push to pass'. I guess it's a little bit tougher, you've only got 50% of what most of the other guys have got, but that's what we've got to run with, so we're going to deal with it.

Q. On the same subject, Will, is there a strategy that you can use now that you haven't got that 'push to pass'? Is there some tactic that comes into play?
WILL POWER: We'll just have to be conservative with it. I mean, the best thing that could happen would be to start on the front row and be able to pull a gap so you don't have to defend and use it.
But whatever the situation is, we're going to have to be conservative, save as much as we can for the end of the race and just deal with it.

Q. For all three drivers. In terms of the tires, how many laps does it take for qualifying to get the heat in the tires? Was it hard to go out with just that one lap at the end?
ORIOL SERVIA: I think they are coming quite quickly with these hot temperatures. It's no big deal. And also in my case I had already done a couple of laps on them, so they were already warm. So it wasn't a big deal.
JUSTIN WILSON: I'm taking a little bit longer to get up to speed. I don't know what we're doing different. But we're struggling to get up there very quickly. If we can do a long run, six, seven, eight laps, the car feels good. But the first four, maybe five, I'm struggling.
You know, I'm hoping tomorrow's going to be a little bit warmer, little bit more grip. I think it will work out for us a little bit better.
WILL POWER: Yeah, mine came on reasonably quick. I didn't really get a good run on the reds at the end. I think it was tough to get the temperature in my tires. I had to back way off because we had so many cars in front. But it did -- when I started that lap, it did feel quite nice.

Q. Will, when you spun on that last lap, was that a hot lap? Chance for pole with that lap?
WILL POWER: Yeah, that's what I was talking about. On that run, I was already up a 10th at that point. Just, yeah, pushed the limit a little bit too hard. Yeah, didn't get to complete that lap. But that was going to be, you know, knife on the neck.

Q. Given that answer, Will, you'll be confident about having a little bit more in reserve for tomorrow's qualifying session?
WILL POWER: Yeah, I'm sure there's more time in the car definitely.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.



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