Mid Ohio 1996 PPG Indy Car World Series

Race No. 13

Miller Genuine Draft 200
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Lexington, Ohio
August 9-11, 1996

Friday Quotes from drivers and managers at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course:
Index of Quotes available

Vasser Pict #12 Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda


"We had a good test here; we learned what the car likes. This is the first time in my career Ive been in a situation where we are doing a lot of testing. Today was okay; the car is working well. Obviously, the pole is important; it's a [championship] point. But its not as important as the large clumps of points up for grabs in the race. So, were going to be working to get that [pole] point tomorrow, but not at the cost of preparing for the race."

Moore Pict #99 Forsythe
Reynard Mercedes-Benz


"We had boost problems all day long. I am quite disappointed, but we still have another session tomorrow. During the qualifying session, the car got loose and I spun. I hit the tire wall and we bent the suspension and the right front wing. This is a nice track to race on. We did well a couple of weeks ago during testing. I know we can find some speed. We will do better tomorrow."

Papis Pict #25 MCI
Arciero Wells
Reynard Toyota


[On filling the seat of the late Jeff Krosnoff] "IndyCar is something that I've always wanted to do, together with Formula One. But, the way I came into IndyCar is not the way I wanted. When I had to make a decision, I put myself in Jeff's shoes and I thought if that would happen to me what I would do. I would want the team to continue with even more anger. Thats why I am here. You just have to do what your heart tells you to do."

[On the input Papis received from Alex Zanardi before his rookie test] "First, he told me to be careful; to switch on my brain and be careful because it is a heavy car. Then, when I started out, I thought 'WOW! This is really fast.' After that, Alex told me to keep your right foot down. And actually, I did that, and I kept on doing better and better."

[On his relationship with fellow Italian Zanardi] "Alex and me, we are almost like brothers. We have known each other for over 10 years. I am very happy that he is so popular in the United States now. He works very hard and he deserves it."

Andretti Pict #6 Kmart/Texaco/Havoline
Lola Ford Cosworth XD


"You're never pleased unless youre the quickest but qualifying went okay. I was on a fast lap that, at the time, would have put me second quickest when the red for Moore came out. Theres always the one that got away. The car is good but there's room for improvement. It's always encouraging when the engineers still have something up their sleeve. There were a lot of red flags during this session. A lot of guys went off. These Indy cars are like wild bucking broncos sometimes."

Unser Pict #2 Marlboro
Penske Mercedes


"We had a better balance in qualifying than we did this morning in practice, but were still way off. The Marlboro car was really loose this morning and the cars understeering, so obviously we need to do a lot of work before race day. The most important thing for us is to win the war for the championship. At the end of the day, it's not how many races you've won, it's who's going to wear the #1 on the car next year. Obviously, we'd like to win a race, but Marlboro Team Penske is not going to jeopardize the PPG Cup for trying to fight for a win."

C. Fittipaldi Pict #11 Kmart/Budweiser
Lola Ford
Newman/Haas Racing


"The car is very good but for some reason the engine cut out in turn seven. It only happened once, but unfortunately it was during my last shot at a fast lap. It was very frustrating. I set my fastest qualifying lap on my first hot lap my last time out. There were so many red flags that it was hard to put a couple of good laps together."

"Its good to have [Jan] Magnussen here. I think hell do a good job. I think its also a good thing for the series."

de Ferran Pict #8 Pennzoil Special
Reynard Honda
Hall Racing


"We tried something different with the car and it was a little more stable than this morning. I was out on a very good lap when the red flag came out, so I lost the edge on the tires and that was it. Maybe we could have done a high 67 [-second time], which would have put us a couple of positions further up the grid. We should improve our times tomorrow."

Herta Pict #28 Shell
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
Team Rahal


"We had a few problems with the Shell car this morning in practice, and we had to go to the backup car. Were using a different tire from Goodyear this weekend. Its not the same tire as when we tested here a few weeks ago. So, were getting adjusted to the new compound. We were sliding the rear end of the car a little too much today. But Bobby [Rahal, Hertas teammate and owner] tried some new settings, that I think well use on Saturday. This track is so tough on the driver from a physical standpoint that I want to get a comfortable car, too."

Johnstone Pict #49 Motorola
Reynard Honda
Brix Comptech Racing


"The car is not working very well in the bumps, the car pogos too much. I just cant put the power down. Were heading in the right direction, and know where we need to go. Now, we just have to figure out how to get there."

Zanardi Pict #4 Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda


"This is a good track; I like the circuit very much. Its nice to be running on a proper circuit again. Everything is O.K., just a [low] fuel alarm right at the end, nothing to worry about. Now that I know the circuit [after testing here last month], I can make better suggestions on how to change the car for qualifying and the race."

Ribeiro Pict #31 LCI International
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group


"Our lap times were good; we went a lot better this afternoon. Tomorrow, we hope to do even better, because the track should be even faster. This track is very demanding. There are a lot of corners, and if you gain even a little bit in each corner, it can quickly become a second per lap. You must concentrate 110 percent all the time."

Fernandez Pict #32 Tecate Beer/Quaker State
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group


"The run was very successful compared to what we had this morning. The car is much better and I felt more confident. I had a little trouble with traffic on my fast laps, so I am very optimistic for tomorrow. I went off in Turn Ten. I was trying hard for a good lap and I just lost it. There was a little damage to the front and rear wing but the suspension looks fine."

Gordon Pict #5 Valvoline/Cummins/Craftsman Special
Reynard Ford


"We did our quick lap and then came in and did a camber change. I went through Turn One on my next lap and I had some understeer so I put more rear bar into it, which makes it stiffer. I went up to the top and spun because of the stiffer rear bar. It was my choice to put more rear bar in it because I was the one to move the lever. I guess I probably went a couple of notches too many. The penalty [eight minutes in the pits for the red flag] definitely hurt us. I figure we should have been in the 68's. Well work at it and see if we can get it for tomorrow. We gained about 1.5 seconds between practice and qualifying. If we can do that again overnight, well be in good shape."

PJ Pict #98 Eagle Mk-V Toyota
photo Mike Levitt


"We ran all right in qualifying. We had a couple of problems, the motor quit once and the we drove off one time because we bottomed really hard and it upset the car. Hopefully our changes tonight will make the Eagle Toyota a little better tomorrow."

Fangio Pict #36 Eagle Mk-V Toyota


"It was a good day. We improved the car, but we need to keep working as usual. The latest version of the Toyota engine definitely has a little bit more power. From the test we had here earlier this year, weve already gained more than a second and a half. That is not bad."

Boesel Pict #1 Brahma Sports Team
Ford Cosworth


"We couldnt improve from our morning practice time. I think the track was a bit slower in our qualifying session. We were the fastest in the second session, but my car wasnt as good as it was this morning."