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

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

Vasser Pict #12 Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda


[qualified second]: "We pulled in [during the final minute] to save the tires for the race or for whatever reason, but I dont know if we had it in us to run a 66.3 [second lap]. I have not tried to change anything all season long. I drive as hard as I can and I give it all I can. In the race tomorrow, perhaps I may be able to be conservative, but its not in my nature."

Moore Pict #99 Forsythe
Reynard Mercedes-Benz


[qualified seventh]: "I am a lot happier than yesterday, considering the time we spent on the track this weekend. I got a couple of clear laps, but at the end of the session, there was some dirt, and some oil on the track. The red flag at the end of the session cost me some time because I was on a very fast lap. During the morning session, I had to switch to the backup car because of a boost problem [same as Friday]. My time was consistent and thats an indication of a good race car. I think our chances are good for tomorrows race."

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


[qualified fourth]: "Thats all shes got! She was maxed out. This is our highest qualifying all year. The car was good and I was able to put a couple of clear laps together on fresh tires. This is as good as we could hope for so you could say qualifying was a success. Now we change our focus to the race. Now we concentrate on making the car consistent on long runs. If its good then, I think we have a shot at winning the race. Weve had a good shot at most of the races but unfortunately weve only finished six of them. Theres really only one good place to pass here and its one of the higher-speed areas. The pit strategy is important. When you pit and how fast your stop is will really count. Youve also got to make your tires last here. Thats something to watch for in the race."

Magnussen Pict #3 Marlboro
Penske Mercedes


[qualified 11th]: "Yesterday, we had some understeer, and we seem to have adjusted that problem today. We improved the car a lot, as a matter of fact, the car has a little bit of oversteer coming out of the slow corners. The car is much better on the medium-speed corners, and on Turn 1, which is very fast. The car is consistent, we can still improve the balance, but Im quite happy with our time. We've improved the car quite a bit since our last test here."

Unser Pict #2 Marlboro
Penske Mercedes


[qualified 15th]: "Were still fighting handling problems, and were looking for more overall grip. Im going to have to be careful tomorrow, since Im starting so far back on the grid. This is a long race and our main goal is to be consistent every lap, stay out of trouble and finish the race. If we can do that, Marlboro Team Penske should be in good shape. All were thinking about right now is gaining some more points for the championship."

Blundell Pict #21 PacWest
Reynard Ford Cosworth


[qualified 13th]: "I think we had another two or three-tenths in us, but my rhythm was blown when we came in for the sticker tires and had to wait 15 minutes on the red flag. Then, when we came out, we had a couple of slower cars to contend with it wasnt their fault its just that I started to put something good together the last couple of minutes, and would be slowed up just enough to kill the lap. But everybody has to deal with that sometimes, and today, that was me."

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


[qualified fifth]: "Im not sure what happened. I just pulled that one [qualifying lap] out of the hat. We didnt make any drastic changes I just think everything came together. Im reasonably happy with the car. It was actually harder to drive today than yesterday but yet we were able to set the fourth fastest time. I really cant explain why. The PPG Cup is so tight right now. Im cautiously optimistic for our chances in the race and PPG Cup. Its too early to say though."

Papis Pict #25 MCI
Arciero Wells
Reynard Toyota


[qualified 19th]: "I am very pleased with the performance we had because every time I jump in the car, we get better and better. My goal today was to go under 69 [seconds]. I did 68.6 and I think we could have gone 68.6 I think for a rookie that is very good. We were just a little unfortunate because of the oil from Johanssons car. We were out with a new set of tires on that lap and looking to improve our time."

de Ferran Pict #8 Pennzoil Special
Reynard Honda
Hall Racing


[qualified 14th]: "We had problems today with the car. We struggled with the balance. It was not our day, but hopefully, we will improve tomorrow."

Herta Pict #28 Shell
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
Team Rahal


[qualified third]: "We certainly tried [for the track record]; we gave it everything we had. Jimmy and Alex did an outstanding job. Those were phenomenal laps. Im real happy. The car feels good. We have a good car for tomorrow and well see what happens."

Johnstone Pict #49 Motorola
Reynard Honda
Brix Comptech Racing


[qualified 16th]: "Weve been fighting problems with the bumps all weekend. Coming out of Thunder Valley the car snapped around, and I went into the tire wall. We damaged the left front suspension and wing, and the rear suspension."

Zanardi Pict #4 Target
Chip Ganassi Racing
Reynard Honda


[qualified on the pole]: "Im very, very happy. On my way in here [to the media tent] I was thinking of my thoughts at the beginning of the season and being a rookie and here I am in front of you for another pole position. I was not expecting all of that in my first season. I am delighted to be put in a situation to prove what I can do. Today was another one of those beautiful days where everything worked wonderful. We made a few changes in the qualifying session and we finally got the car just right. I am very, very confident in our car for tomorrow."

Ribeiro Pict #31 LCI International
Lola Honda
Tasman Motorsports Group


"[qualified 10th]: "We did not improve as much as the others even though we improved our time from yesterday and this morning. Unfortunately the amount was not enough to jump ahead a few positions. The car is balanced. One second is not a big difference but it is very hard to find on the track. For tomorrow we need to concentrate on a good and easy balance where you can drive for 83 laps at a comfortable pace. This track is very hard physically on the equipment."

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


[qualified eighth]: "The run was good. It wasnt as I expected. The car developed a big push that we couldn't get rid of during the session. Although I was able to improve my time, I was not able to improve my position. The car felt better yesterday but we were quicker today. It would have been nice to have started towards the front, but we are not in a bad spot. The times are very competitive and that makes it tough for everybody. Steve [Horne] came on the radio and said one-tenth would put me third. By the time I completed the lap, several drivers had improved their times. I gave it everything I had. I don't think there was any more there."

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


[qualified 17th]: [On the teams quick turbocharger change after this mornings practice] "The guys did a great job. For them to figure out what the problem was and get the turbo changed and backed out in time, that was really good for them. [On qualifying] "On the first set of tires, we were looking really good [a fast time of 68.384 sec]. Then we came into the pits for tires and I was going back out. That was my first lap on the new set of tires. Stefan [Johansson] just blew up. He did a good job of getting it off the track, but the course marshalls carried that car on the hoist through three more apexes of corners. It completely ruined the whole track. We went back out, but my tires were junk [flat-spotted from braking in oil] and the track was slower, so we just came in and called it a day."

Johansson Pict #16 Bettenhaused Racing
Alumax Aluminium
Reynard Mercedes-Benz


[qualified 20th]: [On engine failure during the session] "It certainly didnt give me any warning. The engine just went. In fact, it blew so quickly that it locked the wheels up. I had quite a time getting it stopped. Fortunately, the damage was restricted to the engine and the undertray and its obviously much better to have this happen now, instead of in the race tomorrow. After having such a good weekend in Michigan, we would have liked to have been much higher on the grid, but there isn't anything we can do about that under the circumstances."

Davy Jones Pict #10 Delco Electronics
High Tech Team Galles
Lola Mercedes


[qualified 23rd]: "I'm driving the car as hard as I can, without overdriving it. We've been making progress every session, but we havent been able to hit the right combination. Naturally, we had hoped for better qualifying results, but we've been a little behind all season."

Rahal Pict #18 Miller Racing
Reynard Mercedes-Benz
Team Rahal


[qualified ninth]: "We couldn't get the suspension balance in the car today. The track changed from Friday, and the car didn't react the same. I ran four laps the same as my best time on Friday. But I couldnt get down to where Bryan was running [66.8 sec]. As a car owner, Im pleased with Bryans performance, and I think were both capable of having a good race Sunday. This track is the most physical [for the driver] that we race on all year. So, both the driver and the car have to be strong for the race."

Gugelmin Pict #17 Hollywood
Reynard Ford


[qualified 12th]: "I cant drive consistently on the limit like I want to because of the pinched nerve in my right leg [suffered near the end of the Marlboro 500 two weeks ago]. I dont feel I can be as precise in my driving and it is costing us a few tenths. But theres nothing I can do about it; it just has to run its course. But the car is pretty decent and Im comfortable with it. If I can just get my foot to wake up, well be okay tomorrow."

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


[qualified 24th]: "We missed a couple of opportunities with our tires and stuff, and that hurt us. Other than that, we have a good race car, so Im looking forward to tomorrow. We didnt qualify great, but tomorrow is the race and well just have to see what this Eagle Toyota can do."

Fangio Pict #36 Eagle Mk-V Toyota


[qualified 22nd]: "We were trying to work on the speed and Im very pleased with our lap time [69.934 sec] during the second qualifying session. We tested here in June and we increased our best lap time by 2 seconds, and I think that is a great improvement. Weve been working for speed; now we have to work for consistency tomorrow."

Boesel Pict #1 Brahma Sports Team
Ford Cosworth


[qualified 11th]: "Yesterday, we had some understeer, and we seem to have adjusted that problem today. We improved the car a lot, as a matter of fact, the car has a little bit of oversteer coming out of the slow corners. The car is much better on the medium-speed corners, and on Turn 1, which is very fast. The car is consistent, we can still improve the balance, but Im quite happy with our time. Weve improved the car quite a bit since our last test here."