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Milwaukee Driver Interviews

Milwaukee, WI, June 5, 2004 ó Julie Andre scoured the Milwaukee pit lane and paddock looking for drivers to answer her questions on nighttime qualifying, only one oval on the schedule, and the constantly changing qualifying rules.

JULIE: Do you enjoy qualifying at night? What are some of the challenges?

TAGLIANI: I like qualifying at night. Yeah, it was much better weather than last year, so I am sure the fans enjoyed it! I think it is pretty cool watching the bright cars go out in the dark creating more of a speed effect.

VASSER: When it is this beautiful, yeah. The track is lit up really well.

ALLMENDINGER: Everything is different for me. I have never been under the lights, but I think it is great for the fans. But everything is an adjustment for me, the lights and the cars. We are learning slowly.

Patrick Carpentier Interview Photo CARPENTIER: Yes! The track is actually lit up well. I didnít even think it was night time, I couldnít see the difference. They have done a really good job on that.

WILSON: It focuses you quite well. All you see is the track. It is good fun! As the air cools down it is slightly better for us.

PHILIPPE: Well, there is a bit of difference especially on the downforce because at night the air is cooler and denser so it affects the downforce. As far as from the driverís aspect, there is not that much of a difference. You just need to be careful with the downforce because it can be a little tricky. It is fun to race at night. From the inside of the car it looks like a video game.

SPERAFICO: It is just different not more difficult because the temperature goes down a lot and the lights are a little bit different than the daylight. But it is fun.

GONZALEZ: I think it is great, the conditions are perfect. The cooler air is better for the dynamics of the car. It is just a little bit difficult for me because this is the first time I have done oval qualifying.

JULIE: What do you think of there being only one oval race on the schedule this year? Would you like to see more next year?

TAGLIANI: I will take whatever they think we should have. They are trying to create the best championship possible. I donít think people should expect to see a big turn around so quickly. Maybe another year and this series will be in great demand.

Quote Image VASSER: Yeah, I think the series needs more ovals. Just one is not enough. I think the proper calendar is what we had in the mid-90s.

ALLEMDINGER: For me personally, no. I like the road and street courses.

CARPENTIER: For me I would like to see more ovals. I would not like to see the road course go away but if we could have a good mix that would be good. Champ car has always had a mix of ovals, street courses, and road courses. That has been their claim to fame and they shouldnít change it.

JOURDAIN: Yeah, I think a couple more ovals would be good for sure.

WILSON: It would be nice if there were a couple more ovals. Obviously, that wouldnít suit me initially because we are still getting used to the ovals. We are still learning how to set the car up. I have no experience and donít know exactly what to ask for when setting up the car.

PHILIPPE: To be honest with you, I am not very big on these ovals, so it is no big deal to me. Maybe in the future we will do more. We will see.

SPERAFICO: No, for me I like the road courses and the street circuits. For me it is OK if there is only one oval on the schedule. Itís fine.

Roberto Gonzalez Interview Photo GONZALEZ: Yes, I think a super speedway would be good. I havenít been on one of those. I would really like to try racing on one of those.

JULIE: Champ car instituted new qualifying rules for Monterrey. What did you think of the changes? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?

VASSER: I applaud Champ car for trying to make it more exciting for the fans and everybody has to realize that that is what it is all about. It didnít work out, so the smart thing is to go back and tweak it a bit. Qualifying was perfect the second day at Monterrey.

ALLMENDINGER: I think it shows that Champ car is doing everything it can to make a better show. They learned that OK, that effort wasnít the right direction for the fans, but it shows that Champcar is trying to improve and they are trying to do everything they can for the fans. The important thing is that the fans go home happy and then they will come back next year. We are down at the bottom right now, and it is going to be a long hard road to the top, but they are trying to make it happen.

CARPENTIER: Saturday was a great qualifying session at Monterrey. They shortened the qualifying time, so you donít spend a lot of time sitting in the pits, and we still have our ten minutes before, it made for a great qualifying session.

JOURDAIN: The qualifying on Saturday at Monterrey was good where they had a little bit longer of a warm up. So, I think that is the way to go.

WILSON: It doesnít make much difference for me as the other guys. I was learning the rules as we were going along. To have a second weekend where the rules are different didnít matter.

PHILIPPE: Well, I am not one to complain. We all get the same thing so whatever the format is it is the same for everyone. So, whether you are first or last, it is the same.

Copyright © 2004 by Julie Andre and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

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