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Circuit Paul Ricard. 02 June 2020
September 18, 2004
Ryan McConkey (MMC Racing) was clearly happy at achieving his first "real" Pole position, Nazario Nuti (JTM) made the Italian crowd go wild with his 2nd place grid slot at his home Grand Prix, and Steve Elencevski (FinOz) is in 3rd place as he prepares for a make or break race in his chase of championship leader Jakonen.

Pole Position - Ryan McConkey (MMC Racing - BMW)

Ryan, 2 pole positions in two races. And your team-mate in 4th. This circuit seem to suit your engine and tyres in particular. Do you see this as a turning point for MMC?

Hey Andy. This is a great result for the team. I think it's like the best team qual since Australia! Been a long time either way. The circuit suits the car obviously because we have the mighty BMW. As for a turning point, I just see it as a sign to what we should have been doing this entire season. We've had trouble with strategy, setups, and just bad luck during the races. Hopefully, we can finish the season on a high note.

Your lap looked very calm, a couple of lock ups producing tyre smoke, but nothing that lost you too much time. Talk us through your lap.

You're right about the lock ups, I was trying pretty hard out there. First sector for me is always fast for some reason. I didn't really have any problems 'till the Lesmos corners, where I could have had some more exit speed out of Lesmos 2. I think the final sector was where I lost most of my time to Nuti. Going through Ascari I was cautious through there, but I could have been carrying more speed. And then Parabolica, I've been having some trouble getting that perfect and on that lap, I didn't do it quite so perfect. I think I lost a tenth at least there. It was a good lap, not as fast as one I did in the free practise session on Friday, but I'm still pleased!

Rumours have indicated that BMW aren?t too pleased at your race results of late, although your Qualifying performances seem to have pleased them. Do you believe you can sway the BMW management to stick with MMC Racing for another year?

Well, you're right about that. I'm going to try my hardest to keep them onboard with us. I think BMW have to take into account that we're a new team, and this is our first full season, so we don't have alot of data when it comes to race setups, fuel strategies, and just all around racing experience. I think the qualifying perfomances show what we could do in the races. Improvements in the racing department are a must, obviously, and we will work hard on this next season to get better results. I truly hope BMW can stay onboard with us for another season.

You said at Belgium you wanted an outright pole, and here you have one. How do you feel?

That's right, the pole at Beligum was just lucky. Here at Monza it's a better feeling getting this pole. It's weird that it happened right after my first pole. These are my first 2 pole positions and I'll remember them forever. The remaining circuits left in this season are great, and one of them is my favorite. I'll be trying hard in the remaining races to maybe get another pole to my name.

2nd - Nazario Nuti (JTM - Ferrari (w))

In Italy, your home country, with a works Ferrari engine behind you. You so nearly achieved Pole and sent the crowd wild anyway. How does it feel being at the sharp end of the grid at your home GP?

It feels great. I feel at home here so it makes my life easier and the atmosphere is just incredible! I would like to thank the tifosi here with their magical banners at the Roggia and the Ascari. They made me push harder.

How do you see your race going? Can you carry through a similar pace?

I hope so, car feels great. We are slightly down on power but I will push like hell.

We hear you injured your foot 2 or 3 weeks ago. Did Qualifying cause any ill effects?

Yes it was bad, I couldnt drive at all as my right foot was very big. Now I am better and I dont have any effects from the injury so I guess this is bad news for everyone!

Would you like to say something in Italian for your 'tifosi'?

Ringrazio tutti per il supporto. Mi dispiace non aver colto la pole, seppur per millesimi. Siete tutti fantastici, gli strisconi alla Roggia e alla parabolica sono bellissimi, grazie - spero di trovarmi qui anche a fine gara!!!!

OK, thanks Naz - a definitely fired up driver there!

3rd - Steve Elencevski (FinOz - Ferrari (c))

We meet again at another session Press Conference! You must be pleased with your performance here?

Yes quite happy with my lap & grid position. I didn't think we would match the Honda's & BMW's in terms of power, but we have great traction of out corners & the car feels quite stable under braking, so that's where we look strong. I'm expecting a very close fight near the front, it should be interesting.

This race could be make or break for your Drivers Championship challenge. With Scott Whiteman unable to race here at Monza, do you think this could damage your Drivers Championship challenge against Jakonen? Or are there other drivers out there who could take away points from Mikko IF you were to win?

A very important race of course & we obviously want to finish ahead Mikko. There are some guys out there who could have a strong race, so my aim is to win & have a few other driver's finish in between & i know Mikko is hoping for the complete opposite of that!

Your team-mate Koski had a new chassis built for this event, yet he?s still qualified a lowly 14th. Can Kari help you out in this race from that low down the grid?

Kari didn't get much set-up time with the new chassis, therefore lost valuable track time. We'll have to wait & see how the race goes in regards to strategy as i'm sure there are driver's ahead of him on the grid that are running much lighter & with the prediction of a wet track i think Kari should do very well, i know he relishes these types of conditions.

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