Las Vegas: Conquest Racing preview

Conquest Racing Atlantic Team Looks to Continue First Year Success as 2007 Season Gets Underway in Vegas Indianapolis, Indiana, April 5, 2007 -- It has been a long but busy off-season for the Conquest Racing Atlantic Team and after many days...

Conquest Racing Atlantic Team Looks to Continue First Year Success as 2007 Season Gets Underway in Vegas

Indianapolis, Indiana, April 5, 2007 -- It has been a long but busy off-season for the Conquest Racing Atlantic Team and after many days of testing, the team is excited about going back racing. Once again this season the team will be counting on a couple of talented rookies as American Matt Lee and Italian Giacomo Ricci will both be making their debuts in the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda this weekend at the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix Atlantic race.

Round one of the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic season takes place on the 2.44-mile temporary street course in downtown Las Vegas where a field of at least 30 Atlantic cars is expected on the starting grid. In the #44 Conquest Mazda-Cosworth/Swift/Cooper car will be 17 year-old Matt Lee who has been looking forward to this moment for a long time.

"Finally! We can go racing this weekend," exclaimed an enthusiastic Lee when asked about the upcoming race. "I think racing in Las Vegas will be great and it is a perfect place to start the season. The first race will definitely be a learning experience for me. Testing also serves as a leaning experience but a race weekend is where you soak in most of that experience. I just can't wait to get started."

Ricci, who had a championship winning season in F3000 last year, shares his teammate's view and like Lee, he can't wait to get back into the cockpit of his #18 Mazda-Cosworth/Swift/Cooper Atlantic car.

"I am very happy to go racing this weekend. I can't wait to get in the car again. It has been too long since my last race," said Ricci with his Italian accent. "I learned a lot at the tests but this is where it counts. I know that there is still a lot to learn but there is no better place than in the middle of the action. I think I have gelled well with the team in the short time I have been here and I am ready to go out there and race."

The drivers are not the only ones anxious to get back on track. Conquest Racing owner Eric Bachelart is proud of what he has seen of his drivers in the open tests and expects great things from them this season.

"It's a whole new season starting this weekend but we once again have the chance to work with two young, up and coming talented drivers in Matt and Giacomo. They both performed well in the pre-season tests and they showed that they have a lot of potential," expressed Bachelart. "The Atlantic field is once again highly competitive but I'm confident that Matt and Giacomo can be amongst those that will stand out."

The Atlantic Series action gets underway at 8:00 a.m. PDT Friday with the first practice session and will be followed by the first round of qualifying at 12:45 p.m. PDT. Saturday the Atlantic cars will return to the track at 8:00 a.m. for practice and 12:30 p.m. PDT for the final round of qualifying. The first of 12 races on the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic schedule starts at 4:00 p.m. PDT Sunday, April 8, 2007 and will be broadcast on tape delay April 13 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN2.

-credit: mjcr

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Giacomo Ricci , Matt Lee
Teams Conquest Racing