Long Beach: Gelles Racing race notes

Strong Showing at Grand Prix of Long Beach Pecorari finishes in 7th place in Long Beach Long Beach, April 10, 2006. -- Robbie Pecorari kept out of trouble and drove a solid race to complete his first ever race in the Champ Car Atlantic ...

Strong Showing at Grand Prix of Long Beach
Pecorari finishes in 7th place in Long Beach

Long Beach, April 10, 2006. -- Robbie Pecorari kept out of trouble and drove a solid race to complete his first ever race in the Champ Car Atlantic championship in seventh place. Starting from row seven, the 19 year-old Pennsylvanian reeled in a few positions in the first laps and was sitting in eleventh place when he barely missed his teammate Steven Simpson who had gone into a tire barrier exiting turn one. Pecorari motored on from then and took a deserving finish well into the Top Ten. South African Steven Simpson was in sixth place when he completed a pass for a position but found no room at the end of the front stretch and contacted the tire wall. Seconds after, he was hit in the back by a car that had not noticed the officials slowing down the pace of the race.

"I'm happy with this first race, said Pecorari. We missed a little bit on our race set-up and I was expecting more downforce in the slow corners. I had to fight some understeer and could not catch up the car ahead. I stayed out of trouble when other cars got caught going out of line. It's going to be a long season and the points are welcomed at this point. Further testing will provide us a chance to work on tuning the car and finding more speed."

Simpson: caught off-guard

Steven Simpson ran in eighth place from the start of the race but had a fast restart on the 12th lap, putting him in front for sixth at the end of Shoreline Drive. "I stayed wide of Graham (Rahal) when I saw him approaching turn one to prevent us from touching. When I started braking I was quite outside of the curve and started rolling on the marbles. Then I lost control and my car was at this point on crash course. I didn't touch the tire barrier that hard and thought I could restart. But after several seconds I was hit in the back and that was my day. I can't understand why a car would run into me at such speed when the yellow had been waved for so long."

Testing in Houston

Like every team entered in the Atlantic Champ Car championship, Gelles Racing gave its engines back to Cosworth for a complete after-race scrutiny. "We will have to wait until they get back before we could be able to test at MSR just prior to the race at Houston in May, said team owner Bob Gelles. Meanwhile our engineers Dave Conti and Alan Langridge will meet with the drivers to prepare the next rounds of testing in Texas preparing for the Grand Prix of Houston.

Racing in 2006

Gelles Racing enters six cars in the Formula BMW USA Championship and two in the new Champ Car Atlantic Championship. Western Union, BMW of Sterling, Diamon Fusion, Road Block, USA TODAY, Hebert & LeBleu sponsor the team For more information, Bob Gelles may be contacted at (703) 926-2474 or by email bob@gellesracing.com.

-gellesracing.com

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Robbie Pecorari , Steven Simpson