SECOND CONSECUTIVE PODIUM FOR MI-JACK CONQUEST RACING ATLANTIC TEAM Portland, Oregon, June 18 2006 -- It was quite a debut in the Champ Car Atlantic series for Ryan Lewis with his new team. The Mi-Jack Conquest Racing (MJCR) Atlantic driver ...
SECOND CONSECUTIVE PODIUM FOR MI-JACK CONQUEST RACING ATLANTIC TEAM
Portland, Oregon, June 18 2006 -- It was quite a debut in the Champ Car Atlantic series for Ryan Lewis with his new team. The Mi-Jack Conquest Racing (MJCR) Atlantic driver captured second place in a heartbreaking race for the team. Lewis Led 31 laps before falling to second and his teammate, Pole-sitter Graham Rahal, was unable to complete the 40 lap race due to contact.
At the start of the race, Ryan Lewis moved up to the lead from his fourth place on the grid. The Brit led for the first 15 laps but lost first place to Raphael Matos on a restart. Lewis was quick to regain the front spot eight laps later and took a commanding lead and was up seven seconds at one point. Heartbreak came with two laps to go when he lost the third and fourth gears on his car and had to give up the lead to James Hinchcliff. The 22-year-old was able to hang on to second place and give MJCR their second consecutive podium finish.
"I wanted to come out his weekend and try to finish in the top five. I come away with a second place and points for the championship which is great. It's just a shame that I couldn't finish on the top step. I was able to jump up to the front on the start but then I lost the lead on the restart to Matos," said Lewis. "I put my head down and continued to push hard and finally got back around him. Then at the end I lost third and fourth gear and had to give up the lead. Fortunately, I was able to keep second and it is a great way to start the season with the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team. They did a great job all weekend and made it easy for me."
Heartbreak also struck the team at the beginning of the race. Graham Rahal was starting on pole for the second straight race but was hit from behind at the start and had to abandon due to the contact.
"I got into turn one and everything was fine then I got rammed in from the back. I don't know what he was thinking, it's the first lap of a 40 lap race! Looking at the pace of the race today I know we could have won it. We know that in conditions like this we can easily do low 65s and nobody did that today, it is just really heartbreaking and we lost precious points in the championship," said Rahal.