Alan Sciuto Racing: Saturday in Rose City June 9, 2007 (Portland, Ore.) -- Alan Sciuto did not enjoy the start of his Portland racing weekend, when he qualified a dismal seventeenth for the first of two Champ Car Atlantic races at Portland ...
Alan Sciuto Racing: Saturday in Rose City
June 9, 2007 (Portland, Ore.) -- Alan Sciuto did not enjoy the start of his Portland racing weekend, when he qualified a dismal seventeenth for the first of two Champ Car Atlantic races at Portland International Raceway this weekend.
But the change from sunny skies to torrential downpour brought a change in pace for the young Californian, as his team resolved the mechanical issues with their newly-repainted Swift .0016 from the day before and gave Sciuto a car with which he drove from the back of the pack to seventh.
After Sciuto and the rest of the field tip-toed through the Festival Curves from a standing start, Sciuto narrowly avoided a spinning Kevin Lacroix and began picking off cars at the end of Portland's long straightaway. Sciuto made it up to seventh with a few minutes left in what became a timed session, gaining on the battle for fifth between Franck Perera and J.R. Hildebrand, but lapped traffic held Sciuto back for enough that he settled for his position -- advancing ten positions from his starting slot.
To cap off the day, in the final Champ Car Atlantic practice, Sciuto laid down a time that was good for P1 until the final couple of minutes when Carl Skerlong just edged him. Confidence is high in the Alan Sciuto Racing camp for Sunday's race, in which Sciuto will start sixth.
"Racing in this much rain is so difficult -- when we went into the Festival Curves on the first lap, I couldn't see the nose of my car. You're almost guessing were it is that you are going, and Lacoix spun in front of us and I had to make a hard left to miss him.
"(Team engineer) Gerald Tyler put a great rain setup on the car, and I was able to pass guys the whole race at the end of the front straightaway under braking. It's tough to get a good run on the front straightaway in the rain but the car was really hooked up. I didn't really know where I was but Gerald kept giving me my splits and my position. The rain is so disorienting you aren't sure what spot you are in, especially because we were going through lapped traffic.
"I have to admit, racing in the rain has grown on me a bit after today. I didn't really enjoy it before but we had a good day today. I'm hoping for more rain tomorrow, especially after how well we went in the last practice session (which was held in rainy conditions)."