CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Rocketsports Racing Saturday report

PASTORELLI STILL NOT UP TO SPEED IN DENVER DENVER, Colorado (August 12, 2006) -- Another rough day for Rocketsports Racing and driver Nicky Pastorelli in Denver as the ...

PASTORELLI STILL NOT UP TO SPEED IN DENVER

DENVER, Colorado (August 12, 2006) -- Another rough day for Rocketsports Racing and driver Nicky Pastorelli in Denver as the #8 Curacao/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone did not gain much speed on day two resulting in a poor final qualifying result and starting at the back of the field in tomorrow's Grand Prix of Denver Presented by Bridgestone.

It is something new - street-course racing - for Pastorelli. This weekend marks only the fourth time the Italo-Dutch driver has driven a racecar on a street venue and the lack of experience is making it hard for the rookie driver. But in addition to that, he and the team are struggling to find a car that is suitable for his style and the demands of the 1.657-mile course.

Pastorelli was the first to roll out when final qualifying began. However, with the threat of dark clouds moving in on the horizon, he was not the only driver who was heading out early to get some laps timed as he was joined by at least six other cars. Running both of his qualifying stints on Bridgestone Potenza Reds, he hoped to improve his overall qualifying time from yesterday.

After his first run, which consisted of seven of the allotted 15-laps during qualifying, he came into the pits for a break and said that he was experiencing a lot of understeer. This was a problem that was going on everywhere on the track for him, so he couldn't seem to get up to speed. When he went back out to finish his remaining eight laps, he posted his best time on his 11th orbit around with a time of 1:03.472 (93.982 mph).

However, still off the pace from the leaders, he remains 16th on the grid and will start on the outside of row eight in Round Ten of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

"I am not sure what is going on, we just are not improving," said Pastorelli. "I do not have enough grip and I am experiencing understeer, which is not allowing me to increase my speed. I had a wheel-locking problem at the end of the qualifying session, which caused me to flat spot on my 13th lap out and that ended my run. We will see what we can do for tomorrow and hopefully have a good race."

There is a 30-minute Warm Up Session tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. local time before the Rocketsports Champ Car takes to the grid for the afternoon race. The Grand Prix of Denver will take the green flag at 1:45 p.m. marking the start of the 97-lap race. The race can be seen live on SPEED Channel with coverage beginning at 3:30 p.m. EST. For more live racing coverage, log onto www.champcar.ws and sign up for Race Director.

-credit: www.rocketsportsracing.com

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Nicky Pastorelli