CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterrey: Rocketsports Racing Friday report

PASTORELLI SECOND BEST ROOKIE OF THE DAY IN MONTERREY MONTERREY, Mexico (May 19, 2006) - With five rookies in the 2006 Champ Car freshman class, Rocketsports Racing's driver Nicky Pastorelli ended his first run in Monterrey, Mexico as the second...

PASTORELLI SECOND BEST ROOKIE OF THE DAY IN MONTERREY

MONTERREY, Mexico (May 19, 2006) - With five rookies in the 2006 Champ Car freshman class, Rocketsports Racing's driver Nicky Pastorelli ended his first run in Monterrey, Mexico as the second quickest rookie in the field and anticipates even better results for tomorrow in final qualifying for Sunday's race.

Pastorelli was prepared to take on the challenge of the 2.104-mile permanent road course in Monterrey's Fundidora Park today, heading out this morning during the first practice session with the goal of running as many laps as he possibly could. Completing 32 laps within the hour and a fifteen minute timed-session, Pastorelli familiarized himself with the track and it showed that he was finding his comfort level as his times kept improving.

"I am enjoying the track," said the 23-year-old driver. "During this morning's practice we ran a lot of laps, which was good because I was able to get familiar and comfortable with its layout. This afternoon we were working hard on getting the car quicker."

The #8 Bavaria Race City/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone did go quicker, as Pastorelli's time improved from his best lap during the morning of 1:19.408 (95.386 mph) to a 1:16.954 (98.428 mph) by the end of the provisional qualifying session.

As the green flag dropped marking the start of the first round of qualifying for Sunday's Tecate Grand Prix of Monterrey Presented by Roshfrans, the Italo-Dutch driver was the first to roll out of the pits. On his fourth lap around the 12-turn course, Pastorelli sat P1 with a time of 1:18.458. During an allotted 15-lap qualifying session, Pastorelli's first of three stints ended after fi ve laps. Coming in to make changes on the car, Pastorelli rolled back out for another four laps before making his final stop for adjustments this afternoon. Posting his quickest time of the day on lap nine of eleven run during the qualifying segment of the afternoon session, the rookie sits in the 13th spot on the timing and scoring sheets.

"We are not doing too bad," said Pastorelli of his first day in Monterrey. "We improved again a bit this afternoon during provisional qualifying, so we are definitely moving in the right direction. We spared some tires because we think that the track is going to be faster tomorrow. So to ensure a good run tomorrow, we have three sets of tires including the Potenza Reds to use in final qualifying. I have confidence in the Rocketsports team for tomorrow and think we should be able to qualify in the top ten for Sunday's race."

-rsr

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Nicky Pastorelli