CHAMPCAR/CART: Monterrey: Rocketsports Racing Saturday report

TROUBLES EARLY ON HINDER POSITIVE QUALIFYING RESULTS IN MONTERREY FOR PASTORELLI MONTERREY, Mexico (May 20, 2006) - A disappointing day for Rocketsports Racing in Monterrey, Mexico today, as the team's hopes of taking advantage of spare tires in...

TROUBLES EARLY ON HINDER POSITIVE QUALIFYING RESULTS IN MONTERREY FOR PASTORELLI

MONTERREY, Mexico (May 20, 2006) - A disappointing day for Rocketsports Racing in Monterrey, Mexico today, as the team's hopes of taking advantage of spare tires in today's final qualifying session for tomorrow's race did not match the end result for the team and driver Nicky Pastorelli, who will start 16th on the grid.

With any rookie, it is important to log as many miles as possible, especially before the final round of qualifying. However, just as the team was finalizing things to go out and run in the hour morning practice session, a problem was found regarding the engine. A system failure had occurred about one hour before the session, resulting in the Rocketsports Racing crew hard at work performing an engine change. A process that is not a quick one, the team hustled to get the car back together and get Pastorelli out for some laps.

Unfortunately, a red flag came out right when the team rolled on to pit lane, which cost them valuable time that they desperately needed. With under five minutes left in the morning practice, the green flag waved again and the Italo-Dutch driver hauled out of the pits in hopes of getting at least four laps recorded to try out changes that were made from yesterday. His wish came true, as he ran his fastest lap on his third trip around posting a time of 1:19.065. Pastorelli continued to push hard to improve that time on his las t lap of the session, which ended early in Turn 5 when he spun after taking a bumpy ride over the curb. No contact was made and Pastorelli brought the #8 Bavaria City Racing/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone back in one piece.

"I want to thank the Rocketsports guys for working so hard to get my car out there this morning," said Pastorelli. "It just wasn't meant to be, but great effort was definitely put forward. It was a shame, as that time was needed for us to continue to find a good balance on the car for tomorrow's race, and well of course, qualifying this afternoon. But these things happen and there is nothing we could really do about it."

When Pastorelli rolled back out onto the 2.104-mile permanent road course during the practice segment of qualifying, his first remarks regarding the car was that it was not far from a good balance. The main issue was understeer. Adjustments were made and he went back out there, completing nine laps in the 15-minute practice session of qualifying. When the green flag dropped to mark the start of the 30-minute qualifying session, Pastorelli was the first Champ Car to roll off pit lane with a new set of Bridgestone Potenza Alternate Tires to take advantage of an open track and to ensure they were able to run all 15 allotted-laps when the track was green.

His first stint ended after five laps. Pastorelli claimed the Rocketsports car was getting better, but he still had understeer turning into the corners. Changes were made, tires were changed, and Pastorelli went out for his next stint. Posting his quickest lap on his fifth lap out of fifteen, Pastorelli ran his fastest time of the weekend at 1:16.285 (99.291 mph). He sits 16th on the starting line up for tomorrow's Tecate Grand Prix of Monte rrey Presented by Roshfrans.

There will be a 30-minute Warm Up session tomorrow morning before the cars grid for the 1:00 p.m. local time race start for Round Three of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Coverage on the race can be seen on SPEED Channel beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST.

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Nicky Pastorelli