CHARLES ZWOLSMAN FINISHES A CAREER HIGH OF EIGHTH IN MONTREAL AS RANGER'S DAY ENDS EARLY Montreal Quebec, August 28, 2006 -- With rain postponing the Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal race yesterday, the Mi-Jack Conquest drivers were back on...
CHARLES ZWOLSMAN FINISHES A CAREER HIGH OF EIGHTH IN MONTREAL AS RANGER'S DAY ENDS EARLY
Montreal Quebec, August 28, 2006 -- With rain postponing the Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal race yesterday, the Mi-Jack Conquest drivers were back on track this morning to complete the 72 lap race. Having completed only six laps on Sunday, the race resumed with Andrew Ranger sitting eighth and Charles Zwolsman ninth. It ended with the Dutchman finishing a career high of eighth while the Quebec-native's day ended in the infamous "Bienvenue au (Welcome to) Quebec" wall.
Charles Zwolsman might only have moved up one position higher from where he started the day but the Conquest rookie ran as high as fifth and fought off Dan Clarke through a good part of the race. Zwolsman was also involved in a few heated battles. He tried to pass Nicky Pastorelli on lap 37 but in doing so fell to eighth as he went straight going into turn one after sliding on the wet part of the track. On lap 50 when he was coming out of pit lane he was involved in a melee with four other cars and came out in tenth. Zwolsman gained a position when Justin Wilson hit the turn 15 wall and he made a move on Jan Heylen to grab eighth place. On the final lap, the driver of the #34 Conquest car got in front of Tagliani for seventh but lost the position for having cut the chicane. Today's eighth place result is the fifth top-ten finish in a row for Zwolsman.
"It was a good race up to the point where I came up behind Pastorelli who was on a different strategy. He made a mistake and then coming out of the corner he pinched me a little bit which slowed me down. That didn't put me in a good position for the next corner because I was on the wet line. I went straight off there and lost about four positions," explained the 2005 Atlantic Champion, who clinched his title in Montreal last year. "Then in pit lane there were all sorts of things that went on. At the end, I cut the chicane and lost the position that I had gained. Seeing what was possible today, the result is somewhat disappointing."
It was a tough day for hometown boy Andrew Ranger. The 19-year-old tried passing the car in front of him early in the race but ended up spinning and going one lap down. The team brought in Ranger for a pit stop when a yellow flag came out about twenty laps later, hoping that it would help in getting his lap back. Ranger was pushing hard to make up time on the lead lap cars but on lap 36 his #27 Wal-Mart car hit the curb and it sent him into the wall.
"It wasn't easy today, there was only one line so if you wanted to pass you had to take a risk and that's what I did. I came in and I thought everything was okay but I slid a little and had to shortcut the turn, my tires then touched some water and I spun. It took so long for the safety team to get there that I Iost a lap. After that, I was pushing as much as I could but in the last corner I hit the curb a little too hard and I ended up in the wall," said Ranger. "We had a good car so of course I'm not pleased with the outcome, it's my home race and I really wanted to do well, especially for the fans that came out today on a Monday."
Not all was lost for Andrew Ranger though this weekend as it was announced before the start of the race on Sunday that he would be finishing the season with the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team thanks to the implication of his long time sponsor Tide and the arrival of new partner Wal-Mart.
"We are very happy to have Andrew on board with us for the rest of the season. He has done an excellent job for us so far this year and we look forward to ending the season with him," expressed Mi-Jack Conquest Racing co-owner Eric Bachelart.
Both Ranger and Zwolsman will be back in their cars in a little less than a month for the 12th round on the 2006 Champ Car World Series schedule, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
-credit: mi-jack conquest racing