THINGS JUST DID NOT COME TOGETHER COMPLETELY FOR ROCKETSPORTS DURING FINAL QUALIFYING IN MONTREAL MONTREAL, Canada (August 26, 2006) -- Team Owner Paul Gentilozzi said it best in the pits this afternoon after the checkered flag waved...
THINGS JUST DID NOT COME TOGETHER COMPLETELY FOR ROCKETSPORTS DURING FINAL QUALIFYING IN MONTREAL
MONTREAL, Canada (August 26, 2006) -- Team Owner Paul Gentilozzi said it best in the pits this afternoon after the checkered flag waved capping final qualifying for the Grand Prix de Montreal, "It is a shame that we were unable to get all things to fall into place," after his drivers Antonio Pizzonia and Nicky Pastorelli qualified 13th and 17th on the grid, respectively.
Pizzonia sat in the thirteenth spot after posting a hot lap time of 1:22.050 (118.859 mph) on his 13th lap around the 2.709-mile permanent road course in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. However, he was en route to posting an even faster time on his 15th and final lap of qualifying, but a mistake in the hairpin would cost him a couple tenths of a second which could have seen him sitting in the top ten on tomorrow's grid.
The Brazilian driver will attempt to make his second Champ Car start tomorrow, along with his second start here in Montreal, starting on the inside of row seven in the 13th spot. That starting position is not far off from Rocketsports' driver Timo Glock who started 11th in 2005 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and finished on the podium as the runner up after almost winning the race.
Pastorelli's qualifying run was short when he found a problem with the #8 Rocketsports car early on in the qualifying session. A broken drive shaft brought him into the pits for repair after posting his best time of 1:25.338 (114.280 mph). The Rocketsports crew was hard at work changing the broken part and they were able to get the job done with a few minutes to spare before the checkered flag dropped. However, they did not send Pastorelli back out because there just was not enough time left in the session to make it worthwhile.
Only completing three laps in the final round of qualifying today, the Italo-Dutch driver was unable to improve his qualifying time he posted on Friday. Therefore, he will start 17th on tomorrow's grid with a qualifying time of 1:24.204 (115.819 mph).
Antonio Pizzonia #18 Team Brazil/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"It is unfortunate that I made a mistake this afternoon on my final lap of qualifying because I was on a good lap. I am told that the time I was running before my mistake in the hairpin would have put me in the top ten. So I know that we could have done better today, but at least we know we have a decent car for tomorrow's race. We will have to see what the weather brings for tomorrow, I am hearing that it might rain, so that will affect any changes we make to the #18 Team Brazil/Rocketsports car. It will be interesting for me if it does rain because I have absolutely no experience in a Champ Car in the rain. But we will see what tomorrow brings and hopefully have a good race."
Nicky Pastorelli #8 Curacao/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"I was able to learn the track yesterday and this morning, so I was feeling quite comfortable for this afternoon's qualifying session. It has also been a great help having Antonio (Pizzonia) as my teammate, since he has raced on this track before. I feel that the speed on the #8 Curacao/Rocketsports car is good. It is just a shame that we broke a drive shaft during qualifying after running only three laps because I feel that we could have possibly had a good qualifying result. The Rocketsports guys did a great job fixing the #8 car, but with only a few minutes left in the session we decided not to go out because we would have only gotten to run two laps and we thought it would be smart to just save the tires. I hear that it is supposed to rain tomorrow, so that might make the race very interesting. I just hope we can have a good, safe, and clean day tomorrow and finish with a positive result."