CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America: Rocketsports Racing Friday report

ROCKETSPORTS RACING BATTLES WITH WEATHER CONDITIONS TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE FRIDAY ACTIVITES AT ROAD AMERICA ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (September 22, 2006) -- Despite cold, wet conditions in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Rocketsports Racing was able...

ROCKETSPORTS RACING BATTLES WITH WEATHER CONDITIONS TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE FRIDAY ACTIVITES AT ROAD AMERICA

ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (September 22, 2006) -- Despite cold, wet conditions in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Rocketsports Racing was able to take the advantage of today to get acquainted with new driver Mario Dominguez, while Tonis Kasemets suffered with an early morning oil leak but finished the day with positive momentum.

During the morning practice session, the rain was coming down pretty hard for the first part of the session, so the team decided to wait a little while before heading out onto the 4.048-mile permanent road course at Road America. Once the rain slowed, the team rolled out the Champ Cars into the pit lane and was ready to run.

Kasemets headed out first in the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, but was found climbing out of the cockpit after running only three laps due to an oil leak. The car was taken back into the garage area to be repaired so that he could have a solid run this afternoon. It was unfortunate for the rookie driver not to be able to have some time running in these conditions, but his teammate did not have much time on-track either. Dominguez did not have any problems, but was able to complete only five laps before the checkered flag came out ending the session.

The unfavorable conditions somewhat lifted this afternoon, however the track was still pretty wet. As the session progressed, a few drivers changed their Bridgestone Potenza tires from rains to slicks, but the Rocketsports duo opted to stay on the wet set. However, times dramatically changed between the drivers on the wets verse the slicks leaving Kasemets and Dominguez sitting 14th and 15th, respectively in the first round of qualifying.

Both drivers completed 11 laps during today's qualifying session. Kasemets posted his best time of 2:01.381 (120.058 mph) on his 11th lap, while Dominguez ran a 2:01.882 (119.565 mph) when he recorded his fastest time of the day on his final lap this afternoon. Kasemets' provisional qualifying result marks his best qualifying result of his Champ Car career. The Estonian has made four Champ Car starts with the team and his best qualifying mark was 17th in Toronto.

There will be another practice session tomorrow morning, before final qualifying takes place tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. CST.

Quotes

#18 Tonis Kasemets Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone

"We had an oil leak this morning, so I was only able to run a few laps. That was a shame because the morning practice session would have given me a better chance to drive the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports car to get used to the wet and braking on the slippery track. But this afternoon we had a better run and we provisionally qualified 14th. So that is not bad and we can continue to improve from there. It is great to be back here at Road America and I am having a lot of fun driving here in a Champ Car."

#8 Mario Dominguez Pemex/GICSA/Del Valle Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone

"It was a difficult day because of the rain. It was hard to get a good run because the track conditions continued to change. The car was running well, so hopefully tomorrow will be a different story. Overall it was a good day. The main goal today was to get acquainted with the team and the #8 Pemex/GICSA/Del Valle car. I am feeling pretty good and ready to get back out there tomorrow to do my best for Rocketsports, Pemex, GICSA, Del Valle and my personal sponsors Telmex and Bridgestone.

-credit: rocketsports racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Dominguez , Tonis Kasemets
Teams HART