Indianapolis, IN (2 August 2 2005)-- After Nelson Philippe scored a Champ Car career-best result in qualifying, and rookie teammate Andrew Ranger lined up just outside the top ten on the grid, the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team was looking for a...
Indianapolis, IN (2 August 2 2005)-- After Nelson Philippe scored a Champ Car career-best result in qualifying, and rookie teammate Andrew Ranger lined up just outside the top ten on the grid, the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team was looking for a good race this weekend in the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose.
Unfortunately, it was not to be, as Philippe was forced to retire with an uncharacteristic mechanical problem after moving up into the top five in the opening stages of the race, as Ranger's race also ended early after he made contact with the wall.
"It was a shame that Nelson couldn't finish the race," said team co-owner Eric Bachelart. "The track of course was very bumpy, and it knocked an oil fitting loose, so he lost oil pressure and had to stop. It's unfortunate because our cars have been absolutely bulletproof all season, and we'd worked hard to prepare for the rough tack, but unfortunately we still had a problem."
Despite the DNF, Philippe's performance all weekend long was encouraging to Bachelart, who is looking to see the young Frenchman run up front again soon as he did earlier this season in Monterrey, Mexico.
"After the Edmonton race, we wanted Nelson to focus on improving his race pace and on getting up to speed quickly during the weekend, and he really responded well in San Jose," said Bachelart. "You always hate to have a problem with the car during a race, but for it to happen when he was doing so well was very disappointing. But I think he'll be able to build on this weekend and should be fast again in Denver." JThe tight concrete-walled circuit in the heart of downtown San Jose turned out to be a challenge for Ranger, as he started from eleventh and had just moved up into the top ten when he made contact with the wall, ending his day. The Canadian rookie is hoping to get his Roshfrans Rookie of the Year campaign back on track on the streets of Denver for the Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver presented by PacifiCare in two weeks time.
"This was a difficult weekend for Andrew, as he had some problems in qualifying and then again in the race, but hopefully he can get himself back toward the front of the rookie standings in the next races," said Bachelart. "We know he has the pace to improve in the standings if he can get some race finishes under his belt and collect some points."
After a busy three-race July, the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team will have a weekend off from racing this weekend, but will be back in action this week in preparation for the Denver event with a test at Putnam Park outside of Indianapolis.