CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Rocketsports Racing race report

DOMINGUEZ EARNS ROCKETSPORTS' FIRST PODIUM IN 2006 AND PIZZONIA HOLDS HIS OWN TO FINISH IN THE TOP TEN IN AUSTRALIA Notes SURFERS PARADISE, Australia (October 22, 2006) -- In only his second race with the Rocketsports Racing team, Mario...

DOMINGUEZ EARNS ROCKETSPORTS' FIRST PODIUM IN 2006 AND PIZZONIA HOLDS HIS OWN TO FINISH IN THE TOP TEN IN AUSTRALIA

Notes SURFERS PARADISE, Australia (October 22, 2006) -- In only his second race with the Rocketsports Racing team, Mario Dominguez earned the team its first podium this season when he crossed the finish line as the runner up, while teammate Antonio Pizzonia's effort rounded out a Rocketsports double-top ten effort in Australia this weekend.

Finishing second in today's Lexmark Indy 300, Round 13 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, resulted in Dominguez's second podium finish in the 2006 season. In only his second race with the team, he recorded the team's best result on the Surfers Paradise track and the team's best finish of the year, along with his personal best result in 2006. His podium this afternoon also highlights the third time the Mexican-Champ Car veteran has finished on the podium in Australia.

The second place finish handed him 29 points, along with earning extra points for leading a race lap and being the most improved car in today's race. On Lap 43, he took the lead for one lap before making his final pit stop of the day, which put him back out in the second spot. After starting 10th on the grid today and finishing second, he was the most improved car of the race. Dominguez moves into the sixth spot in the Championship standings with a total of 198 points with one race left this season.

Pizzonia was also found in front of the 18-car field today leading a total of eight laps, during Laps 44 to 51, in only his third Champ Car race. The #18 Lexington Energy Service crew decided to take a gamble in their race strategy, which ultimately did not work out for them. However, Pizzonia did record his best Champ Car finish of tenth and earned a point for being a lap leader.

The positive momentum of Dominguez's podium finish gives a fresh perspective for the team as they head to the season finale in Mexico City, Dominguez's hometown. He finished on the podium there and the team has been competitive at that venue in the past, so hopes are high for a solid finish for both the driver and team in mid-November as the season comes to an end.

This afternoon's race can be seen via tape delay in the United States on Sunday, October 22 on SPEED Channel. A qualifying show will kick-off the coverage at 3:00 p.m. EST, with the race to follow at 3:30 p.m.

Quotes

Mario Dominguez #8 Pemex/GICSA/Del Valle/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone "I want to thank all the Australian people for putting on this great event. I couldn't be happier to get a podium over here for two special reasons: One, because I love it here in Australia. It's beautiful. They treat us so well. They treat the drivers as we're really superstars. And, second, because this is the one race before Mexico City, and we get a lot of momentum going for us when we show up there, so I'm very, very motivated. So is the rest of the team. We want to get a great result and that's going to help a lot. It's only my second race with Rocketsports Racing so it is a great result for the team as we continue to develop our relationship together. And with everything that's going on with me this year, this has to be the worst year of my life. Thus, making this is a great podium. I think I want to dedicate 100 percent to my sponsors for believing in me. Pemex, GICSA, Del Valle, Pemex and Bridgestone. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to be here, and I'm just very, very happy to be here. It was a great race with Nelson. He deserves to win. He did not make any mistakes. We raced hard, but clean. That's what racing is all about. At one point I thought I had him, but he did a good job and he's a good friend, so I'm happy for him."

Antonio Pizzonia #18 Lexington Energy Services/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone "It was another difficult race for us. We had problems throughout the afternoon with the brakes in the #18 Lexington Energy Services car. It was an ongoing issue that we have been dealing with since yesterday, and continued to experience this morning. We are still not sure what was causing this problem and it made for a hard race for me, but we did the best we could. In the end, we were trying to take a gamble with our race strategy, but it just did not work out for us. I learned a lot from this experience, and I will take that with me and hopefully be able to use that knowledge in the future."

-credit: rocketsports racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Mario Dominguez