Chicagoland: Conquest Racing race report

Alex Tagliani takes season best of 12th with Camara 18th Joliet, Illinois (September 7, 2008) - Conquest Racing registered its best oval finish of the season today at the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway...

Alex Tagliani takes season best of 12th with Camara 18th

Joliet, Illinois (September 7, 2008) - Conquest Racing registered its best oval finish of the season today at the PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway with a satisfying 12th place finish by newcomer to the IndyCar Series Alex Tagliani. His teammate Jaime Camara wasn't as fortunate having to battle his car but the Brazilian rookie kept up the fight and crossed the finish line in 18th. With today's performance the team was also able to gather valuable information that will come in handy as they prepare for the 2009 oval season.

While Camara lost some positions at the start, Tagliani, who was taking part in his first IndyCar Series race on an oval as well as his first open-wheel race on a 1.5 mile oval since 2005, made up some ground. However, Camara quickly recovered the lost positions with a strong run and made his way up to 16th. Unfortunately the driver of the number 34 Conquest machine suddenly lost the balance of the car and the rookie entered the pits for some changes. Camara never gave up and moved up from 26th to 18th by the time the checkered flag fell on the 200 lap event.

As for Canadian Tagliani, his car wasn't running as well as he would've liked in traffic and after gaining a few spots on the start he ended up falling back through the field. The driver who was making only his second start aboard the Dallara car worked on improving the car's balance throughout the race. His hard work and patience paid off as he managed to stay out of trouble and give himself and the team its best oval finish of the season with a 12th place on the lead lap. In addition to doing good job, having to compete against drivers who have been doing this all season, he also provided the team with some helpful information that will come in handy in the future.

The Conquest Racing team will now have some time to breathe before having to leave for Australia to participate in the Nikon Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise on October 26.

12th - Alex Tagliani #36 Conquest Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"We had our best result on an oval for the season so that is somewhat satisfying. The car wasn't running as well as we wanted it to in traffic. I think we were a little too loose so all race long we just worked on making the car better and it worked. On the last restart we were much better and were able to stay with the guys in front of us. It was good, it just came a little bit too late. I'm still very proud of the team. We're trying to accomplish a lot in a short period of time. We had two races in two weekends, one on a road course and one on an oval, I think Detroit we should have finished in the top five and we finished 12th today so there is some progress being made and it's very promising. I also want to thank Ubisoft and Sennheiser this weekend for their support. We're always proud to represent them in front of a big audience in the stands and on television."

18th - Jaime Camara #34 Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"It was a long race, a tough race. I wanted a really good result in the last points paying race of the season. The car was good in the beginning. The first 25 laps I was running as fast as the leaders then I lost the balance of car, it was strange because that never happened before, the car just went off. We made some stops to fix it but we had already lost quite a few laps. I want to thank the guys for their hard work this season, they have done a great job all season long. I'm just disappointed I couldn't reward them with a good result here today."

Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing Team Owner
"I'm glad that our two cars made it to the finish as we gathered valuable information today. Alex did a good job in his first oval race in two years. It's not easy coming in at the end of the season like this when everybody has been competing all year but Alex has done a great job with that and has provided us with plenty of feedback on the car's performance. Overall it was a satisfying result. Jaime started off really strong but lost the balance of the car and had to make some pit stops to fix it in order for him to end the race in good fashion. There is still some work to be done on the ovals but we definitely learned a lot today."

-credit: cr

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Series INDYCAR