Strong come back for Conquest Racing at St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg, Fla. (March 27, 2011) – After a late night at the track on Saturday, Conquest Racing and driver Sebastian Saavedra came back strong in today’s IZOD IndyCar Series season opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
While the team hoped for a better result after running as high as 11th early in the race, it still comes out satisfied with its 13th place finish, especially when taking into consideration that Saavedra had to start from the back of the grid in the backup car.
Starting from the last row after a crash in Saturday’s qualifying session may have ended up being a good thing for rookie Saavedra, as he was able to avoid a first lap, first turn melee at the start of the 100-lap event.
With cars stopped on course in Turn 1 and others trying to avoid the carnage, the Colombian moved all the way up to 11th from his 23rd place on the grid of the 24-car field on the first lap.
The raced was marred with full course cautions in the first fifteen minutes but all was going well for Saavedra who held on to his 11th place.
However, on what was the third restart of the day, the driver of the #34 Conquest Dallara was trying to gain a spot going into Turn 1 but with cars already spinning ahead of him, Saavedra also found himself facing the wrong way and stalled on track.
The incident cost him a lap and sent him back down to 16th at the time. Unfortunately for Saavedra, there was no chance for him to get his lap back but he still managed to run competitive lap times, gain experience and move up to 13th by the time the checkered flag fell on the first race of the season.
The Conquest Racing team and Saavedra will be back on track in two weeks time for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, which takes place April 8 – 10, 2011 at Barber Motorsports Park.
Sebastian Saavedra, #34 Conquest Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone “That was a crazy race but for us it was a very positive one. We had a little bit of a rough start but did show our speed and consistency. I think it was a great battle for my first IndyCar race on a street course. I want to thank my crew who were up until 1am last night to put the car together, without their hard work I wouldn’t have been racing today. I learned a lot in this first race of the season and I know that there is still a lot to learn but I am definitely up to it.”
Eric Bachelart, team owner “Sebastian did a great job for his first IndyCar race on a street course. He stayed out of trouble at the start and was able to gain many positions. Unfortunately, he spun and stalled a little later on during a restart but he learned a lot today, all while being competitive. We can be happy with our result after what we went through yesterday with the qualifying accident. The guys did a tremendous job to get the backup car prepped for the race. This was an encouraging weekend for us and now we’re looking forward to Barber even if there is plenty of work to do until then.”
-source: conquest racing