Conquest Racing First of the Transition Teams in Homestead Qualifying
Homestead, Fla. (March 28, 2008) - Conquest Racing took part in their first oval qualifying session of the season tonight in at Homestead-Miami Speedway with drivers Franck Perera (#34 ARES/ Opes Prime Dallara/Honda/Firestone) and Enrique Bernoldi (#36 Opes Prime/Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone) who were qualifying for the first time ever on an oval. Perera qualified 15th overall and first of the transition teams while Bernoldi was 19th.
It was also the first time that the IndyCar Series was using the new four lap qualifying format where the drivers' positions on the grid are determined by their cumulative time after four laps. Perera was the first Conquest driver to qualify and immediately moved ahead of the other drivers from the "transition" teams, sitting tenth at the time before ending up 15th on the grid. Bernoldi was the 19th driver overall to take to the track for his qualifying run. He ended fourth amongst the transition teams and 19th overall.
Conquest Racing Quoteboard
Franck Perera #34 ARES/Opes Prime Dallara/ Honda/ Firestone
"It was good, we are the first amongst the transition teams which is good with the time we had to prepare and the fact that we are all very close in our lap times. I've only done 2 days of testing here and practice today so to be top fifteen in this field is very satisfying. It's good for my first time qualifying on an oval. I want to thank Conquest Racing for the great job they did to get us here. The race will be tough but if we drive intelligent and stay out of trouble we can finish in a good place."
Enrique Bernoldi #36 Opes Prime / Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"For my first oval qualifying session it wasn't too bad, not quite as good as I would have wanted but it's all a learning experience for us. The car had a lot of oversteer and that cost me some time that would have put me a few positions higher. I do however like the qualifying format, it was completely new to me but it makes it interesting. Looking ahead to tomorrow, it will be a long race and hopefully we can have a clean race, be there at the end and gain a few positions."
Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing owner
"Altogether we can be very pleased with our first oval qualifying. This is a good reward for all the hard work that the whole crew has put into this program and I want to take my hat off to our two rookie drivers and engineers they have been doing a phenomenal job. We will keep on building our experience tomorrow during the race and keeping in mind that we have a long season ahead of us."