Amazing Drive by Conquest's Camara has Bittersweet Ending in Richmond Camara leads 44 laps but crashes out; Bernoldi retires early Richmond , Virginia (June 28, 2008) - There were highs and lows today for Conquest Racing at the SunTrust Indy...
Amazing Drive by Conquest's Camara has Bittersweet Ending in Richmond
Camara leads 44 laps but crashes out; Bernoldi retires early
Richmond , Virginia (June 28, 2008) - There were highs and lows today for Conquest Racing at the SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond International Raceway. The team continued to show their progress and competitiveness with Jaime Camara who led his first laps in the IndyCar Series and ran at the front for the majority of the race. The Brazilian was off to a top-three finish but crashed out on lap 217. He was classified 14th, his best finishing position this season. Camara's teammate, Enrique Bernoldi, failed to finish the race.
Starting from the 24th place on the grid, Camara had an outstanding race up until lap 217, making passes on his way to the front of the field and taking advantage of the restarts after numerous yellow flags in a race that was filled with caution periods and many accidents. Thanks to an early pit stop on lap 34, Camara took the lead on lap 72 when the leaders came in for their first stop. Camara, who became a father for the first time this past Wednesday, went on to lead 44 laps, fighting off eventual race winner Tony Kanaan. Camara lost the lead to Marco Andretti on lap 116 and remained in second position until his last stop which was done under yellow on lap 136.
With some drivers choosing to stay out when most of the front-runners pitted on lap 136, Camara found himself eighth when he returned to the track. Once the race restarted on lap 142, he started to make his way back up and found himself in third by lap 206. The rookie driver was gaining on Helio Castroneves in second but lost control of his car exiting Turn 4 on lap 217 sliding into the wall and ending what had been an amazing run by the Conquest rookie.
Conquest's other rookie driver, Bernoldi, encountered some unexplained problems that the team will look into, and had to retire after six laps.
There won't be any rest for the Conquest team as its team members head back to Indianapolis Sunday morning and head straight to the shop to start repairing Camara's car and preparing for next weekend's race at Watkins Glen for the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen.
14th - Jaime Camara #34 Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"The tire wear is pretty abrupt here and the fuel load was getting lighter and lighter as was the car. So I was neutral every lap and it was getting more and more neutral. I was trying with my tools inside the car to make the car better but I lost it on the exit of Turn 4. It was especially hard in traffic today. It's a shame for the Conquest Racing Sangari car. I feel sorry for the guys. It was going to be a great result, we needed that and now it's all gone. (About leading his first laps) It felt great. It helps us build momentum and it's good for the team. I just wish I could have finished this race."
26th - Enrique Bernoldi #36 Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"I didn't really get a chance to feel out the car yesterday after my crash. I only did an installation lap. So when I started on the first lap I could feel something was different. We made some changes to the set-up and tried to go out twice but the problem was a little deeper than what we could change for the race."
Eric Bachelart, Team Owner
"As we have said before, we felt the team was up to score some good results and we proved tonight with Jaime that we have the performance in race trim. He truly drove an amazing race and he impressed many people tonight. Jaime was able to pass many competitors on the outside, something you see only once in a while. Unfortunately, we did not have a happy ending but we will keep the momentum and we will try to finalize a good oval result in Nashville in two weeks. As for Enrique, we will go back to the shop and look into the problem he had. We look forward to going to Watkins Glen with Enrique next week in an environment that he is very comfortable in."