Conquest Racing unlucky at The Glen
- Fuel pump failure ends Romancini's race on final lap -
Watkins Glen, NY (July 4, 2010) - Conquest Racing rookies Bertrand Baguette and Mario Romancini took part in their first IZOD IndyCar Series race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, placing 18th and 22nd respectively in the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen.
Both drivers were keen on returning to road course racing, and although things didn't go quite as planned for them in terms of final results, they were still encouraged by their overall performance.
Romancini was on his way to a top-15 finish when with half a lap to go in the 60-lap event the fuel pump on his #34 Conquest Racing machine broke, stranding the rookie driver on track and placing him 22nd.
The result comes as a disappointment for the Brazilian who was having a good race. After starting 18th, he immediately gained some positions at the start of the race and had a good first stint. Despite struggling in the middle stint with his black Firestone tires, Romancini came back strong after his final pit stop in which he returned to the alternate red tires.
Romancini was sitting in 11th when the action went back to green flag racing on Lap 43 but he lost a few positions to drivers such as Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves before settling into 15th place. The rookie defended his position and was fighting for 14th place up until the fuel pump failure on Lap 59.
Although the track surface initially proved to be a challenge for Bertrand Baguette, the driver of the #36 Ice-Watch Dallara continuously improved his lap times as the weekend went on.
Starting 23rd, the team opted for a different strategy that unfortunately didn't pan out in their favor when a caution period came out a couple of laps too early.
However, Baguette was still able to improve his position throughout the race and fight with others as he made his way to an 18th place finish in his seventh series start.
With the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen now in the books, Conquest Racing will prepare itself for the two Canadian races on the schedule, starting with the Honda Indy Toronto which takes place July 16 - 18, 2010.
18th - Bertrand Baguette, #36 Ice-Watch Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"I discovered a very challenging track at Watkins Glen. It was a lot different from what I expected with all the concrete patches and the difference in grip between the corners. This type of surface was completely new to me from what I raced on in Europe so I had to get use to that.
"It was a tough weekend and not the one I expected. It took some time for me to get up to pace but I did keep improving in each session. In the race, my pace was much better and I was able to fight with a lot of other drivers so that was good. We did a very good stint on the first new set of Firestone red tires. It's too bad that our strategy didn't work out as planned because of the yellow that came out too early. But in the end, the positive point is that I progressed throughout the weekend and I learned a lot."
22nd - Mario Romancini, #34 Conquest Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"I'm obviously disappointed, we had a good weekend going. We had a good start to the race but then I struggled a little bit on the black Firestone tires in the middle stint. We went back to the red tires for the final stint and the car was pretty good again. I was able to maintain my position and fight with other drivers.
"Unfortunately with half a lap to go the fuel pump broke. Which is really too bad, I'm very sorry for the guys that we missed a good result by just half a lap. But we were competitive and that is encouraging as we head to Toronto in a couple of weeks."
-source: conquest racing
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