Conquest Racing Atlantic Team Battles for Top 5 Results Giacamo Ricci finishes fourth while Matt Lee falls back in field due to contact with a backmarker Giacomo Ricci ( ...
Conquest Racing Atlantic Team Battles for Top 5 Results
Giacamo Ricci finishes fourth while Matt Lee falls back in field due to contact with a backmarker
Giacomo Ricci (#18 Banca Italease / Lotto / Global / Mazda-Cosworth) finished fourth in today's Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by LaSalle Bank, his best finish of the season. Ricci started his weekend with a 15th place preliminary qualifying but he was able to improve his final qualifying time and started the race in sixth position. Matt Lee (#44 Integrated Structures / Mazda -- Cosworth) started the race just behind his teammate at seventh place but was forced back in the field due to an on-track incident with car No. 45 and he finished 18th.
Both drivers were very fast early and able to climb their way into fourth and fifth position. Ricci and Lee were ready to compete for podium positions when the #45 car of Herberts turned his car into Lee and damaged his steering. Lee went into the pits where the Conquest Racing Atlantic team was able to quickly repair the #44 car and Matt Lee was able to return to the race. Unfortunately the stop caused Lee to go down a lap and while he was able to pass many cars in the field, his lost time allowed him to only finish in 18th place. Meanwhile, Ricci held on to his fourth position battling fellow rookie Robert Wickens earning him his season best finish.
"I was excited to start the day in seventh position," said Lee. "I was running in fifth when I got caught up in some lapped traffic. My tire was crossed with Adrien Herberts' which messed up the steering forcing me to come into the pits. I was able to go back out but ended up a lap down and managed to finish 18th. I had strong and solid laps after the crash; it was just unfortunate to have that incident."
"I'm very happy with the results today," began Ricci. "I know we had a fast car and I am very happy at what a great job the team was able to do. Racing with Wickens behind me was tough but I was able to go push myself and finish the race just off of podium. Next time we will be ready to go even faster and compete in the top three"
"It is good to see both drivers competing so well," said Steve Ragan, Conquest Racing Atlantic Team Manager. "We were running fourth and fifth in the field and unfortunately Matt got caught in traffic and went off of the track. Ricci had a really strong performance and we expect to see him in the top five a lot more in the future."
The Conquest Racing Atlantic Team now looks forward to the eighth round of the 2007 Coopers Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda at Circuit Mont Tremblant in St. Jovite, Quebec, Canada on Sunday, July 1st. The race will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Monday, July 6th beginning at 6:00 p.m. EST.