TALENT AND EXPERIENCE MADE FOR A SEASON OF EXCELLENCE IN THE CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC SERIES FOR MJCR ATLANTIC TEAM - The 2006 Season at a Glance - Indianapolis, Indiana, November 3, 2006 -- What a year it has been for the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing ...
TALENT AND EXPERIENCE MADE FOR A SEASON OF EXCELLENCE IN THE CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC SERIES FOR MJCR ATLANTIC TEAM
- The 2006 Season at a Glance -
Indianapolis, Indiana, November 3, 2006 -- What a year it has been for the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Atlantic Team. The statistics speak for themselves.
* 12 races
* 9 consecutive podiums (beating Hoover Orsi's record of eight straight)
* 5 wins
* 3 second place finishes
* 1 third place finish
* 4 pole positions
* Most laps led (40% of all laps)
* Most fast laps in a race
* Most prize money
* 2nd place in the Championship with Graham Rahal
* 2nd place in the Rookie of the Year standings
* 13th place with Ryan Lewis and 10th in the Rookie of the Year standings
* Mechanic of the Year (Crew Chief, Tim Shank)
* Engineer of the Year (Don Halliday)
* BBS Rising Star Award (Graham Rahal)
The Secret behind the Success: A perfect mix of talented drivers and highly-experienced team personnel is responsible for the team's success. When the team was put together, it was important for the Conquest Team to surround their young drivers with the right people. This is why Eric Bachelart brought over some of the most experienced guys on the Conquest Champ Car Team, got some extremely knowledgeable engineers and carefully selected the rest of the crew. Together they have given the Team the results we saw this season.
The Streak: It all began with Rahal's win in Monterrey, Mexico. At the next race in Portland, Ryan Lewis finished second, and then Rahal swept the doubleheader in Cleveland. Lewis returned to the podium in Toronto on the third step before Rahal captured second in Edmonton. The team's podium streak reached seven with Lewis earning second place in San Jose, and Rahal extended it to nine with back-to-back wins in Denver and Montreal.
The Road to Success isn't Always One Smooth Straightaway to the Finish Line: On two occasions polesitter Rahal was an innocent victim of race ending contact in Portland and Toronto. While chasing Raphael Matos in San Jose, Rahal came into contact with the tire wall at the hairpin and at the ultimate Championship showdown at Road America, Rahal's title hopes came to an end early due to a problem with the stuck throttle safety feature. The precious points lost from these unfortunate incidents cost Rahal dearly in the chase for the Atlantic Championship.
Graham, the Rising Star of Motorsports: A big part of the team's success was Rahal's performances. He simply dominated throughout the season. A talented young driver with maturity beyond his years, Rahal proved he has his place with the best of them. He registered the most wins, the most laps led and the most fast laps in a race, he tied for the most poles and he had six podium finishes.
"We dominated this season, I don't think that anyone thought that one single car could do that when the season started and we did it, I'm very proud of that. We won everything that was in our hands, that we could take advantage of. In the end, we had a good year, there were just some races where luck was not on our side. If someone at the beginning of the season had told me that I would finish second in the Championship, I wouldn't have believed them. It's the same thing with our wins. I would have been content with one win this year; I never thought we would have five of them." -- Graham Rahal
Raw and Talented Ryan: Lewis might have been in Rahal's shadow this season but he also played an important part in the team's success. He nearly won in his first race in the Series and scored podiums in racing environments he was not used to. He may have had his share of missed opportunities but nonetheless, he showed his aggressiveness and his talent throughout the season and showed that he has a bright future ahead of him.
"Overall, I'm relatively disappointed with my season. I made far too many mistakes and I've thrown away many opportunities where the car was good. Obviously, I've learned a lot again, you're always learning out there. Hopefully, I'll be back next year in Atlantics because I enjoyed racing in this Series. I'll come back a lot more focused, more determined and hopefully making fewer mistakes." -- Ryan Lewis
If I Could Change One Thing: "That would be the points system. The actual points system rewards consistency more than performance and that's too bad because with the way Graham performed this season, we probably would have won the Championship. But don't get me wrong, I don't want to take anything away from Pagenaud because he was very consistent all year and he deserves the Championship." -- Eric Bachelart, co-owner of the MJCR Atlantic Team.
-credit: mijack conquest racing