MI-JACK CONQUEST RACING ATLANTIC TEAM SCORE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE PODIUM Toronto, Ontario, July 9, 2006 -- The Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Atlantic Team captured their fifth consecutive podium today, the most for any team in the Series. After a win...
MI-JACK CONQUEST RACING ATLANTIC TEAM SCORE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE PODIUM
Toronto, Ontario, July 9, 2006 -- The Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Atlantic Team captured their fifth consecutive podium today, the most for any team in the Series. After a win in Monterrey with Graham Rahal, a second place finish in Portland with Ryan Lewis and two other wins in Cleveland by Rahal, Lewis added a third place finish to the team's statistics today. Lewis' team-mate, Graham Rahal who was starting on pole for a third time this season saw his hopes of winning a third straight race come to an end when contact with Raphael Matos on the first lap damaged his right rear suspension.
The learning experience was a tough one for Ryan Lewis this weekend at the Grand Prix of Toronto Atlantic Race. For his first time on a street circuit the young Brit made his Mi-Jack Conquest Team member's work hard after he crashed in the morning warm up damaging the front and rear wing as well as the left front suspension, but one hour and half later the #30 car was back on the starting grid ready for the race and the pay off was good as he moved up from 14th on the starting grid to third and picked up the extra point for the most improved driver.
"Right from the standing start, that helped me, with the experience I've had in Europe. I think I jumped about four or five people on the start straightaway. A lot of people got together at the first corner and I managed to see a gap on the inside and sneak through. The same thing happened at Turn 3. It gave me an opportunity. It's a bit of a nightmare, in one respect, after I stuffed the car into the wall this morning, the guys at Mi-Jack Conquest did a great job putting it back together, but it wasn't in perfect condition, so it had a lot of push. Jonathan Bomarito was really quick and it was hard to keep pace with him then I dropped back into the hands of Simon Pagenaud, said Lewis. "There must have been someone looking out for me this weekend, because I was seriously unhappy with myself when I got in the car this morning. This was my first time on a street course and it's taught me that I make lots of little mistakes and there's a very small margin for error here. I've learned a lot."
Graham Rahal had made it through the first turn cleanly after a good start but heading into Turn 3 the 17-year-old got hit from behind by Sierra Sierra driver Raphael Matos, damaging the right rear suspension. The Conquest Team made repairs to the car and got the young Rahal back on track with three laps down but his day would come to an end on lap 30 when his tire exploded due to the first lap contact with Matos. Despite damage to the car, Rahal registered the fastest lap of the race with a lap of 1:05.487, a new track record.
"I don't know where Matos was braking or why he was braking so late but apparently he missed his braking point by a lot. But again, it's how street racing is, explained Rahal. "We proved that it was our race to lead, we had the fastest lap even with the bent suspension. It's all we could do. Fortunately we walked away with some points."
Rahal remains in third place in the standings with 136 points, 17 behind leader Simon Pagenaud while Ryan Lewis sits 14th with 62 points.
Edmonton, Alberta will be the next stop for the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Atlantic Team as they will take on the 1.96-mile temporary road course at Finning International Speedway from July 21 - 23.