Heylen Encouraged by Warm-up Results and New Unofficial Track Record but Unable to make the most of Today's Tricky Damp Qualifying Conditions Jan Heylen ( ...
Heylen Encouraged by Warm-up Results and New Unofficial Track Record but Unable to make the most of Today's Tricky Damp Qualifying Conditions
Jan Heylen (#34 Grafiprint / Cosworth / DP01 / Bridgestone) and the Conquest Team had planned to leave behind their recent misfortune and have a strong provisional qualifying session today. After posting the fastest time during the provisional warm up session, which was also determined to be the unofficial lap record, Heylen and the entire Conquest team felt well prepared for the weekend's initial qualifying event. Unfortunately, an intermittent rain started just after the warm up and a wet circuit forced the entire field onto rain tires. The inconsistent track conditions made the very last lap the most important and unfortunately Jan just missed out by being one of the first cars to get the checkered flag. Even though his final lap was substantially quicker, he just pushed a little too hard at the exit of Turn 10 and only improved slightly which cemented his 15th position in the first Qualifying session for the Inaugural Champ Car Dutch Grand Prix. On a positive note Jan will sleep tonight as the unofficial lap record holder for the Assen TT Circuit and be even more determined to improve his time tomorrow.
"I'm definitely not happy with my results in qualifying today," said Heylen. "We were running really well during warm-up and even posted the fastest time of the day but the light rain made things difficult once the session got started. Our setup on the car appears to be good and in the end I had hoped to have a faster lap on the rain tires but I messed up at the beginning of that final lap and just wasn't able to produce a better time. I just hope that we won't have rain tomorrow and we can take some dry qualifying laps to get a better starting position for Sunday's race."
"We appear to have found the proper settings for the #34 car at this track but just weren't able to turn that into a good qualifying time today," said Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing Team Owner. "We were very encouraged by the P-1 finish Jan had during warm up and thought we could continue our momentum. We plan to prepare for both rain and dry conditions at tomorrow's final qualifying and hope we can improve upon today's results."