Rookie Andrew Ranger takes 2nd row on grid for Grand Prix of Cleveland Philippe to start 15th after traffic keeps him from a clear lap Cleveland, OH (25 June 2005)-- Mi-Jack Conquest Racing rookie Andrew Ranger has impressed again, taking ...
Rookie Andrew Ranger takes 2nd row on grid for Grand Prix of Cleveland
Philippe to start 15th after traffic keeps him from a clear lap
Cleveland, OH (25 June 2005)-- Mi-Jack Conquest Racing rookie Andrew Ranger has impressed again, taking fourth on the grid for Sunday's Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by US Bank with a best lap time of 57.801-seconds during Saturday's final qualifying session. Teammate Nelson Philippe had a tough day as he was unable to find a clear lap on the track and had his chances reduced when the session was shortened by a late red flag. The Champ Car World Series once again showed its highly competitive nature, as the top twelve cars qualified within one second of the pole time.
Team co-owner Eric Bachelart, who is campaigning a rookie in the Champ Car ranks for the third consecutive season, is happy that the team as a whole continues to show improved results, and is looking forward to seeing both his drivers in competitive form once again on Sunday.
"I'm thrilled with Andrew's performance today and also very proud of the team," said Bachelart. "We keep on improving and this is our best qualifying position so far this year. We are in a good position for tomorrow's race. It was a rather unusual week for Nelson -- he struggled with the problem on his ankle and he spent a lot of time at the medical center, before and after each session. On qualifying he was stuck in traffic and didn't get to do a good lap. I know that he has more speed in the car."
Ranger is in the top ten in the Champ Car championships standings and is also tied for the lead in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year competition, and has continued to improve his pace all weekend. Underlining his strong performance, Ranger's second fastest lap during the session was also good for fourth on the grid.
"We're definitely in better shape than this morning and yesterday, we have made quite a few improvements to the car" said Ranger. "The driving was cool and the car was perfect. I know I still have to work on some understeer. Overall the team did a good job for qualifying, it's my best qualifying in Champ Car and I look forward to a good race."
For Philippe, who led his first Champ Car race earlier this season, the weekend hasn't seen the results he is looking for, but despite his injured ankle and difficult starting position, he is upbeat about his chances for the race thanks to what he feels is a fast race car.
"For sure the car had changed from loose to understeer," said Philippe. " The first set of tires was fine, but unfortunately with the second set I didn't get to do one lap, because I got stuck in traffic. I know that's not the speed of the car, I know the car can go faster then that; we probably had a top 10 car. We just have to work harder for the race."
1991 Indy Lights Champion Eric Bachelart started Conquest Racing in 1997 to compete in the Indy Lights series, scoring a podium finish with driver Christophe Tinseau in the team's first season. Conquest Racing competed in the next four seasons in Indy Lights, winning races with Felipe Giaffone and Kristian Kolby. Mike Lanigan, President of Mi-Jack Products, an intermodal Chicago-based company became a co-owner in 2002. Mi-Jack Conquest Racing contested the 2002 Indy Racing League season with rookie Laurent Redon, netting a podium finish in just the third race of the season and clinching the Rookie of the year award.
Mi-Jack Conquest Racing rejoined the Champ Car family in 2003, stepping up to the Champ Car World Series with Brazilian Mario Haberfeld and scoring eleven top-ten finishes despite competing with a Reynard. Mi-Jack Conquest Racing continued its tradition of working well with young drivers in 2004 as Justin Wilson took second in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year battle, with Nelson Philippe scoring two top-ten finishes after joining the team in the closing stages of the season.