MORNING RAIN IN CLEVELAND THROWS OFF THE LEARNING CURVE FOR ROCKETSPORTS' ROOKIES CLEVELAND, Ohio (June 23, 2006) - Rocketsports Racing's two rookies looked forward to their first practice session this morning in Cleveland as they began to...
MORNING RAIN IN CLEVELAND THROWS OFF THE LEARNING CURVE FOR ROCKETSPORTS' ROOKIES
CLEVELAND, Ohio (June 23, 2006) - Rocketsports Racing's two rookies looked forward to their first practice session this morning in Cleveland as they began to prepare for Sunday's 25th Annual Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank, but morning rains caused a slippery track and cost them valuable time to familiarize themselves on track before this afternoon's provisional qualifying session.
A scheduled one-hour and fifteen-minute practice session was shortened due to several red flags because of a wet and slick track. Many cars were struggling out there, but the #8 and #18 Rocketsports cars managed to stay out of trouble. Logging only 20 laps during the morning practice session left Nicky Pastorelli and Tonis Kasemets short of the miles they needed to run to get comfortable with this 2.106-mile temporary road course on Burke Lakefront Airport.
This weekend marks Pastorelli's first trip to Cleveland. Kasemets ran here last year in an Atlantic car, but as he attempts to make his second Champ Car start on Sunday, is still working on learning all about the Champ Car and is challenged by this course at the same time.
As raindrops started up again sparingly as the green flag was about to drop to start the first round of qualifying for Round Six of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford 2006 season, the two drivers headed out to continue the learning process. Results were not as high as the team would like to see, but it was a clean day and lessons were learned as they continue to find a good set-up for the #8 Bavaria City Racing/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone driven by Pa storelli and the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone driven by Kasemets.
Pastorelli ran his best time of the day posting a 59.410 (127.615 mph) during the provisional qualifying session this afternoon and sits in the 17th spot. Kasemets ran a 1:00.530 (125.254 mph) and sits just behind his teammate in the 18th spot.
Another practice session is scheduled for tomorrow morning from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. EST. Final qualifying will take place tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. to determine the starting line up for Sunday's race.
Nicky Pastorelli #8 Bavaria City Racing/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"I think that things are going ok. We did not get the result that we wanted today, but I did not have much time on the track to really learn it with this morning being so wet. The #8 Bavaria City Racing/Rocketsports car is not bad, I think that we can definitely improve the car and on my driving for tomorrow and we will have a better result."
Tonis Kasemets #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"I am feeling comfortable in the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports car. Everything feels good and we have been working on different set-ups today. I feel that we are moving in the right direction and that tomorrow is going to be a better day for us."