CLEVELAND, Ohio (June 24, 2006) - Times improved overall today in Cleveland for Rocketsports Racing as its drivers Nicky Pastorelli and Tonis Kasemets qualified for tomorrow's 25th Anniversary of the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S.
CLEVELAND, Ohio (June 24, 2006) - Times improved overall today in Cleveland for Rocketsports Racing as its drivers Nicky Pastorelli and Tonis Kasemets qualified for tomorrow's 25th Anniversary of the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank.
A pretty big incident involving Katherine Legge during the first minutes of the session caused a red flag for over ten minutes during the morning one-hour practice session. Once the green flag waved again to resume practice time, Pastorelli and Kasemets made the most of the time they had left. Knowing this session was important for them both to get more acquainted with the track and car set-up, they worked hard with their crews to improve their cars.
Yesterday it was rain, today is was a mechanical issue and the red flag that left Pastorelli short of on-track time this morning. So Pastorelli was still in search for the time he needed to really get a good feel of the track and what the #8 Curacao/Rocketsports car need to improve. Kasemets, who is in a Champ Car for only the second time this year with Rocketsports, continued to learn the limits of the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone.
As the day continued to be beautiful with temperatures in the lower 70's and blue skies, final qualifying took place this afternoon to determine the starting grid for tomorrow's race. Both, Pastorelli and Kasemets posted times that were recorded as their fastest times of the weekend, thus far.
Pastorelli ran a 58.179 (130.315 mph), but that was not the fastest his car was equipped to go. On his last lap, he was looking to improve that time, but a slight slip would cost him his fas test time of the session. He will start 15th on the grid tomorrow in the eighth row with teammate, Kasemets, starting one row back in the 18th spot. Kasemets ran his fastest lap time and broke the one-second marker by posting a 59.549 (127.317 mph) this afternoon.
Tomorrow morning will host a 30-minute Warm Up session for the Rocketsports team and its drivers to prepare for the race and make any last minute changes. The green flag for Round Six on the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season is scheduled to wave at 2:30 p.m. EST and can be seen Live on CBS.
Nicky Pastorelli #8 Curacao/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"Well we are not where we want to be again, but a lot can happen during the race because this track is so wide open. It is important to be fast here during the race because there are so many possible opportunities to pass and overtake to gain positions. I think that we are there, and that we will have an interesting race. On my last lap of qualifying today I lost it (the car) a bit and that threw off my lap time. Before the incident, I was on my way to posting my fastest time of the session, which would have seen us two spots higher on the starting grid. So it is a shame, but good to know that the #8 Curacao/Rocketsports car is quick and that we have the potential to improve our position tomorrow during the race."
Tonis Kasemets #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"This was a good session, maybe not the result, but the overall learning process for us. We made improvements on the car and we found the direction that we would like to go. So we will make some small changes tonight on the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports car, which should get a second off of our time from today in hopes of having a faster car tomorrow for the race."