CHAMPCAR/CART: Denver: Conquest Racing race report

A "FIRED" UP CHARLES ZWOLSMAN FINISHES TENTH IN DENVER Ranger's day ends after gearbox failure Denver, Colorado, August 13, 2006 -- It was an eventful day at the races for the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team at the Grand Prix of ...

A "FIRED" UP CHARLES ZWOLSMAN FINISHES TENTH IN DENVER
Ranger's day ends after gearbox failure

Denver, Colorado, August 13, 2006 -- It was an eventful day at the races for the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team at the Grand Prix of Denver sponsored by Bridgestone. Both drivers were running strong and were on their way to what could have been their best finish this season. Like in anything though, almost is not enough, and Charles Zwolsman, who ran as high as fifth, had to settle for tenth while his teammate Andrew Ranger had his gearbox break and he was unable to finish the race, causing him to fall to eighth place in the Championship standings.

There was action at the start of the race when Alex Tagliani sent Paul Tracy spinning in front of Andrew Ranger. Ranger who was starting sixth had no where to go and had to watch most of the field go by him before he could rejoin the field in 11th. One of the drivers that got by Ranger was his teammate Zwolsman. Starting 12th, the Dutchman moved up to ninth following the turn one incident.

Ranger fought his way back up the field, passing Will Power, Nelson Philippe and Mario Dominguez along the way. Disappointment hit while he was running in fifth place on lap 18 when the gearbox on his Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone broke putting an end to what was one of his best performances this season. Ranger's retirement from the race enabled Zwolsman to gain another position, moving him up into seventh.

Everything was going well for the Conquest rookie, he was putting in competitive lap times and had moved up to fifth when he came in for his second pit stop. Things changed however after that when a fire broke out as fuel man Randy Smay finished fueling the car. Zwolsman left his pit box while crew members put out the fire. The 27-year-old returned to pit lane on the next lap to ensure that everything was okay with the car. The car was fine as was the fuel man for the #34 car, but the damage was done on track as Zwolsman had fallen to tenth, one lap down.

"We were running strong and saving tires and we were still able to make up positions," said Zwolsman. "We had an incident in the pits with a fire and I had to come back in to make sure everything was okay because I could smell smoke. Everything was fine but I had lost positions and it's too bad because looking at the results we could have been much higher, I had been running in front of Dan Clarke up until my second pit stop. Most importantly right now is that nobody got hurt in that pit fire we had."

Ranger who now sits in eighth position in the Championship, only seven points behind the fourth place of Paul Tracy, had this to say after his day was cut short, "We were doing so well, this is definitely not the way I wanted to end the race. At the start, Tagliani sent Tracy spinning right in front of me, I had no where to go and lost a lot of positions there. After that everything was going well. The car was good, I felt good and I was moving my way back up but then the gearbox failed on us. At the beginning of the race I felt a little vibration in the gearbox and unfortunately when I shifted coming out of turn 4 it just completely broke."

The Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team will be heading back to Canada in two weeks time for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal where Andrew Ranger will be looking to put in a strong performance in front of his hometown crowd.

-credit: mjcr

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Mario Dominguez , Andrew Ranger , Charles Zwolsman , Will Power , Daniel Clarke
Teams Conquest Racing