Double top-ten for Mi-Jack Conquest Racing at Denver Denver, CO (14 August 2005) Mi-Jack Conquest Racing drivers Nelson Philippe and Andrew Ranger finished ninth and tenth in Sundays Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver presented by PacifiCare...
Double top-ten for Mi-Jack Conquest Racing at Denver
Denver, CO (14 August 2005) Mi-Jack Conquest Racing drivers Nelson Philippe and Andrew Ranger finished ninth and tenth in Sundays Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver presented by PacifiCare as both drivers overcame contact and penalties on Denvers downtown street circuit for round nine of the Champ Car World Series.
After getting off to a quick start to the weekend and running with the same intensity he had shown during the San Jose weekend, where he ran in the top six throughout the event before an uncharacteristic motor problem kept him from scoring a strong result, Philippe was unable to find the sweet spot in qualifying with his Wellbox machine and felt like he still had some speed to find in the car as race day dawned.
"We had a really rollercoaster weekend, with a lot of ups and downs", said Philippe. "The team worked very hard as usual, but except for the first practice, we just didnt have the car as best it could be."
After starting from fifteenth on the grid, Philippe had worked his way up into the top ten by lap thirty-five, but a miscommunication with the crew saw him mistakenly pass the pace car, and he lost several positions as a result of the penalty. He fought back though, and after rejoining the field in eleventh, he kept his head down and crossed the line in ninth.
"It was a cool race", said Philippe. "Many things happened during the race, and I had a loose wing for part of the time from another car hitting me. We were running well before we had the penalty, and I feel like we could have finished fifth or sixth if that hadnt happened. But the whole team congratulated me on my driving and Eric said keep it up, good job. We still need to work in the car for the next year because definitely we are not strong yet and we are always chasing consistency. Hopefully in Montreal, we can keep it up as its Andrew hometown and we will have a lot of fans coming there. "
For Ranger, his tenth place result marks his first race finish since the Cleveland round as the Canadian rookie notched his fourth top-ten of the season as he hopes to place himself atop the Rookie of the Year standings once again. Ranger had raced up into the top five early in the race after starting from eleventh on the grid, and was running in the top six again late in the race before being penalized for making a pass during a caution period, forcing him to accept a tenth-place finish as his engine later encountered a problem late in the race.
"I think it was a tough race for me but finally I finished one race and I am very happy about that," said Ranger. "At the start, in the first corner Alex Tagliani just jumped in front of me and he touched my car and I think that broke the suspension a little bit, because something was wrong. I am not sure but every time I was turning to the right the car was not turning well, because of that I lost a lot of time trying to stay in my place. Later I got the black flag, got back on track and still finished in the top ten."
For team co-owner Eric Bachelart, the double top-ten result was not of any satisfaction, and he is eager to get this race behind and looks forward to Rangers home race in Montreal in two weeks time.
"This weekend was a very tough one, and these are not the results we were looking for, but I think Nelson drove hard the whole race and it is a shame he had the penalty", said Bachelart." It was just a miscommunication between the pits and him in the car but that cost us a lot of positions. About Andrew, he made a mistake when he passed some cars under yellow and that also cost him a good result but at the end of the day was the engine that let him down. It was a weekend to forget!"