NEW VENUE LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD FOR ROCKETSPORTS TO GET BACK ON TRACK EAST LANSING, Mich. (July 12, 2005) - The last three races have been a struggle for Rocketsports Racing in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series...
NEW VENUE LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD FOR ROCKETSPORTS TO GET BACK ON TRACK
EAST LANSING, Mich. (July 12, 2005) - The last three races have been a struggle for Rocketsports Racing in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, but they now have the chance to catch up to the rest of the pack this weekend in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
A relieving sixth and seventh place finishes in Toronto gives the team some positive momentum for their return to Canada. However, this trip will be the first time that a Champ Car race is hosted in the Canadian province of Alberta, so a new venue puts all teams in the same boat. Both engineers and drivers will have to learn the 1.96-mile temporary road course of Finning International Speedway. An airport runway surface, the 14-turn track will offer a challenge similar to Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport.
Turn One is known to cause problems in Cleveland, as Hunter-Reay prepared for and then experienced. The #31 Cytomax Sport Drink/Rocketsports Ford- Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone was the only car not to make it through the turn and continue, having had no where to go and then damage on the front suspension ending his day before it began. Glock had the luck to get through the infamous turn, but a rear braking problem slowed the pace of the rookie who was able to bring the #8 DHL Global Mail car home in tenth.
Hunter-Reay searches for his first win this season; his closest effort was his sixth place finish last weekend in Toronto. A proven race winner, the American has won a race in each year he has competed in the Champ Car World Series. Looking for his third Champ Car victory, Hunter-Reay looks forward to a new venue where all teams are equal at the start of the weekend. That mentality gives him the boost and confidence that he will get closer to obtaining his goal of winning races this season, especially returning to a similar circuit like Cleveland - one of his favorite Champ Car venues.
Glock reclaimed the lead in the Rookie-of-the-Year standings, leading Canadian favorite Andrew Ranger by three points. The German native holds the most top-ten finishes for a rookie this season, finishing five of six events tenth or better. He also moved back into the top ten of the championship standings, after earning his second-best Champ Car finish of seventh in Toronto. Glock sits third in laps completed recording 650 laps run and has finished in five of six events this season.
The Inaugural Grand Prix of Edmonton is the second of three races in Canada this season. Following in the steps of thriving Canadian Champ Car events in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal in the past, the Edmonton event is already poised to be an immediate success. Officials are expecting more than 60,000 fans on race day, with over 80% of grandstand tickets sold for the Champ Car debut in Edmonton. The Edmonton General Manager, Greg MacDonald, anticipates that the race will be the most successful entertainment event ever held in the Province of Alberta.
Rocketsports will head to Edmonton on Thursday, July 14, for the three-day event. The West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton is scheduled to drop the green flag at 1:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, July 17. The race can be seen live on SPEED Channel will coverage beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Timo Glock #8 DHL Global Mail/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"Finally, we are at a venue where not only do I have to learn, but so does the rest of the Champ Car field. Being a rookie is tough, especially when I am coming from Europe and having not seen half of the circuits that the Champ Car World Series races at. So I look forward to the challenge, as I do every race this season. I really enjoyed racing in Cleveland, which was the first time I have raced on an airport surface and I anticipate that the Edmonton circuit will be similar. We have to find a way to get back our speed this weekend so be we can be competitive and get back to where we started at the beginning of the season. I feel that things will start to take a turn for the best this weekend and we will be able to be strong for the second half of the season."
Ryan Hunter-Reay #31 Cytomax Sport Drink/Rocketsports Ford- Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"This is the first ever Champ Car race at Edmonton; it is a brand new circuit, so it is a level playing field as far as all the teams go. It is an airport circuit and the layout looks a lot like Cleveland, so it should be fantastic. I guess we will find out this weekend. It also sounds like it will be a good race in terms of fans, as they are expecting sell out crowds. It is always great racing in front of the Canadians because they are such great supporters. In Cleveland, we made a really good change during the warm-up session before the race. I was very happy with the #31 Cytomax Sport Drink car, but unfortunately, I did not have a chance to find out just how good the car was going to be during the race because I did not make it around the first turn. So I look forward to seeing what we can do here, a similar circuit, and hope to get back to the top throughout the weekend."
- RSR -