ROCKETSPORTS RACING"S RACE DAY HAD ITS UPS & DOWNS IN EDMONTON EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada (July 23, 2006) Talk about a emotional rollercoaster of a day for the Rocketsports Racing team as the morning Warm Up session results looked as if it was...
ROCKETSPORTS RACING"S RACE DAY HAD ITS UPS & DOWNS IN EDMONTON
EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada (July 23, 2006) Talk about a emotional rollercoaster of a day for the Rocketsports Racing team as the morning Warm Up session results looked as if it was going to be a good day, which it did lead to a good result for Tonis Kasemets and the #18 crew, but instead it signified only the start of a long ride that lasted a very short time for Nicky Pastorelli and the #8 crew.
At 5:30 a.m. local time, the Rocketsports team showed up at the race track to prepare for today's race. At 8:00 a.m., the green flag dropped to start the 30-minute Warm Up session and at the end of the session Nicky Pastorelli and Tonis Kasemets sat tenth and eleventh respectively. Though the results looked good on the timing and scoring sheet, Pastorelli's car was damaged severely after an incident on-track near the end of the session. His #8 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone suffered a broken right wheel corner, gearbox, and rear wing.
At 8:30 a.m., the #8 crew went hard to work, with the help of members from the #18 crew, in a scurry to ensure that they could make the 11:00 a.m. start of The West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton Presented by The Brick. Around 10:15 a.m., the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone rolled out onto the grid, while the #8 car was on the verge of being finished. At 10:52 a.m., the #8 crew rolled out onto the pitlane with only eight minutes to spare, making it just in time for the start of Round Eight in the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season.
Both cars were able to make it clear through the first turn despite the two-car melee in front of them. Unfortunately, after five good laps, Pastorelli's curse of the weekend fell one last time, as he spins and makes contact with the wall, ending his day early. He finished in the 17th spot after making his sixth Champ Car start with the team.
Despite all the chaos on the #8 car, the #18 car was in good shape with a driver that was very happy. Kasemets was quite excited about the morning Warm Up session's results, which made him confident in the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone car and ready to go racing. Starting in the 18th spot, the Estonian was able to hold his own despite shifting issues to finish 11th. Kasemets' made his fourth Champ Car start this morning and this afternoon he earned his best Champ Car finish.
The day is not over for the Rocketsports team yet, as they will stay at the track to work on preparing the cars for the next race in San Jose. Round Nine immediately follows this event and will be taking place on the streets of downtown San Jose, California next weekend, July 28-30.
Tonis Kasemets #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"The race went ok in the beginning. Then I started to have shifting issues which caused me to go straight a little longer than I should. There were a few laps when I went too long into Turn One and that is how we went down 3 laps because I lost that time. It is good we were able to finish the race with the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone in one piece. 11th place is not a bad result after starting 18th on the grid, but we will have to try to figure out how to get a better result in Road America. The best thing that we were able to get out of this weekend was a good car. I am happy with the car that we have set up, we gained a lot of knowledge which we can use in our future races together and continue to build on."
Nicky Pastorelli #8 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"Well I was not quite sure if we were going to make the race after my crash this morning. The #8 crew did an amazing job getting the #8 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone back together and on the grid just in time to start the race this morning. We had a good start and we were able to avoid the first turn incident. The couple of laps that I was able to run were going very good, so the car seemed to be perfect for the race. However, for some reason I spun in the same exact spot I did this morning, and I am not sure why. We are going to look in to it and see if there was a reason behind it, because right now I am lost for words. It was a tough weekend for the whole #8 team, I would like to thank them again for all their hard work and hope to be able to give them a better result in the next race."