PASTORELLI CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE FOR ON-TRACK TIME WHILE TEAMMATE KASEMETS FINDS A GOOD BALANCE IN EDMONTON EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada (July 22, 2006) Rocketsports Racing driver Nicky Pastorelli continued to struggle today due to not having ...
PASTORELLI CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE FOR ON-TRACK TIME WHILE TEAMMATE KASEMETS FINDS A GOOD BALANCE IN EDMONTON
EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada (July 22, 2006) Rocketsports Racing driver Nicky Pastorelli continued to struggle today due to not having enough on-track time this weekend, while his teammate Tonis Kasemets is content with his car's balance as the two drivers qualified this afternoon and are ready to race tomorrow in Edmonton.
After Pastorelli made contact with the wall yesterday during the morning practice, which cost him valuable on-track time to learn the 1.973-mile temporary road course at Finning International Speedway, his luck did not change today as another incident ended his morning session early. After making five trips around the circuit, the Italo-Dutch driver found himself cornered into the tire barrier in Turn Seven with damage to the right rear suspension.
When heading out for final qualifying this afternoon, Pastorelli had only completed a total of 32 laps. Looking for some clean track to run a few solid, clean laps, he headed out immediately when the session went green. A good move by the team to send him out early, as three red flags would hinder on the time allotment for the qualifying session. Pastorelli was able to complete his allotted 15-laps of qualifying despite the down time for the red flags and posted his fastest time of the day with a 1:00.978 (116.481 mph). He will start in the 16th position on the outside of row eight, just in front of his teammate.
Kasemets, who has been struggling to find a car that meets his needs for the demands of the Edmonton road course, qualified this afternoon in the best car he has had with the Rocketsports team. Balance seems to be no issue for the Estonian driver who feels very comfortable in the car, but there are still issues that need to be worked on for tomorrow to ensure a good racecar.
Kasemets ran his fastest time of the weekend posting a 1:01.704 (115.111 mph) during this afternoon's final round of qualifying, which puts him 18th on the grid. The #18 pilot was only able to run nine of the fifteen allotted qualifying laps during the session due to the time restriction.
The Rocketsports team will have an early morning tomorrow, as a Warm Up Session is scheduled at 8:00 a.m. local time followed by the start of The West Edmonton Mall Grand Prix of Edmonton Presented by The Brick at 11:00 a.m. The race can be seen live on CBS Sports with coverage beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Nicky Pastorelli #8 Bavaria City Racing/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"Today we did not have a good result. This afternoon did not go as we had expected it to. The track seemed to have changed dramatically from this morning, but then I really wouldn't have known because I only got to run five laps before I spun and made contact, which ended my morning practice session. So with the lack of on track time, several red flags during qualifying, and just not getting in a good run, we are sitting back in the grid farther than I had expected. We will see what happens tomorrow, I think we can still make it a good race and that the #8 Rocketsports car has more to offer out there. In addition, the Bridgestone Potenza Red Tires really seemed to help with the balance of the car, so we will start on those tomorrow and hope for a good race."
Tonis Kasemets #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"I am driving the most comfortable Rocketsports car that I have ever driven right now. The balance on the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports car is very good. Another thing I noticed was when I was running on the Bridgestone Potenza Red Tires, it definitely added to the balance of the car, making it easier to drive. We are having a slight issue with the gearbox, but my crew members will work hard to get it solved and I know they will because they are great at what they do. We will see where we are at tomorrow morning during Warm Up and hopefully have a solid racecar for the race in the afternoon."