CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston: Rocketsports Racing Friday report

PASTORELLI QUALIFIES AND IS SET TO MAKE CHAMP CAR DEBUT WITH ROCKETSPORTS RACING IN HOUSTON HOUSTON, Texas (May 12, 2006) - Nicky Pastorelli successfully qualified this afternoon in Houston, Texas driving the ...

PASTORELLI QUALIFIES AND IS SET TO MAKE CHAMP CAR DEBUT WITH ROCKETSPORTS RACING IN HOUSTON

HOUSTON, Texas (May 12, 2006) - Nicky Pastorelli successfully qualified this afternoon in Houston, Texas driving the #8 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for Rocketsports Racing and will prepare tonight for his Champ Car debut tomorrow evening when he takes the green flag for the Champ Car Grand Prix of Houston.

After logging 27 more laps around the 1.7-mile temporary street course in Houston, Pastorelli continued to narrow his learning curve of driving a Champ Car today before he went out to officially qualify for tomorrow's event. Running his quickest time during the practice session of a 1:01.474 (98.969 mph), Pastorelli improved his time from yesterday demonstrating that he is getting more comfortable behind the wheel and on the track. Being only his second street race in his career, the 23-year-old is using caution, while showing that he has what it takes to run with the best in the Champ Car World Series.

Under blue skies and bright sun, Pastorelli rolled out to qualify this afternoon. He posted his best time of the weekend running a 1:00.269 (100.947 mph) on his fourth lap out, good enough to sit P8 on the timing and scoring sheets. The first stint of qualifying saw the Italo-Dutch driver run seven of an allotted 15 laps. He came in for new tires and a few adjustments and headed back out for his final eight laps of the session. At the end of the session, Pastorelli sat 1 6th on the charts, which marks his starting position for Round Two of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.

"Obviously I am disappointed with our end result today. We are struggling with the balance of the car. The car was much quicker on the Bridgestone Potenza Reds as they are softer and have more grip. Now that qualifying is out of the way, we can just focus on the race tomorrow. We will work on improving the car tonight, get a few more laps in tomorrow during the warm-up and be ready to race. The race will be a whole different story because a lot can happen. My goal tomorrow is to stay out of trouble and bring the #8 Rocketsports car home in the top ten."

The Champ Car Grand Prix of Houston not only be the first event for Pastorelli, but also for the series, as Champ Car makes its return to the Houston market this year on a new street course. The green flag will drop tomorrow evening at 8:00 p.m. Central Time marking the start of the scheduled 100-lap race (169.0 miles). The race can be seen live on Speed Channel with coverage beginning at 9:00 p.m. EST, and will re-air on Wednesday, May 17 at midnight.

-rsr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Nicky Pastorelli