CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston: Rocketsports Racing preview

ROCKETSPORTS SADDLES UP AND IS READY FOR THE RIDE ON THE STREETS OF HOUSTON EAST LANSING, Michigan (May 9, 2006) - Round Two of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford 2006 season will be an exciting race weekend for...

ROCKETSPORTS SADDLES UP AND IS READY FOR THE RIDE ON THE STREETS OF HOUSTON

EAST LANSING, Michigan (May 9, 2006) - Round Two of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford 2006 season will be an exciting race weekend for Rocketsports Racing who will be racing on the streets of downtown Houston, Texas for the first time, while introducing a new face to the Champ Car field with Nicky Pastorelli driving the #8 Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone Champ Car.

Champ Car makes it return to Houston after last competing on the downtown streets in 2001. The new edition of the Champ Car Houston Grand Prix will take place at Reliant Park, which offers a 10-turn 1.7-mile temporary street course. The event will be held under the lights this year, marking just the second time that Champ Car has run a night race on a temporary circuit.

Rocketsports Racing announced the signing of Nicky Pastorelli a few weeks ago, and will bring him to Houston where he will make his Champ Car debut at the drop of the green flag on Saturday night. The Italo-Dutch driver has logged 370 miles in his new #8 Rocketsports Lola during two tests with the team prior to his signing.

"I am very excited about making my Champ Car debut this weekend in Houston," said Pastorelli about the upcoming event. "I have had the opportunity to test twice now with Rocketsports Racing, in Portland and Milwaukee, so I have a pretty good idea of what to expect this weekend. I look forward to the challenge, as I continue to get comfortable in the car in a race weekend environment and learn the new track. But the good thing is that the track is new for everybody, so I think that will be a small advantage for me especially making my debut. I can not wait to be a part of all the excitement at the new venue in Houston, it was so cool to attend my first Champ Car event as a guest of Rocketsports in Long Beach, but this weekend it will be even more exciting for me to be racing and not just a spectator!"

The Former F1 Jordan test driver will be attempting to make only his second start on a street course venue. The first street course race that Pastorelli competed in was back in 2003 in Cagliari, which is in Sardinia, Italy. The Houston Champ Car Grand Prix will also make the first time that the 23-year-old will be racing at night.

"I enjoyed my first race on a street circuit, it was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing it again on the streets of Houston," said Pastorelli. "It is going to be very interesting running at night, as that will be something completely new to me. The lights will be different and something that I will have to get used to, compared to always running in the daylight. It is going to be interesting, but I can't wait to try something new, which also makes my Champ Car debut even more special."

Rocketsports heads to the Lone Star state on Wednesday to set-up for the race weekend. On-track activities will commence on Thursday afternoon with provisionally qualifying taking place at 8:15 p.m. Central Time. Final qualifying will take place Friday late-afternoon starting at 4:00 p.m. and can be seen on Speed Channel via tape delay at midnight EST on Friday night. The second race of the season, the Champ Car Grand Prix of Houston, will take the green flag Saturday, May 13 at 8:00 p.m. local time and can be seen live on Speed Channel with coverage beginning at 9:00 p.m. EST. For live racing coverage all weekend, sign up for Race Director at www.champcar.ws.

-rsr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Nicky Pastorelli