Mi-Jack Conquest Racing ready for Las Vegas oval challenge (Indianapolis, IN) 20 September 2005--Mi-Jack Conquest Racing will be back in action this weekend for round eleven of the 2005 Champ Car World Series, changing gears from road course ...
Mi-Jack Conquest Racing ready for Las Vegas oval challenge
(Indianapolis, IN) 20 September 2005--Mi-Jack Conquest Racing will be back in action this weekend for round eleven of the 2005 Champ Car World Series, changing gears from road course competition to prepare for the second oval race of the season, set on the steep banks of the 1.5-mile oval of Las Vegas Motor Speedway with drivers Nelson Philippe and rookie Andrew Ranger.
Philippe scored his first-ever Champ Car top ten in this event last season with a strong run to ninth place. In his most recent race, contact from another driver prevented him from adding to his points tally in Montreal, but the young Frenchman has demonstrated impressive pace in recent races, and he is hoping to once again be in competitive form in Saturday's race.
"I can't wait for this oval race to start," said Philippe. "Las Vegas is a great city to be racing in and I love the rush of the high banks of the track and the wheel-to-wheel action at 200mph. I will have a lot of friends and family at the race, so I will have even more motivation to do well! Last year MJCR had a good car here so we feel confident with our package. For sure it will be tough, but we are all up to the challenge and we want to prove to the racing community that MJCR has what it takes to be up front."
The three week break since the last round in Montreal was a welcome one for Ranger, who is hoping to gain momentum in the final four rounds of the season.
"I was pretty drained, both physically and mentally, after my 'home' race in Montreal, and I was happy that the break in the schedule allowed me to recharge my batteries before the final stretch of the season," said Ranger. "I feel really energized for what will be my first race under the lights and only my second oval start in Champ Car."
With just one practice session scheduled in advance of the qualifying, the weekend schedule is highly condensed, and Ranger is looking to get up to speed quickly.
"Hopefully, we will be fast right away, because a two-day race weekend leaves little room for error in terms of set-up," said Ranger. "With four events left, there are still a lot of points to be had, but we'll need to be more consistent to improve in the standings."
Both Mi-Jack Conquest Racing cars finished in the top ten last season, and the team is hoping that continued developments to their Lola will have them in a strong position competitively. The entire field for last season's Las Vegas event qualified within one second of the polesitters time, and team co-owner Eric Bachelart knows that it is likely to be even closer this weekend.
"Having ovals on the Champ Car schedule presents a unique challenge, not just for the drivers but also for the team as we prepare the car to run flat-out at over two-hundred miles an hour," said Bachelart. "We were strong in this race last season, and hopefully we can be strong again with all the improvements we have made during the season, but I know that things are going to be very close, and that the small details will be important for getting the most speed possible out of the car."
The race will be shown on a tape-delay basis: Sunday, September 25th on Speed Channel, 3:30 PM ET.
1991 Indy Lights Champion Eric Bachelart started Conquest Racing in 1997 to compete in the Indy Lights series, scoring a podium finish with driver Christophe Tinseau in the team's first season. Conquest Racing competed in the next four seasons in Indy Lights, winning races with Felipe Giaffone and Kristian Kolby. Mike Lanigan, President of Mi-Jack Products, an intermodal Chicago-based company became a co-owner in 2002. Mi-Jack Conquest Racing contested the 2002 Indy Racing League season with rookie Laurent Redon, netting a podium finish in just the third race of the season and clinching the Rookie of the Year award.
Mi-Jack Conquest Racing rejoined the Champ Car family in 2003, stepping up to the Champ Car World Series with Brazilian Mario Haberfeld and scoring eleven top-ten finishes despite competing with a Reynard. Mi-Jack Conquest Racing continued its tradition of working well with young drivers in 2004 as Justin Wilson took second in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year battle, with Nelson Philippe scoring two top-ten finishes after joining the team in the closing stages of the season.