MI-JACK CONQUEST RACING LOOKING FOR STRONG FINISH IN MEXICO CITY Indianapolis, Indiana, November 8, 2006 -- It seemed like yesterday that the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team was getting ready for the season opener in Long Beach. But it is seven...
MI-JACK CONQUEST RACING LOOKING FOR STRONG FINISH IN MEXICO CITY
Indianapolis, Indiana, November 8, 2006 -- It seemed like yesterday that the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team was getting ready for the season opener in Long Beach. But it is seven months and 13 races later and the team is heading into the season finale in Mexico City. With a top-ten Championship position at stake, taming the newly configured Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will be of utmost importance this weekend at the Gran Premio Telmex Presentado Por Banamex. The Conquest Team put in their best combined performances at their last two races and drivers Charles Zwolsman and Andrew Ranger would like nothing more than to build on those results all while taking the Lolas out for a final spin.
The Mexico City race will not only mark the last race for the Lola chassis it will also mark the end of Zwolsman's rookie season and Ranger's sophomore one. Ranger heads to Mexico City sitting in ninth place in the standings. The young Canadian could mathematically finish the season as high as fifth and because of a close battle in the point standings he can also finish as low as 12th, making this weekend's result that more important. Last season in Mexico City, the Canadian picked up the bonus point for the most improved driver. Starting 17th, he made his way up to ninth by the end of the race, enabling him to finish in the top-ten in the standings. The 19-year-old driver will be looking to do the same this year but with a better qualifying position.
"I enjoyed the Mexico City race last year and I think I will enjoy this one more just because when I started the season in April I didn't think that I would have participated in every race. I want to thank Eric (Bachelart) and the Team for keeping me through the whole season," said Ranger. "I want to give them a good result to end the season and finish in the top-ten in the Championship. It hasn't always been easy this year, especially in qualifying, but we have been able to bounce back in the race and fight for a spot in the top-ten in the standings. The crew has been great all year and they deserve a good finish and an excellent three-day weekend."
Rookie Charles Zwolsman, who is third in the Rookie of the Year standings, won't be at a disadvantage this weekend for having driven a Champ Car in Mexico City last season with Team Australia, a reward for winning the Atlantic title. In his first time in a Champ Car, the Dutchman finished 13th after having qualified 18th. Since then, it has been quite a learning experience for the 2005 Atlantic Champion, leading laps in three races, Zwolsman has finished in the top-ten in the last seven races, including two seventh place finishes in the last two.
"It's going to be the first time I go back to a circuit that I have been to with a Champ Car so I'm excited to go there. It's a nice flowing track and I like it very much. With the new configuration it will be quicker than last year so it should make it even more fun to race on," expressed Zwolsman. "I think as a team we have been getting stronger and stronger. I have learned a lot since Long Beach, I know the car better, the team and I work well together and I think our past results are proof of that. We've been unlucky at some races and it might have cost us a podium finish, but that's all part of racing. We have one last chance in Mexico and we'll do our best to make it work. We would like to go out with a bang and get an excellent result."
The action starts on Friday, November 10 at 11:15 a.m. with the first practice session, followed at 3:20 p.m. by the first round of qualifying. Saturday morning practice begins at 11:30 a.m. and the final round of qualifying of the season gets underway at 3:20 p.m. The last Champ Car race of 2006 will be broadcast live at 3:00 p.m. on Speed TV (all times eastern).