Top-Ten Championship finish for Mi-Jack Conquest Racing - Charles Zwolsman third in Rookie-of-the-Year standings - Mexico City, Mexico, November 12, 2006 -- There was a little bit of everything today in Mexico City at the Gran Premio...
Top-Ten Championship finish for Mi-Jack Conquest Racing
- Charles Zwolsman third in Rookie-of-the-Year standings -
Mexico City, Mexico, November 12, 2006 -- There was a little bit of everything today in Mexico City at the Gran Premio Presentado por Banamex, the final race of the 2006 season. It was sunny, then cloudy and then the rain joined in on the on-track action. Meanwhile the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing drivers, Charles Zwolsman and Andrew Ranger, moved up from their 12th and 16th starting positions to finish 11th and 8th. With today's result Ranger ends the season tenth in the Championship standings with 200 points, only one point behind the ninth place of Mario Dominguez. Charles Zwolsman, finishes third in the Rookie-of-the-year standings with 161 points and 13th in the driver standings.
Picking up the point once again for the most improved driver, Andrew Ranger gained a few spots at the start of the race when Katherine Legge and Mario Dominguez touched sending Legge spinning on the front straight. The incident brought out the yellow flag and once the field went back to green flag racing Ranger was in tenth position. The young Canadian then battled with Antonio Pizzonia and Ryan Briscoe before pitting on lap 17. Later on in the race when the rain came, Ranger got by Buddy Rice, and rookie David Martinez. He then set his sights on Oriol Servia for seventh place but Ranger lost time on Servia when he was blocked by Andreas Wirth who was a lap down. Ranger finally got around Wirth who was black flagged and managed to build a gap on Rice in ninth place. He ended the race in eighth.
"We finished tenth in the standings but we lost ninth by one point so it's a little frustrating right now. If I hadn't been blocked by Andreas Wirth I might have gained an extra position but overall I'm happy with the outcome of the race. We had a hard time coming into the weekend but finishing eighth is pretty satisfying considering we started 16th. I want to thank the team and especially Eric Bachelart for putting me in the car this season. I was only suppose to do four races and I did them all."
Rookie Charles Zwolsman didn't end his season like he would have wanted. A puncture to his left rear tire at the start of the race forced him to pit early. The Dutchman fell to 14th but he made his way up the field, more than once. Zwolsman was in eighth position when he pitted on lap 29 but then, like the rest of the field, he had to do an unscheduled pit stop on lap 31 when the rain started falling, soaking the track. Zwolsman completed his final pit stop on lap 43, hoping that a yellow flag might come out and move him up a few spots. Unfortunately the desired yellow flag never came and Zwolsman finished his last Champ Car race as a rookie in 11th place.
"We were a bit unlucky at the start of the race. We had a good start and I think I had moved up to tenth but then somehow I picked up a puncture. These things happen sometimes and it's a very unlucky end to the season. That put us in the back of the field but we were able to move up and finish eleventh. That's the good thing we can take away from this race. Most importantly, though, I want to thank the team for their hard work this season. We done a lot with the car and we improved the car a lot. It was a great year especially the second part of the season."
The 2006 Champ Car season might have come to an end today but the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team is already preparing for 2007 and will announce their plans for the upcoming year in the coming months.