Martinez and Rice Score Top Tens in Their First Champ Car Race Mexico City, Mexico -- November 12, 2006 -- Forsythe Championship Racing had a different look this weekend as both David Martinez and Buddy Rice made their Champ Car debut with...
Martinez and Rice Score Top Tens in Their First Champ Car Race
Mexico City, Mexico -- November 12, 2006 -- Forsythe Championship Racing had a different look this weekend as both David Martinez and Buddy Rice made their Champ Car debut with the Indianapolis based team and scored solid Top 10 finishes. It was not an easy race for the two rookies which had to deal with wet track conditions, without any previous wet driving experience in Champ Cars.
Martinez became the new local hero today after putting on a great show for his Mexican countrymen and achieving a strong ninth place finish. The Champ Car Atlantic graduate also started ninth on the grid but lost a couple of positions after the rain fell; however it only took him a few laps to get used to driving his 750 horsepower Telmex Champ Car in the wet and by the end of the race he managed to fight back into the Top 10.
Rice was running eleventh when he changed pit strategy and went off sequence during his first stint which allowed him to lap the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track much faster by staying away from a slow group of cars. The strategy paid off and the pit stop exchange placed him in seventh but while trying to get around slower lapped traffic the Indy 500 champ fell back and ended up finishing tenth on the grid.
"It has been an amazing weekend, this has all been a dream come true! At the beginning of the race I felt great, we were getting great fuel mileage and the Telmex car was really quick. I was very confident at the time because I knew that we had easily a Top 5 car. But as soon as I started seeing the water drops on my visor I started getting worried because I have absolutely no experience driving Champ Cars in the rain. My first few laps in the wet I was just being careful and I lost a couple of spots but after that I got up to speed right away and managed to be very competitive. I have to thank all the fans who came out today and stayed during the rain, I really appreciate their support and I hope that I will be back here next year fighting for the win."
"The race started out pretty good, we picked up a few spots and the car was really quick. But we were stuck in very slow traffic so we decided to pit early to be able to get out with a clear track and start putting in some fast laps. When we pitted for wets we were in a great spot, again we were lapping very fast and moving forward. Unfortunately I caught some slow traffic that wouldn't get out of the way and I lost a couple of spots while trying to get around him. Overall it was a good race and it was great to be able to make my Champ Car debut with the Forsythe Team."