CHAMPCAR/CART: Mexico City: Rocketsports Racing race report

LUCK NOT ON ROCKETSPORTS' SIDE TODAY IN MEXICO CITY MEXICO CITY, Mexico (November 12, 2006) -- A strong effort by the Rocketsports Racing team was put forth this weekend to finish the 2006 Champ Car World Series season on a positive note,...

LUCK NOT ON ROCKETSPORTS' SIDE TODAY IN MEXICO CITY

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (November 12, 2006) -- A strong effort by the Rocketsports Racing team was put forth this weekend to finish the 2006 Champ Car World Series season on a positive note, however, luck ultimately effected better results for drivers Mario Dominguez and Antonio Pizzonia in Mexico City today.

As the green flag waved starting the Gran Premio Telmex Presented by Banamex this afternoon, Dominguez would barely roll past it in the 11th spot before his luck changed. An incident involving Katherine Legge saw the hometown hero's dream of a win vanish after contact caused damage to the front suspension on the #8 Pemex/GICSA/Del Valle/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone. A broken tow link and upper wishbone forced Dominguez into the pits for repair. The #8 Rocketsports crew did a fantastic job to ensure his day was not over for him and his fans, fixing the damage and getting him back out with a manageable race car.

After completing 59 of 66 laps this afternoon, Dominguez's 17th place finish earned him four points. With a total of 202 points this season, he finishes 9th overall in the 2006 Champ Car Championship Standings.

Although Pizzonia was running as high as 8th place, he would see that luck was not on his side either towards the end of the race. Fighting with balance on the #18 Lexington Energy Services/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, things were looking bright in the Rocketsports pits despite a heavy rainfall that began around Lap 30. An early final pit stop could have benefited the Brazilian if a yellow flag would have come out when the team needed it. However, it was a clean race despite the first lap melee and that gleam of hope faded away as the race laps began to count down and no yellow flag was displayed.

After making his fourth Champ Car start this afternoon, Pizzonia started 15th and finished 12th. Earning nine points today, he finishes 18th overall in the championship with a total tally of 43 points after completing races in Long Beach, Montreal, Australia and Mexico City this season.

This weekend concludes the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season. The team will be busy with some off season testing, while beginning preparations for the upcoming season in 2007. Be sure to check out www.rocketsportsracing.com throughout the off-season to stay tuned on the team's activities.

Quotes

Mario Dominguez #8 Pemex/GICSA/Del Valle/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone

"It is very unfortunate what happened today to us. We worked very hard all weekend to have a good race, and it was a shame that all of our effort was lost at the start of the race. All I know is that Katherine Legge went on the outside, then I felt a hit, and my suspension was damaged. At first I thought my race was over, but my Rocketsports crew did a great job repairing the damage so that I could get back out there and run for my fans and my sponsors. It really is disappointing, but maybe it was just my destiny this season. I put a lot of heart and money into this, with the hopes to run well in Mexico. I am just sad that I couldn't have had a better result for Mexico, Pemex, GICSA, Del Valle, Banca Mitel, and my personal sponsors Telmex and Bridgestone."

Antonio Pizzonia #18 Lexington Energy Services/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone

"It was a tough race. We struggled all weekend with balance on the #18 Lexington Energy Services car, but then when we started the race, the balance was completely opposite from before. It was very strange, because we did not make many changes on the car for it to be that different. This whole weekend was a disappointment. The Rocketsports team expected to finish this season on a good note, but that just did not happen for us. It is a shame because the team and our sponsor Lexington Energy Services deserved better."

Paul Gentilozzi, Rocketsports Racing Team Owner

"It saddens me what happened to Mario at the start of the race. He and the #8 crew worked very hard this weekend, with the hopes to finish in Mexico with a good result. It is sad for Mexico and Mario's sponsors, Pemex, GICSA, and Del Valle, that he did not have the chance to have a good, competitive race. We know that this weekend meant a lot to him, and I just wish there was some way that I could have changed the end result.

Antonio struggled this weekend, and we tried the best we could do to help him get a better car. He held his own during the race, ran some fast laps, and stayed competitive, despite not having a perfect race car. His result was not as good as the team and sponsor Lexington Energy Services was hoping for, but he did the best he could out there, and that is all we could ask for."

-credit: rocketsports racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Paul Gentilozzi , Mario Dominguez , Katherine Legge