Mi-Jack Conquest Racing finishes 12th and 16th at Milwaukee West Allis, WI (June 3, 2005) -- Mi-Jack Conquest Racing drivers Nelson Philippe and Andrew Ranger finished Saturday's Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 presented by US Bank in twelfth...
Mi-Jack Conquest Racing finishes 12th and 16th at Milwaukee
West Allis, WI (June 3, 2005) -- Mi-Jack Conquest Racing drivers Nelson Philippe and Andrew Ranger finished Saturday's Time Warner Cable Road Runner 225 presented by US Bank in twelfth and sixteenth after a difficult day for both drivers.
Philippe had been hoping that he would be able to show more speed in the race after the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team made improvements to the car over night, but the Wellbox machine was not handling to his liking and he was unable to make any moves up the order early in the race. Despite the issues, the second-year Champ Car pilot was able to bring his Wellbox machine home in twelfth and card some quick laps along the way, avoiding traffic and trouble to earn points towards the championship battle.
"The car was hard to drive in traffic, and it was really hard to be with other cars and do something about it," said Philippe. "I had some issues with the radio and we never got the balance exactly where we wanted it, but we still did the 7th fastest time of the race. We really just wanted to get the car to the finish and keep learning, so I'm glad the race is over and we can go to Portland."
For teammate Ranger, his day got off to a better start in his Tide/Mi-Jack machine, as the young Canadian made some smart moves through the field after starting in thirteenth place to run as high as second. Ranger, who took a podium finish in his first Milwaukee race last year in Toyota Atlantics, had stayed in touch with the leaders past midway through the race with a good pace and fast pit stops, but ran into trouble when he got off-line in traffic, making contact with the wall after losing traction on the marbles.
"I'm very proud of my team, we all worked so hard for this race," said Ranger. "The car was very good. I started in 13th place and moved up to 8th place. The car was very fast, but on lap 125, Tracy, Dominguez, Da Matta and Sperafico were all running together, so I had to slow down a bit and then going into turn three, I was on the inside of Dominguez and I was trying to leave room for him, but there were marbles on my line, and I just got loose, and then lost control."
Despite the difficult end to his day, Ranger knows that he has a lot to learn yet in Champ Car and is looking forward to racing in Portland, where he finished third in Toyota Atlantics in 2004.
"I don't know if it was my mistake, I just tried to stay inside," said Ranger. "It's a shame we didn't finish the race, but I know the team saw that I could be fast, and now we'll get ready for Portland."
Team co-owner Eric Bachelart had also been hoping for better results in the Milwaukee race, but as a championship driver himself he knows how narrow the window can be for performance on a one-mile track and that his young drivers will continue to attack and learn and prepare for the next race.
"Of course we had been hoping for a better result, but it just wasn't our day today," said Bachelart. "The guys did a great job all weekend preparing the cars for Nelson and Andrew, and we had some quick pit stops as well. Andrew was quick, showing again that he a fast learner, but then had the accident," said Bachelart. "When you are a rookie, you are going to make some mistakes, and he has to learn from this one. Despite some of the problems Nelson had, he finished 12th, got points, brought the car home and now we can focus on Portland. We ran well there last season, and had a good test with Nelson and Andrew in April, so we will look to be competitive there and show more results like we had in Monterrey."