ROCKETSPORTS RACING'S DRIVER PASTORELLI TO MAKE DEBUT ON MEXICAN SOIL EAST LANSING, Michigan (May 16, 2006) - Fundidora Park in Monterrey, Mexico is one of the most historic and beautiful venues that the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World...
ROCKETSPORTS RACING'S DRIVER PASTORELLI TO MAKE DEBUT ON MEXICAN SOIL
EAST LANSING, Michigan (May 16, 2006) - Fundidora Park in Monterrey, Mexico is one of the most historic and beautiful venues that the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford competes at, and Rocketsports Racing driver Nicky Pastorelli has so much to look forward to as he makes his racing debut in front of the Mexican contingents this weekend.
Fresh off of making his first Champ Car start on the streets of Houston less than a week ago, Pastorelli will return to somewhat familiar territory - road course racing - this weekend when he takes on the 2.104-mile permanent road course at Fundidora Park. Although the 12-turn course marks unfamiliar territory for the 23-year-old Champ Car rookie, he has logged many miles in a race car on road course setups while being a test driver for Jordan in Formula One.
"I am looking forward to my second race in Champ Car," said Pastorelli. "My debut in Houston went well; we just did not get the results we were aiming for. But that is in the past and now we head in to another race weekend. This will be my first trip to Fundidora Park in Monterrey, actually, my first trip to Mexico, as well! So I am looking forward to seeing the track and experiencing all the excitement, as I have heard that the Mexican people really enjoy their racing and support the Champ Car World Series. The Monterrey track looks very interesting. I saw it on TV watching past races and I am very excited to get down there and run on it to experience it for myself."
Built on the site of a former industrial factory, the Monterrey track is part of Fundidora Park which is open year-round and hosts a variety of activiti es. Steel produced in the foundries located on the grounds was used in the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The Champ Car events there have drawn an average of over 228,000 fans in each of the five previous years.
Rocketsports has a bit of history at the Fundidora Park course itself, as the team earned it's first podium in only its second race back in 2003, the team's first season of competition in the Champ Car World Series. Previous Rocketsports driver Alex Tagliani qualified and finished in the third spot, which was recorded as the best start and finish for the fourth year team in Monterrey.
In 2005 Rocketsports driver Ryan Hunter-Reay started 17th on the grid and brought one of the two Rocketsports Racing machines home in seventh. Piloting the second car for the team was 2005 Rookie-of-the-Year Timo Glock, who qualified the #8 Rocketsports Lola in the 12th spot. Unable to finish the race due to contact with seven laps to go, Glock finished 11th and recorded the fastest lap of the race running an orbit of 1:15.307 (100.580 mph).
"We have data from last year, so we will start the weekend using that information and work from there to get an ideal set up for this year," said the Italo-Dutch driver on his predictions for the race weekend. "It looks very challenging, so it will be very exciting. We will see how it goes and what will happen. If we can start out in Monterrey how we finished in Houston (running quicker times during the warm up and during the race) and continue the positive momentum, then we should have a pretty good weekend overall. The team has done well there in the past, so we will go out there and give it our best to ensure that a great show is put on for the fans with the intentions of a top-ten finish at the end of the weekend."
Pastorelli will arrive in Monterrey on Wednesday, followed by the rest of the Rocketsports team on Thursday to begin preparin g for Sunday's race. Final qualifying will take place on Saturday, May 20, at 2:00 p.m. local time. SPEED Channel will cover all of the action of qualifying for the Tecate Grand Prix of Monterrey Presented by Roshfrans on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. EST via tape-delay. The race is scheduled to take the green flag on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. local time and can be seen live on SPEED Channel with coverage beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST.