Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Portland first qualifying Portland, OR (17 June 2005)-- Mi-Jack Conquest Racing drivers Nelson Phillippe and Andrew Ranger had two very different days at the track on Friday, as Ranger qualified seventh for Sunday's G.I.
Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Portland first qualifying
Portland, OR (17 June 2005)-- Mi-Jack Conquest Racing drivers Nelson Phillippe and Andrew Ranger had two very different days at the track on Friday, as Ranger qualified seventh for Sunday's G.I. Joe's presents the Champ Car Grand Prix at Portland International Raceway, while Philippe was unable to qualify after an accident in the wet morning practice session.
The team arrived in Portland with confidence gained from a strong race in Monterrey, as well as a highly successful test at the track in April, and it showed as Ranger's best time of 58.097 seconds around the 1.964-mile PIR circuit was less than a half second from the pole-setting time of former Mi-Jack Conquest Racing pilot Justin Wilson.
Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team co-owner Eric Bachelart was pleased with the rookies effort, and feels as though there might be even more speed in Saturday's final qualifying session.
"We had a pretty good qualifying with Andrew finishing 7th and if the weather is good tomorrow, he can certainly improve that," said team co-owner Eric Bachelart. "With Nelson's crash this morning, despite the fact that the team worked very hard, we could not have a car ready in time for qualifying. With what we learn with Andrew today -- it will certainly help Nelson tomorrow."
Ranger, who scored a podium finish in his first Portland race weekend during his Rookie of the Year-winning Toyota Atlantic season last year, also felt as though he might have the chance to improve even further in his Tide/Mi-Jack Lola on Saturday.
"I'm very happy with this first day of qualifying in Portland," said Ranger. "It seems that all of our hard work in testing here is paying off. The car is pretty good, but I made a mistake on turn 3, that cost me some time. The team gave me a good car and I hope to do better tomorrow."
For Philippe, the day was one he hopes to soon forget after watching his team work to repair his damaged Wellbox/Mi-Jack Lola, but ran out of time to get the car prepared for the early afternoon qualifying session. Philippe is hoping to put the knowledge his teammate gained during the day to use in the final practice and qualifying sessions on Saturday.
"It was not a good day, I crashed in the first practice and unfortunately we could not have my car ready for qualifying," said Philippe. "During that time I stayed at the pits and it was particularly hard for me not to be in my car. We learned some stuff today and I'm anxious to be back in the car tomorrow"
Final qualifying is scheduled to get underway tomorrow at 5:25 PM EST. The race will be shown live on CBS Sports beginning at 3:30 PM EST on June 19th.