Indianapolis, IN (14 June 2005)-- With strong performances in the last road course race, Mi-Jack Conquest Racing drivers Nelson Philippe and Andrew Ranger are eager to return to action this weekend for the G.I. Joe's presents the Champ Car Grand...
Indianapolis, IN (14 June 2005)-- With strong performances in the last road course race, Mi-Jack Conquest Racing drivers Nelson Philippe and Andrew Ranger are eager to return to action this weekend for the G.I. Joe's presents the Champ Car Grand Prix at Portland International Raceway for round four of the 2005 Champ Car World Series.
There is good reason for them to be enthusiastic, as the last road course event for the series, at Fundidora Park in Monterrey, Mexico, saw Philippe lead a race-high twenty-three laps before contact from another car knocked him out of contention.
Philippe wasn't the only Mi-Jack Conquest Racing pilot to show strength during the event, as young rookie Ranger worked his Tide/Mi-Jack Lola up the order to take second place at the checkered flag, setting a record as the youngest driver to ever step on a Champ Car podium at just eighteen years old.
Philippe, who first raced at Portland during his 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series season, enjoys the challenge of the twisty circuit and is hoping to once again put his Wellbox/Mi-Jack machine up front as he did in Mexico.
"One of the best road courses in the US, Portland is definitely a tricky place for drivers," said Philippe. "One section of the track is really tight and turns a lot and it is very fun for the driver. The back chicane is amazing as we are practically flat out and it is a rush to go through there. I think that the new festival curves are going to give the track a really nice flow and will create more passing opportunities."
Ranger has a pair of races under his belt at Portland, and scored third place at the track during his Rookie of the Year-winning Toyota Atlantic season in 2004. Ranger is currently second in the Roshfrans Rookie standings, just six points behind former Formula 1 driver Timo Glock.
"I am looking very forward to going back to Portland," said Ranger. "I particularly like corner nine, which is a very fast turn. I know that since Milwaukee, the team has been working very hard on the set up of the car, this coupled with the extra seat time I have had at the races in Monterrey and Milwaukee, I am very optimistic about the upcoming weekend in Portland."
After completing a successful test at the track in April, and with a technical program that continues to provide new innovations for the young drivers, the team is also looking forward to the race weekend.
"We are optimistic about Portland," said team co-owner Eric Bachelart. "We raced well there last year with h2004 Roshfrans Rookie of the Year runner-up) Justin Wilson last year, and have continued to improve our package for the track," said. "Our test there earlier this season confirmed for us that we have continued to improve on the technical side of our program. We are also glad to have Milwaukee behind us and to have the opportunity to get another good result like we had at Monterrey."
The race will be shown live on CBS Sports beginning at 3:30 PM EST on June 19th.
1991 Indy Lights Champion Eric Bachelart started Conquest Racing in 1997 to compete in the Indy Lights series, scoring a podium finish with driver Christophe Tinseau in the team's first season. Conquest Racing competed in the next four seasons in Indy Lights, winning races with Felipe Giaffone and Kristian Kolby. Mike Lanigan, President of Mi-Jack Products, an intermodal Chicago-based company became a co-owner in 2002. Mi-Jack Conquest Racing contested the 2002 Indy Racing League season with rookie Laurent Redon, netting a podium finish in just the third race of the season and clinching the Rookie of the year award.
Mi-Jack Conquest Racing rejoined the Champ Car family in 2003, stepping up to the Champ Car World Series with Brazilian Mario Haberfeld and scoring eleven top-ten finishes despite competing with a Reynard. Mi-Jack Conquest Racing continued its tradition of working well with young drivers in 2004 as Justin Wilson took second in the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year battle, with Nelson Philippe scoring two top-ten finishes after joining the team in the closing stages of the season.