CHAMPCAR/CART: Road America: Rocketsports Racing preview

ROCKETSPORTS LOOKS FORWARD TO RETURNING TO ROAD AMERICA TO BUILD ON PAST RESULTS WITH EXPERIENCED DRIVERS EAST LANSING, Michigan (September 20, 2006) -- Rocketsports Racing has three factors that add to the equation which should equal ...


EAST LANSING, Michigan (September 20, 2006) -- Rocketsports Racing has three factors that add to the equation which should equal better results at Road America for the team: a race win, a veteran Champ Car driver, and a driver who has previous history of top success in various racecars.

This event will mark the third time that Rocketsports will take their Champ Car operation to the challenging road course in the rolling hills of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Their first appearance was with Alex Tagliani back in 2003. Starting on the grid in the 13th spot, the team earned a podium finish with a third place result. When they returned in 2004, Tagliani and the team took the car all the way to the top, earning the team's first victory after starting in the 13th spot once again. Seeing that 13 is usually an unlucky number, Rocketsports was able to change the superstitious number into a positive one that saw them finish in the top-three in both of their past efforts.

This year, the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series returns to Road America after a one-year hiatus. Rocketsports remains the defending race winners and will do their best with drivers Mario Dominguez and Tonis Kasemets this weekend to continue their podium-finishing streak at this venue.

It was announced on Monday that Dominguez would be joining the team and driving the #8 Pemex/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for the remaining three races left on the 2006 Champ Car schedule. He will make his debut with the team this weekend in Road America, and will be reunited with his former engineer Brian Ma, whom he had worked with previously back when he was driving at Herdez Competition (now known as CTE Racing/HVM). Together the two earned Dominguez's best starting position at Road America in 2003 when he qualified fifth. Ma joined Rocketsports in 2004 and brought the team their first win at the Road America event when was the lead engineer on Tagliani's car.

Dominguez will be making his fifth start in a Champ Car on the 4.048-mile permanent road couse when the green flag drops this Sunday. The Mexican looks to best his top finish of fifth at Road America this weekend with his new team.

"I am looking forward to my first race with the Rocketsports team," said Dominguez. "Road America is a great track and it is always fun to race there. I am so happy to be returning to this venue, not only as a driver who truly enjoys running on it, but for all the fans that really love road-course racing. I think this series puts on a great show every time we race in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Rocketsports has had some good results in the past at Road America, earning a podium and a win in only two visits with a Champ Car," continued Dominguez. "I think that goes to show the potential of this team doing well this weekend, and I am so excited to be a part of that. I am going to be reunited with my engineer, Brian Ma, and back in 2003 when we worked together I earned my best starting position at Road America with a fifth place grid spot. So with the team's past knowledge, along with my familiarity of running with its engineer and my past experience there, I think we can have a good first race together that will be rewarding for all. It is going to be a big responsibility for me with having a new team and new sponsors (PEMEX, GICSA, and Del Valle) to impress, but I think it should be a good race for me and I can't wait to get started."

Kasemets is no stranger to this venue, which is an added bonus for the Estonian driver who makes his return to the Champ Car paddock this weekend. He has competed at Road America in various racecars including Sedans, GT5, Formula 2000, Formula Zetec, and an Atlantic car. He holds many records, earned several poles and victories in his many runs. His most recent venture was last year when he competed in the Champ Car Toyota Atlantic Championship. Earning the pole position, Kasemets lead the race wire-to-wire taking the win, while recording the fastest race lap.

Piloting the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone, Kasemets will attempt to make his fifth Champ Car start this weekend. His best start of the season was 17th in Toronto, and his best finish of 11th came in Edmonton. He hopes to use his previous track knowledge, along with a new teammate, to have a good run this weekend in a Champ Car.

"I am happy to be getting back into a Champ Car this weekend, especially at Road America," stated Kasemets. "It is a very special place for me. I have raced at this venue many times in various racecars. I have had good results in the past, so I hope to take the knowledge that I have of the track to increase my overall performance in a Champ Car. It is also going to be good to have an experienced teammate with Mario joining the team this race. He has been in Champ Car for a while now and really knows these cars. So hopefully I can learn something from him, while I continue to improve with my overall results for not only myself, but the team as well. Hopefully we will be able to turn things around this weekend and have a solid finish when it is all over."

-credit: rocketsports racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Dominguez , Tonis Kasemets