ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (September 23, 2006) -- When Rocketsports Racing came to the track this morning the sun was shining, but the clouds rolled in just as the morning practice session came to an end resulting in afternoon showers, which ...
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (September 23, 2006) -- When Rocketsports Racing came to the track this morning the sun was shining, but the clouds rolled in just as the morning practice session came to an end resulting in afternoon showers, which ultimately effected any changes to the grid from provisional qualifying on Friday, seeing Tonis Kasemets and Mario Dominguez starting 14th and 15th for tomorrow's Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America.
Final qualifying took place this afternoon and both drivers headed out early to get turn some laps. They did so just in time, as the rain started to come down even heavier with 15 minutes left in the session. Dominguez came into the pits after his first run of five laps, which he recorded a quick time of 2:11.076. As the rain picked up, he was unable to better that time so that was the fastest time the Mexican recorded this afternoon, which saw him finish the session in the tenth spot. Dominguez ran a total of eight laps this afternoon.
Kasemets also posted his fastest time of the qualifying session during his first run. During his first five laps of nine in final qualifying, he recorded a quick lap time of 2:10.273 around the 4.048-mile permanent road course of Road America. He finished the session in the eighth spot.
Despite positive positions on the Champ Car timing and scoring this afternoon resulting in both Rocketsports drivers sitting in the top ten, those times did not beat the times that were recorded yesterday during provisional qualifying. Therefore, Kasemets' best time of 2:01.381 (120.058 mph) which put him 14th on the grid will see him start on the outside of row seven in tomorrow's race. Dominguez will start in the 15th spot holding his quickest qualifying time of 2:01.882 (119.565 mph). He will be starting from the inside of row eight when the green flag drops at the start of the race.
There will be a 30-minute Warm Up session tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. local time. The Rocketsports cars will head out to the grid at 12:15 p.m. CST to prepare for the green flag start of Round 12 in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford at 1:00 p.m. The race can be seen live on SPEED TV with coverage beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST or by logging onto www.champcar.ws and signing up for a free trial of Race Director
#18 Tonis Kasemets Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"I really need more time to drive the Champ Car here. I am just getting used to the #18 Flexovit Abrasives/Rocketsports car on this track and how it wants to be driven, especially in the rain. More time would help build up my confidence, but unfortunately we do not have much time left here before the race. I am lucky to have an engineer, John Gentilozzi, who is willing to work with me in terms of making changes on the car to meet my needs. There is a good balance between the two of us, so things are working well and I am very happy. In order for a good relationship to work, you have to make sacrifices, and together we balance out. We will have a little more track time tomorrow before the race, and then we will see what happens. I will do my best, as I have a lot of family and friends here, not to mention my sponsors Flexovit Abrasives. Hopefully we can have a good race with a good finish, and that it does not rain tomorrow!!"
#8 Mario Dominguez Pemex/GICSA/Del Valle Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"It was raining more than yesterday, so we were unable to improve our time. So we will have to start tomorrow's race in the 15th spot, but that is ok. The #8 Pemex/GICSA/Del Valle car should be fast tomorrow. It is going to be more exciting to start from the back and work our way to the front in the race. I plan to do my best for the Rocketsports team, Pemex, GICSA, Del Valle and my personal sponsors Telmex and Bridgestone, and hopefully we can have a good finish in our first race all together."