ANOTHER TOP-TEN FINISH FOR MJCR CHAMP CAR TEAM AS ZWOLSMAN TAKES NINTH - Andrew Ranger suffers first DNF of the season due to contact with Legge - San Jose, California, July 30, 2006 -- Charles Zwolsman of the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team led...
ANOTHER TOP-TEN FINISH FOR MJCR CHAMP CAR TEAM AS ZWOLSMAN TAKES NINTH
- Andrew Ranger suffers first DNF of the season due to contact with Legge -
San Jose, California, July 30, 2006 -- Charles Zwolsman of the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team led his first Champ Car laps today but crossed the finish line ninth at the Canary Foundation Grand Prix of San Jose Presented by Taylor Woodrow, but the day was not so rejoicing for his teammate Andrew Ranger who suffered his first DNF of the season after being punted out of the race by Katherine Legge. Ranger falls to sixth in the championship with 135 points, only six points behind Mario Dominguez in fourth and two behind Paul Tracy in fifth.
Things were looking good for Charles Zwolsman today as he picked up an extra point for leading the race, fought off Series Champion Sebastien Bourdais for 13 laps and stayed in third place until he had to pit on lap 80. The 26-year-old racer from the Netherlands was hoping for green flag racing until the end of the race so that the strategy could work out, but the final yellow flag caused by Legge taking out Zwolsman's teammate Ranger, put an end to any hope.
"It was quite exciting running up there in the top-three, it felt really good even though I knew that we were going to have to stop again. We were hoping that it was going to stay green until the end because the others had to pit as well but the yellows at the end helped them finish without having to stop again," said Zwolsman. "We had the pace to run with the leaders but after our final pit stop I tried to pass Oriol (Servia) but he had so much push to pass left he could defend himself."
Andrew Ranger had an eventful day as he moved up four positions in the opening moments of the race. However, he fell back down to the rear of the field due to some traction problems. Ranger lost a lap when he had to pit early to change tires but was able to get back on the lead lap when a yellow flag came out on lap 36. The young Canadian was slowly moving forward but with less than ten laps to go, he got hit by Katherine Legge on lap 82 and it sent him into the wall in turn 1.
"We had a good start, we moved up to fourth and were running with the leaders but I had a hard time dealing with the traction and I ended up near the end of the field. We pitted early to change tires. Things were going well, we had moved up a few spots," explained Ranger. "At one point in the race I tried to pass Katherine (Legge) who was more than one lap down but she blocked me three, four times. Then near the end she put me in the wall trying to pass me and she was running seven laps down! I don't understand what she was doing."
Before heading to the next event in Colorado, for the Grand Prix of Denver, August 11-13, the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team will be taking part in a two-day test at Elkhart Lake this coming Thursday and Friday.