CHAMPCAR/CART: San Jose: Conquest Racing Saturday report

Philippe takes best-ever qualifying at San Jose Ranger suffers contact after trying to get back into top-ten San Jose, CA (30 July 2005)-- The Champ Car World Series is once again making it's debut this weekend on a brand new circuit in a ...

Philippe takes best-ever qualifying at San Jose
Ranger suffers contact after trying to get back into top-ten

San Jose, CA (30 July 2005)-- The Champ Car World Series is once again making it's debut this weekend on a brand new circuit in a new market, and second-year Champ Car driver Nelson Philippe has shown that he's a big fan, posting times near the top of the order in Friday and Saturday's practice sessions for Sunday's Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose. Philippe kept up the momentum when it counted too, posting a 54.878-second lap in the Saturday qualifying session to score sixth on the grid, his best starting position yet as a Champ Car pilot.

"I'm very happy for the team, they truly deserve this," said Philippe. "I'm happy also because all the hard work I've been doing lately is finally showing in the results. In the first half of the season, I did some good stuff but I knew I had to work more and try to get all the elements in my mind to work well. My engineer Don Bricker is doing a great job and it's rewarding to work with him."

Team co-owner Eric Bachelart was encouraged with the job Philippe did in the Wellbox/Mi-Jack Conquest Racing machine, and sees the result as a good demonstration of the team's increased strength and capabilities.

"I'm very pleased with Nelson's performance today," said Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team co-owner Eric Bachelart. "This is a confirmation of the progress we are seeing race after race. Top 6 for him and if you look at the guys ahead of him, it makes you feel good. I'm very excited about his qualifying and looking forward for a good race tomorrow."

Canadian Andrew Ranger, who is looking to retake his position atop the Roshfrans Rookie of the Year standings this weekend, had a difficult qualifying session after the bumpy circuit caused a pair of problems, although he managed to post a best lap time of 55.434-seconds and will line up eleventh on Sunday's grid.

We got an oil leak as a consequence of the radiators hitting pretty hard on the bumps and we lost a good part of the qualifying session to fix the problem. The guys were quick to do the repair and get my car back on track during the session. Going into corner 6, I was carrying a lot of speed trying to make up the time, and unfortunately the car did not take it andI hit the wall. It's not where I wanted to start, but we should still have a good race tomorrow."

Team co-owner, Mike Lanigan,wasn't just impressed with what he saw on-track this weekend, as a remarkable crowd was on hand to see the Champ Cars in action, and with the new Atlantics package being announced this weekend as well,Lanigan is seeing Champ Car continue to grow and prepare for the future.

"I'm quite impressed with the attendance for this event, and the promoter did a fantastic job," said Lanigan. "The track still needs some work and the officials are working very hard on that, but this event clearly has a lot of potential for our series and after the success of Edmonton, this is some good momentum for Champ Car."

Philippe is looking forward to Sunday's race, as he has shown that he can run at the front at the Champ Car level, and that he has a strong team behind him to help make it happen.

"Tomorrow I know I will have some good pit stops with the Wellbox Mi-Jack Conquest crew, they work fast," said Philippe. "For the race I will be starting on 3rd row and hopefully we will stay out of trouble, we have a car for top 5 and maybe a podium. I have 100% confidence on my team."

-mjcr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Nelson Philippe , Andrew Ranger
Teams Conquest Racing