Nelson Set to Defend his Australian, Indy 300 Title Nelson's Adopted Hometown While he may credit Valence, France as his hometown, Nelson Philippe ( ...
Nelson Set to Defend his Australian, Indy 300 Title
Nelson's Adopted Hometown
While he may credit Valence, France as his hometown, Nelson Philippe (#34 Juniper Group/Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone) has recently adopted Surfers Paradise as his new residence. He has been living in the seaside town with girlfriend, Sarah Buller, the reigning Bartercard Miss Indy for the past few months but is ready to be back racing in a Champ Car.
"I am very happy to be racing again, especially in my adopted hometown of Surfers Paradise!" said Philippe. "I have been here for the past two months looking at the track being built and it is an awesome feeling to be back to defend my title."
Nelson's new Aussie home offers him the ideal perch from which to scope out the challenging, 2.795-mile street course. Just one year ago, Philippe became the youngest Champ Car driver to win a race and now, at 21 years of age, is looking to make history again by being the first driver to earn a repeat win at the Lexmark Indy 300 event.
In addition to the already busy agenda preparing for his Champ Car return, Nelson has kept up a rigorous media schedule which included a trip to Mexico City before returning to Australia to fundraise for local charity, CanTeen -- The Australian Organization for Young People Living with Cancer.
Welcoming New Sponsors
Nelson will be racing to make history with the support of new sponsors Juniper Development Group, their Surfers Paradise project, Soul and Opes Prime Group; all local Australian companies. Throughout the weekend, Nelson and the Conquest Racing team will be welcoming guests from all of these sponsors and providing these partners with a behind the scenes look at Champ Car World Series Racing.
Testing the DP01
In his first time back in a Champ Car in just over six months, Nelson showed the Conquest Racing team that he is still a fierce competitor who hasn't lost his edge. Just a day after announcing his return, Philippe took to the track at Putnam Park for a one day test.
"It was a very successful day and Nelson was able to reacquaint himself quickly to the DP01," said Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing team owner. "He was able to get some practice standing starts in and run laps with a full fuel tank. The entire team was impressed with his speed at the test and is excited to compete at Surfers."
"We had a productive test day in Putnam Park last week and I immediately felt comfortable in the car," said Nelson. "I had forgotten how fast these things went! It will be tough for me to catch up to all the other drivers since I haven't done any races in the DP01 but I am very determined to get back to the top. It is great to be back with Conquest, they are a very professional team that knows how to have fun and I know we will be successful!"
Nelson's return marks a reunion for not only him with the Conquest Team but with race engineer, Don Bricker. "I have had the chance to see Nelson progress throughout his Champ Car career," said Bricker. "His is always a strong driver to work with who gives good feedback to the team. We expect he will be very competitive in the upcoming final two rounds."
Conquest Racing's Momentum to the Top
In the past five races, Conquest Racing has been gaining strong momentum leading to their most recent finish of second place at the Grand Prix of Holland. The Team had their first top ten finish of the season in Edmonton and has been gaining positions since. Conquest Racing will now be looking for their second podium finish of the season at Surfers Paradise with the current Indy 300 champion, Nelson Philippe.
The Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Qld Australia will be held Friday, October 18th through Sunday, October 21st. The race will be broadcast live in the United States on Saturday, October 20th at 11:30 pm EST on ESPN Classic. A repeat broadcast will be shown on ESPN2 on Sunday, October 21st at 6:00 pm EST.