CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Mi-Jack Conquest Racing preview

Mi-Jack Conquest Racing taking positive momentum down under Surfers Paradise, Australia (19 October 04)--Mi-Jack Conquest Racing teammates Nelson Philippe and Justin Wilson, fresh off the teams first double-top ten finish of the season, are ...

Mi-Jack Conquest Racing taking positive momentum down under

Surfers Paradise, Australia (19 October 04)--Mi-Jack Conquest Racing teammates Nelson Philippe and Justin Wilson, fresh off the teams first double-top ten finish of the season, are looking to bring the positive momentum with them Down Under as they prepare for the Lexmark Indy 300 in Surfers Paradise, Australia for round eleven of the Champ Car World Series powered by Ford. With just two rounds remaining in the 2004 championship, the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing squad is hoping that the Las Vegas results will serve as a springboard to a strong finish to the season.

"After the positive team result in Las Vegas, we have been preparing for the Surfers race and are eager to get back to competition," said team owner Eric Bachelart. "The Australian race weekend is very special for Champ Car, and it requires a lot of effort from the team as we have to prepare not just for the race, but also for all the logistical challenges presented when flying to the other side of the world to compete."

The race weekend will be the first visit to the 2.795-mile temporary street circuit for both Philippe and Wilson, but the two are relishing the opportunity of returning to action in front of the massive crowds that the event traditionally attracts.

Rookie Philippe, who scored the best finish of his young Champ Car career in Las Vegas with a ninth place result, is looking forward to taking to the track, which has some sections that remind Philippe of circuits he raced on in his days as a champion karter.

"It looks like a really fun track, with the fast chicanes and some curbs that you can really attack, as well as some big braking areas, and we are very strong under braking, so hopefully the track will suit my style," enthused Philippe. "The main goal for the weekend is to continue building on what we have been building on since I joined Mi-Jack Conquest Racing. We have a strong car, and with the help of Justin and my engineers, I think we can have a good weekend."

Fellow rookie Wilson, who has a mathematical chance to win the Champ Car Rookie of the Year award, has also never seen the Surfers circuit first-hand, but has raced in Australia before, when he made his Formula One debut in Melbourne last season. Wilson is not daunted by the challenge of learning yet another new track, and is looking forward to another visit to Australia.

"Almost every track we have raced on has been new to me this season, and this weekend in Australia will be no different," said Wilson. "We will be doing as much as we can to prepare ourselves in advance of the weekend to be as competitive as possible straight away and progress through the event."

Going from the flat-out racing on the banks of an oval to competing through the concrete canyons of a street circuit is a big challenge, but Wilson feels its part of what makes racing in the Champ Car World Series so satisfying as a driver.

"After Vegas, preparing to race on such a different circuit is a special challenge for me and the team, but it's also what makes this championship so exciting. I know that the track has a history of producing first-time winners, so that will hopefully be true again this year!"

1991 Indy Lights Champion Eric Bachelart started Mi-Jack Conquest racing with Mike Lanigan in 1997 to compete in the Indy Lights series, scoring a podium finish with driver Christophe Tinseau in the teams first season. Mi-Jack Conquest Racing competed in the next four seasons in Indy Lights, winning races with Felipe Giaffone and Kristian Kolby before moving over to contest the 2002 Indy Racing League season with rookie Laurent Redon, netting a podium finish in just the third race of the season.

Mi-Jack Conquest racing rejoined the Champ Car family in 2003, stepping up to the Champ Car World Series with Brazilian Mario Haberfeld and scoring eleven top-ten finishes despite competing with a Reynard. The team is proud to be contesting its second season in the Champ Car World Series powered by Ford, with rookie drivers Justin Wilson and Nelson Philippe.

-cr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Mario Haberfeld , Justin Wilson , Felipe Giaffone , Christophe Tinseau , Laurent Redon , Nelson Philippe , Kristian Kolby
Teams Conquest Racing