ROCKETSPORTS HAS HARD FIRST DAY IN TORONTO TORONTO, Canada (July 8, 2005) -- It is a question of luck, whether or not the Rocketsports Racing team has it coming to them, but a tough first day in Toronto does not clarify a definite answer for...
ROCKETSPORTS HAS HARD FIRST DAY IN TORONTO
TORONTO, Canada (July 8, 2005) -- It is a question of luck, whether or not the Rocketsports Racing team has it coming to them, but a tough first day in Toronto does not clarify a definite answer for this weekends result in Round 6 of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.
The first day of on-track activity for Sunday's Molson Indy Toronto was anticipated to be a positive one. Struggling in the last couple of races, the Rocketsports team continues to battle with finding the speed they need to be running up front.
Fighting with understeer and a loose rear, Ryan Hunter-Reay started the morning off in the wrong direction. Knowing what it takes to be quick around this venue after claiming a win while racing in the Barber Dodge Series and a top-ten finish during his last visit, the American was in search of good balance and more traction for the afternoon to improve his standings on the timing and scoring chart.
After 11 laps run this afternoon, Hunter-Reay could feel some improvement to the #31 Cytomax Sport Drink/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone. Posting his best time of the day on his last lap of provisional qualifying, the Floridian crossed past the start/finish line in 1:00.783 (103.944 mph), but sits 15th overall.
Timo Glock journeyed onto the 1.755-mile temporary street course in downtown Toronto for the first time, looking to have valuable on-track time to get familiar with the circuit. A morning practice run eliminated track time for the rookie to learn, as a problem in the gear box on the #8 DHL Global Mail/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone ended the session early.
Trying to take full advantage of the 15-minute practice session during this afternoon's qualifying session, the young German charged hard to get in some good laps. On his fourth lap around, he spun in the entry of Turn after his rear brakes locked up on him. With slight damage on the front wing after lightly tapping the wall, he came into the pits to replace the damaged nose and serve an eight-minute penalty for bringing out a red flag during the session.
Charging hard when the green flag dropped for the qualifying session, Glock posted his fastest time of the day on his third lap, with a time of 1:01.992 (101.916 mph), before he lost a valve spring in the engine that ended his afternoon too early.
Tomorrow is another day of on-track activity leading up to Sunday afternoon's race, allowing time for Rocketsports to improve. There will be an hour practice session in the a.m., followed by final qualifying at 1:45 p.m. ET to determine the starting grid for the 20th running of the Molson Indy Toronto.
Ryan Hunter-Reay #31 Cytomax Sport Drink/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"We have a lot of work to do, we are off the pace and we need to figure out why. The major struggle today was lack of grip. The car was not getting around the corners and I was experiencing a lot of understeer. During the afternoon, it felt that we have made some improvements with the car. The Cytomax Sport Drink car was turning better and the understeer was less, but that was not good enough. We have to work hard tonight to overcome this struggle and hopefully be on the right track tomorrow."
Timo Glock #8 DHL Global Mail/Rocketsports Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone
"Obviously, this is very frustrating, our luck never changes -- it is always bad. Today, it was important for me to get as much track time as possible, since I have never driven at this track. This morning, my session ended a bit early because of problems in the gear box of the DHL Global Mail car. The Rocketsports crew did an amazing job getting that fixed by the afternoon for me to go out and try again. Then during the afternoon session, I was entering a turn and my rear brakes locked up, causing me to spin. Since the red flag came out, I was penalized and only got to run four laps during the warm-up part of qualifying. I immediately went out to make up for lost time when provisional qualifying began, but after a couple of laps, I found myself sidelined again, with a lost value spring. Hopefully our luck will change for tomorrow, but I am running out of time to get familiar with the track."