Indy 500: Conquest Racing rookie orientation preview

Conquest Racing's rookies ready for Indianapolis Motor Speedway challenge INDIANAPOLIS (May 14, 2010) - Conquest Racing will be relying on the team's experience and a pair of talented rookies as it aims to take part in the 94th running of the ...

Conquest Racing's rookies ready for Indianapolis Motor Speedway challenge

INDIANAPOLIS (May 14, 2010) - Conquest Racing will be relying on the team's experience and a pair of talented rookies as it aims to take part in the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500 this month.

The Indianapolis-based team is the only IZOD IndyCar Series team with two rookies forming its driver lineup. But the veteran squad led by Belgian Eric Bachelart is no stranger to fielding rookies, having proven in the past to be up to the challenge.

In its three visits to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Conquest Racing has competed with rookie drivers. In 2002, it was Frenchman Laurent Redon, who took the year-end Rookie of the Year title. In 2008, it was a pair of Brazilian rookies in Enrique Bernoldi and Jaime Camara and last season Conquest Racing claimed Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honors with Alex Tagliani.

In addition to being part of a team with a rich history of working with first year drivers, both Brazilian Mario Romancini and Belgian Bertrand Baguette will be able to count on the experience of its team members and even more so on the knowledge of its engineers Mike Pawlowski and former Newman/Haas Racing engineer Todd Malloy, who each have nearly a dozen years of experience at 500 mile races.

While Baguette will be turning his first laps at the famed 2.5-mile oval during Rookie Orientation this weekend, and only his second career oval, Romancini will be rediscovering the track.

The Brazilian raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last season in Firestone Indy Lights starting 18th and finishing third. However, he is well aware that the experience will be different this time around in the more powerful #34 Conquest Racing Honda-Dallara.

Both Conquest Racing drivers have learned a lot, very quickly, so far this season and have put in strong performances in the opening races of the season and both know that there is plenty more to learn as they seek a spot in what will be a very competitive 33-car field.

Conquest Racing has been hard at work these last few weeks, and months, in preparation for its fourth Indianapolis 500, working on improving the cars' performance, amongst other things, and tomorrow is when it all comes together on track.

Baguette and Romancini will be part of a seven-rookie field that will be on track for Rookie Practice Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 pm ET. The pair must complete four different speed levels before being allowed to compete with the rest of the highly competitive field of drivers starting Monday, May 17.

Mario Romancini, #34 Conquest Racing

"The Indianapolis 500 is the biggest sporting event in the world, so of course I'm very excited and anxious about it! I have good memories from the Speedway, running one of my best races there in Firestone Indy Lights last season but I'm also aware that it will be a completely different experience driving around this track in an Indy car. I'm fully committed to giving my best and together with the team we will try to have a good month. The field is very competitive and it will be tight. Here more than anywhere else the small details make all the difference."

Bertrand Baguette, #36 RACB National Team

"I'm very excited to take part in such a big event, it's the biggest race in the world and to be here means a lot. It will be very special for me to take my first laps around the Speedway. The team has been working very hard and they had a lot of work to do between the last race and now. The competition level this season is very high, so qualifications next weekend will certainly be a big challenge. I will work as hard as possible and do my best during the upcoming practice sessions, getting up to speed step-by-step."

-source: conqest racing

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Enrique Bernoldi , Alex Tagliani , Jaime Camara , Bertrand Baguette , Mario Romancini
Teams Conquest Racing