VISION RACING LOOKS TO GAIN EXPERIENCE IN SECOND ROAD COURSE AFFAIR Finishing Second Race in a Row is Key for Vision Racing as They Compete on a Road Course for Only the Second Time INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 24 2005) -- Vision Racing's road...
VISION RACING LOOKS TO GAIN EXPERIENCE IN SECOND ROAD COURSE AFFAIR
Finishing Second Race in a Row is Key for Vision Racing as They Compete on a Road Course for Only the Second Time
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 24 2005) -- Vision Racing's road racing debut didn't turn out as hoped, but the team anticipates that preparation for the second time around will prove to be more fruitful. After finishing 19th due to contact in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in April, the team did their homework in following months and are set for just their second road course; the Argent Mortgage Indy Grand Prix at Infineon Raceway.
Since leaving St. Petersburg, Vision Racing participated in the road course tests at Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen, hired road course racing veteran, Roberto Moreno, to help set-up the racecar, and Vision Racing driver, Ed Carpenter also competed in the Liberty Challenge, a Menards Infiniti Pro Series road course event in held in conjunction with the Formula One United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in June.
The previous test at Infineon Raceway alone should help Carpenter overcome his St. Petersburg woes. He said, "We improved on our road racing shock package a lot at that test. Roberto Moreno was at that test both coaching me and putting in some time in the car. He was a major help to us in developing the car and developing my confidence road racing. We went into St. Pete pretty much cold turkey, so we have a little better idea of what we are doing heading into this event."
The added experience and time invested in testing will all be validated should Carpenter be able to finish the race. However, Carpenter's goal of finishing this weekend's race is a bit more challenging than usual. Not only is this the second road course for the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series and Vision Racing, but it's also the second of Carpenter's IndyCar career.
"After the first street race in St. Petersburg I was really disappointed that I did not finish the race, "Carpenter recalled. "I lost a lot of experience by not finishing. So the first goal is to run all laps for the weekend. The more laps I run, the better I am going to get at turning right."
With just four races left in the season, including this weekends event, Carpenter is feeling the pressure to gain experience and learn the craft of road course racing as two of the final four races are staged on road courses. He added, "Like I said before, I want to make sure I finish the race. That is the number one priority. I want to be more competitive than I was at St. Pete and continue to gain experience. The more I learn at this race, the better I will be when we get to Watkins Glen."
Gaining experience isn't the only reason Carpenter wants to finish this weekend's race. Carpenter, was able to overcome a bit of a slump by finishing last week's race; the Honda Indy 225 at Pikes Peak International Raceway. His 19th place finish was his first running finish in three races. Prior to a blown engine at Michigan International Raceway and a broken rear suspension at Kentucky Speedway, Vision Racing and Carpenter had finished four races in a row, including a top 10 finish at Nashville Superspeedway.
"The weekend started off really well," Carpenter said about the Pikes Peak International Raceway event. "I was happy with all of our practice sessions and our qualifying session. In hindsight, I don't think that we focused enough on long runs, and that is what hurt us in the race. It was a long day in the race, the car wasn't driving as good as it needed to be, but we persevered as a team, learned a lot, and have a car to take to the next race. After two DNF's in a row, it was nice to get back to finishing races."
Finishing races is top priority for the young Vision Racing team for the remainder of the season and preparation is the key to being successful with that goal. Having the necessary equipment, experience, and mindset are all characteristics that bode well for the team in that regard.
Carpenter said, "We had our road course car ready to go before Pikes Peak, so we are very prepared from that stand point. We had a good test last time we were at Infineon, so we feel like we have a good starting point, and we have some new ideas of things to try to make the car better. I had a lot of fun at that test, so I am looking forward to getting back on track to try to improve my road racing skills."
Carpenter's maturity, forethought, and knowledge of his own capabilities will certainly serve him well this weekend. He said, "I am enjoying road racing, but I struggle with it at the same time from a lack of experience. So I just want to have a good time, and learn as much as I can."