DÃ©jÃ vu for Conquest Racing at Honda Indy Toronto TORONTO (July 18, 2010) - Although it was a different year with different drivers, Conquest Racing's outcome had a hint of dÃ©jÃ vu at the Honda Indy Toronto. Bertrand Baguette and Mario ...
Déjà vu for Conquest Racing at Honda Indy Toronto
TORONTO (July 18, 2010) - Although it was a different year with different drivers, Conquest Racing's outcome had a hint of déjà vu at the Honda Indy Toronto.
Bertrand Baguette and Mario Romancini had scored their best starting positions during Saturday's qualifying session and were running in their most competitive race of the season on Sunday when separate on-track incidents cost them possible top-10 finishes.
Things started to go downhill for Romancini during his first stop on lap 18. The rookie driver didn't hit his marks in his pit box and the crew was unable to fuel him forcing him to come back in the pits the following lap, sending him down to 22nd.
Upon returning to the track, he gained a couple of spots and was 20th when he was an innocent victim of an accident not even halfway through the 85-lap event. Fellow Brazilian Mario Moraes made an impossible passing maneuver in Turn 3 - for which he would later be penalized for avoidable contact - that took Romancini out of the race. The rookie driver would later be classified in 22nd place.
Things were looking up for Baguette aboard the #36 Ice-Watch Dallara/Honda, as he was constantly moving up the field. Despite struggling a little in his second stint, the Belgian had made his way into ninth when he headed down pit lane for his second stop of the race.
Following his pit stop, Baguette was in a battle with Tomas Scheckter, the same driver that Conquest Racing had tangled with last season in Toronto. It was only a few laps later that Baguette would go a lap down after making a mistake in trying to out brake Scheckter, who was making a passing attempt on the inside.
While Baguette tried to avoid contact with the tire wall, he had to wait for the Holmatro Safety Crew to come and push him back, therefore losing a lap to the leaders and a potential top-10. He ended up in 16th.
Despite the team's result at the Honda Indy Toronto, Conquest Racing is anxious to get back on track at Edmonton following their competitiveness this weekend.
The Honda Indy Edmonton takes place next weekend at City Centre Airport, July 23 - 25, 2010.
16th - Bertrand Baguette, #36 Ice-Watch Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"We did a good first stint with the red tires and had a good start moving up to 12th. After our first pit stop we put the black Firestone tires on and it was a little bit more difficult for me, especially at the restart but I managed to keep my place. Then, Scheckter tried to pass me on the inside and I tried to brake late to make his life a little bit harder but I braked too late and that was it.
"I'm disappointed because it was my mistake and the car was really, really good. We could be ninth right now without that incident."
22nd - Mario Romancini, #34 Conquest Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"It's a shame. Although we had a bad first pit stop we had a competitive racecar. We saw how many accidents there were and I was just trying to stay out of trouble. I don't know what Mario (Moraes) was thinking because he was five car lengths behind me and we still had Wheldon between us. I don't know what happened, I guess he missed his braking and just took me out.
"I'm really sorry for the guys. It was our best start so far and we were having a competitive weekend. We had all the chances to finish in the top ten, but this is racing and now we have to think about Edmonton and see how it goes there."
-source: conquest racing
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