WATKINS GLEN PRE-RACE NOTES Time to Turn Right Despite a very strong showing on the oval at Richmond last weekend, where the team led its first oval laps of the season, Conquest Racing is looking forward to turning both left and right this ...
WATKINS GLEN PRE-RACE NOTES
Time to Turn Right
Despite a very strong showing on the oval at Richmond last weekend, where the team led its first oval laps of the season, Conquest Racing is looking forward to turning both left and right this weekend after six consecutive oval races. The team, who has plenty of road racing experience, will feel right at home this weekend at Watkins Glen even if it will be its first appearance at the 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course. The team has a string of top-six finishes in their final Champ Car road course races, including a second place in Assen, Holland, and looks to continue its strong performances on that type of track in the IndyCar Series.
Last Race Recap
Even though Jaime Camara crashed out while running third last weekend, the rookie, who is coming off his best showing so far this season, was praised for his performance in Richmond by many including race winner Tony Kanaan. Camara led 44 laps and impressed with his outside passes while making his run to the front from his 24th place on the grid.
New but Not Unknown
While Enrique Bernoldi may be competing for the first time at The Glen this weekend, road racing is not unknown to him. The Brazilian's background is on this type of track, having raced in series such as Formula 1 and F3000 in Europe . The Conquest rookie is welcoming the change of track for this weekend and hopes to give himself a new boost for the remainder of the season after disappointing results in the last few races.
Camara at The Glen
Jaime Camara will be making his fifth start at Watkins Glen International this weekend but his first aboard an IndyCar Series car. The rookie raced there twice in 2007 during a double header Firestone Indy Lights weekend and once in 2005 and 2006. His best Indy Lights finish at The Glen is a fourth place in 2006 with Andretti Green Racing's Indy Lights team and his best qualifying effort was a third place in 2005 with Sam Schmidt Motorsports. This will also be Camara's first road course race in the IndyCar Series.
Jaime Camara picked up the Lincoln Welder's Hard Charger Award for being the driver who started the furthest back on the starting grid and led part of the race under green flag conditions. The rookie is also nominated for the Firestone "Tire-ific" Move of the Race for charging to the front and leading for 44 laps. Fans can vote online at www.indycar.com until Wednesday. The winner will be announced this weekend during the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen.
Best of Conquest 2008
Conquest scored its best oval starting position of the season with Enrique Bernoldi with an eighth spot on the grid in Milwaukee and achieved its best combined effort when the team placed both drivers in the top six in Long Beach in April at the Champ Car World Series finale. The team also completed their first Indianapolis 500 this year when Bernoldi took the checkered flag on the lead lap in 15th place. It was the Brazilian's first oval finish of the season. Bernoldi led the team's first laps of the season in St. Petersburg (3) while Jaime Camara led the team's first oval laps (44) of the season in Richmond .
#34 Jaime Camara Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"Watkins Glen is another track that I really like. It's not an easy track and the race is always a long one. You have to be on it all the time. There are not many places to pass so you have to do really well in qualifying to start near the front. The weather is definitely the tricky part of Watkins Glen. You have to wait to be there to find out what kind of weather you will have that weekend. In the past we have had rain on Friday and Saturday and sunny on Sunday and other times it was nice on Friday and Saturday and rain on Sunday! It keeps it interesting and it's a race that is always very competitive. It will be my first time racing an IndyCar Series car there but with Conquest Racing and all the road course experience the team has, I think we will have a very good weekend and that we will be racing up front."
#36 Enrique Bernoldi Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone
"Finally a road course! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy to be turning left and right this weekend. I've struggled with the last few ovals and coming to a familiar racing environment will hopefully help me get back on track. Obviously the track will be new to me but my road racing experience as well as the team's experience on this type of track will serve us well this weekend. I expect to be running up front and to be competitive all weekend. I'm really hoping to come home with a good result. We had a good showing on the street courses in St. Pete and Long Beach and I think our performance on the road courses will be similar."
Eric Bachelart, owner Conquest Racing:
"I think everyone on the team is happy to be going road racing this weekend. We've had a long string of oval races which has helped us gain experience and make plenty of progress on that type of track. We were so close to an excellent result in Richmond with Jaime but once again we just have not been able to show it in the results. We're hoping that heading into the part of the schedule that has more street and road courses that our luck will change. We have a lot of experience on road courses and I think we can expect to be competitive right from the start. It's also an environment that Enrique is very comfortable in and we can expect him to be competitive. Jaime's done fairly well in Indy Lights on the road courses and I expect him to also do well this weekend."