Engine Woes Knock RLR/Andersen's Romancini Out Early at Chicagoland JOLIET, Ill., Aug. 29 - After posting the third-fastest time in practice right out of the transporter, RLR/Andersen Racing's Mario Romancini was forced to retire early in ...
Engine Woes Knock RLR/Andersen's Romancini Out Early at Chicagoland
JOLIET, Ill., Aug. 29 - After posting the third-fastest time in practice right out of the transporter, RLR/Andersen Racing's Mario Romancini was forced to retire early in Saturday's Firestone Indy Lights race at Chicagoland Speedway due to a problem with the engine in his No. 5, which is sponsored by Andersen Racing, Revita Recycling, Win Brazil Marketing, Allied Interior Products and Lafarge North America.
Romancini completed 12 laps in the 67-lap/100-mile race on the 1.5-mile, D-shaped trioval to place 16th in the final rundown.
The Sao Paulo, Brazil and Miami-based driver started tenth. He passed the driver who went on to win the race, Daniel Herrington, on lap two to move into ninth, but Herrington got him back on the next lap. He regained ninth when the polesitter, Brandon Wagner, was involved in a tussle with Pippa Mann and Rodrigo Barbosa that brought out the first yellow.
At that point Romancini was black-flagged to check for fluids leaking from his car, but when he brought the car on pit lane it was dry upon inspection. He was allowed to rejoin the field in eighth place, but when the green waved again with 11 laps down his car didn't respond when he got on the throttle, and he retired with only a dozen laps complete.
His fastest lap was lap five, which he did in 28.8800 seconds for an average speed of 189.474 miles per hour.
He is now seventh in the point standings with one race remaining, only 24 points out of sixth.
Romancini's teammate, Ali Jackson of Moyvalley, Country Kildare, Ireland, decided not to compete in this particular event. He plans to resume testing with the team in September and to compete in the season finale Oct. 9 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. with his No. 9, which is sponsored by the Moyvalley Golf and Hotel Resort and Allied Interior Products.
Daniel Herrington won Saturday's race over James Davison and Andrew Prendeville. J.R. Hildebrand clinched the championship by finishing fifth behind Wade Cunningham.
Mario Romancini: "The car was good at the beginning. I was able to move up and race with the others. Then they said I was leaking something, so I came in under the yellow flag and the crew checked it out, but the back of the car was dry. The team did a good job to get me back on the track without losing a lap.
"I went back out, but as soon as I got on the throttle there was just no power. Something let go in the inside of the engine.
"I couldn't have another DNF. It is my third DNF this year for mechanical problems. I'm very disappointed and very frustrated, both for the championship and because the car was very good in practice this morning. I thought we would do much better today."