Edmonton: RLR/Andersen Racing race notes

Romancini Finishes Eighth For RLR/Andersen Racing In Firestone Indy Lights Action at Edmonton EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada, July 25 - Andersen Racing's Mario Romancini started seventh and finished eighth in the inaugural Firestone Indy Lights...

Romancini Finishes Eighth For RLR/Andersen Racing In Firestone Indy Lights Action at Edmonton

EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada, July 25 - Andersen Racing's Mario Romancini started seventh and finished eighth in the inaugural Firestone Indy Lights race at the Edmonton City Centre Airport Saturday.

His teammate, Ali Jackson, qualified 11th and was ninth in the morning warm-up. He finished 15th in the race, however, after his Moyvalley Golf and Hotel Resort/Allied Interior Products No. 9 retired due to a faulty fuel pump relay sensor with 44 laps completed in the 50-lap/98.65-mile race on the 1.973-mile, 14-turn temporary circuit.

Romancini, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, dropped to tenth place early in the race, but held that position from laps four through 12 with his No. 5, which is sponsored by Andersen Racing, Revita Recycling, Win Brazil Marketing, Allied Interior Products and Lafarge North America. At that point Wade Cunningham got around him, but Romancini was able to remain in 11th place until lap 28, when Martin Plowman edged pass him.

Romancini regained 11th on lap 30 when Gustavo Yacaman stopped in Turn 13, and he moved back into the top 10 on lap 33 by passing Plowman back.

He got ninth on lap 46 when the sixth-place driver, Ana Beatriz, pitted to replace a flat right-front tire. He moved into eighth on the white-flag lap due to James Davison's misfortunes. Romancini was about 4.4268 seconds behind the seventh-place finisher, Andrew Prendeville, when the checkered waved.

Jackson, of Belfast, Northern Ireland, ran in 12th position in the early stages of the race, with only Cunningham between him and Romancini. He had some issues with his tires, however, and then began to drift backwards in the standings.

Plowman passed him on lap 13 to push him to 13th. He dropped to 14th when Daniel Herrington got by him five laps before the halfway point. Pippa Mann edged ahead of him on lap 22 to push him to 15th. He regained 14th with 30 laps down due to Yacaman's problems. He got 13th position back on lap 41 by edging ahead of Plowman, but retired with 44 laps complete due to the problem with his car's fuel pump relay sensor and placed 15th in the final rundown.

Romancini's fastest race lap was lap 22, which he did in 1:08.578 for an average speed of 103.572 miles per hour. Jackson's was lap seven, when he was timed in 1:09.0692 for an average speed of 102.212 mph.

VERSUS's TV coverage is slated for 4 p.m. Eastern time on Monday. J.R. Hildebrand dominated the entire event, which ran non-stop, and had a 14.0154-seconds lead over Richard Philippe at the line. Sebastian Saavedra placed third.

Both of the RLR/Andersen Racing cars sported the logo of Best Friends Animal Society here as a salute to that not-for-profit animal welfare group, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this month. The donated signage draws attention to Best Friends' quarter century of service to the welfare of abused, abandoned animals at its 3,700-acre sanctuary in southwestern Utah, and for its on-going work across the United States. Best Friends' No More Homeless Pets program includes national campaigns in key American cities to address the problems of saving pit bull dogs, speaking out against puppy mills, addressing the problem of cat overpopulation and striving that one day there will be no more homeless pets. More information on the organization can be obtained at bestfriends.org.

For more information on Andersen Racing, which is sponsored by Allied Interior Products and Lafarge North America and offers programs in karting, Formula BMW and Star Mazda in addition to Firestone Indy Lights, see its Web site at andersenracingteam.com. For more information on its 1-mile road course test track in Palmetto, Fla., see andersenracepark.com.

Firestone Indy Lights has four races in August: Kentucky Speedway Aug. 1; the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Aug. 9; Infineon Raceway Aug. 23 and Chicagoland Speedway Aug. 29. After that only the season finale on Oct. 9 at Homestead-Miami Speedway remains for 2009.

Romancini is still third in the point standings going into the Kentucky race. Jackson, who hasn't competed in all the events, is 18th.

Post-race quotes follow:

Mario Romancini: "We tried a set-up that we thought would be better, but it wasn't. The car was oversteering and loose and we had troubles basically everywhere. There are a lot of fast corners here and you need good grip to get around.

"We just weren't quick enough. When we realized that we weren't going to be able to fight for positions, we just tried to finish the race without risking anything. I think that was the right decision. We wanted to do better, but we were still eighth and we still earned points, and we're still third in the championship. It's important to stay out of trouble.

"Now we'll go back to the ovals. I'm confident that we'll be able to fight for the win in Kentucky."

Ali Jackson: "We were ninth-fastest in the warm-up this morning, but we struggled in the race. We had some issues with our tires that cost us several seconds and dropped us off the pace. Then at the end we dropped out when the fuel pump's relay sensor failed. We'll try again in Kentucky."

-credit: rlr/ar

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Pippa Mann , Wade Cunningham , James Davison , Daniel Herrington , Richard Philippe , Sebastian Saavedra , Martin Plowman , Ana Beatriz , Mario Romancini , Gustavo Yacaman