Three RLR/Andersen Drivers Will Try to Come from the Back In Tomorrow's Firestone Freedom 100 INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., May 21 - The three RLR/Andersen Racing drivers should be exciting to watch tomorrow as they try to come from the back of the...
Three RLR/Andersen Drivers Will Try to Come from the Back In Tomorrow's Firestone Freedom 100
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., May 21 - The three RLR/Andersen Racing drivers should be exciting to watch tomorrow as they try to come from the back of the pack in the Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crown jewel of the Firestone Indy Lights series.
Mario Romancini qualified 18th, Jonathan Summerton qualified 19th and Ali Jackson qualified 20th in the 22-car field Thursday afternoon for the Palmetto, Fla.-based team.
All three feel their cars will be better in the 40-lap/100-mile race than they were in qualifying, so hopes are still high for good finishes when the race gets the green flag at 12:15 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow. It will be covered live on VERSUS and on indycar.com/pro.
Romancini, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, had a qualifying time of 1:36.3676 for two trips around the world-famous 2.5-mile oval. His average speed was 186.785 miles per hour in the No. 5 sponsored by Andersen Racing, Revita Recycling, Win Brazil Marketing, Allied Interior Products and Lafarge North America. He'll start on the outside of Row 9 beside Brandon Wagner.
His drafting partners will be right behind him in Row 10. Points leader Jonathan Summerton of Kissimmee, Fla. qualified 19th with a two-lap time of 1:36.5731 and an average speed of 186.387 mph in the No. 9, which sports logos for Give Kids the World, Allied Interior Products and Lafarge North America along with bright green stripes.
The newest member of the team, Ali Jackson of Belfast, Northern Ireland, was hampered by gearbox problems Thursday with his No. 6, which is sponsored by the Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort in Kildare, Ireland. He'll start beside Summerton with a qualifying time of 1:36.7124 for an average speed of 186.119 mph.
Wade Cunningham won the pole with a new track record of 1:34.6485/190.177 mph.
Mario Romancini: "I'm disappointed because I wanted to start further towards the front, but what matters is if we have a good car for the race. We knew at the test that we were not quick enough to fight for the pole, but I think we'll have a strong car for the race tomorrow. What's important is to stay out of trouble, finish in a good place and score points towards the championship."
Jonathan Summerton: "We made changes thinking it would free the car up and it did not do that, so it's disappointing to be where we're at. Hopefully we'll have a good race car and I can race to the front; we'll see.
"It's still a great feeling to be qualified for a race on the oval at Indianapolis; it's just disappointing to be starting so far back."
Ali Jackson: "The car is comfortable enough. It's very safe. We had problems this morning with the gearbox. I tore the dogs off the gears so I lost third and fourth gear. So I lost 45 minutes this morning because of that so that hindered the No. 6 car's progress on the set-up and my progress as well. I also lost five hours of testing on the 5th of this month as well so things were sort of stacked against us. But there are no points for qualifying, and I'm looking forward to the race."