Tough Texas Race for Conquest Racing

08.06.2008: Tough Texas Race for Conquest Racing

- Despite competitive runs, Bernoldi crashes out while Camara suffers gearbox problem, ends 24th-

Conquest Racing were on their way to scoring their best oval finish of the season tonight at the Bombardier Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway but a crash by rookie Enrique Bernoldi sent them from the top-half of the field to the bottom of the charts. Bernoldi ended up 23rd in the final race standings while his teammate Jaime Camara, who suffered gearbox problems early in the race, was 24th.

The end result may not have been what the team expected but the performance of both drivers showed promise for the remainder of the season as the team continues their learning curve in the IndyCar Series.

Brazilian Bernoldi was running strong in the race, slowly making his way through the field. Half way through the race, the rookie had moved up to 16th from his 20th place on the grid and ran as high as 11th before stopping for his final pit stop with less than 30 laps to go. Unfortunately for the driver of the #36 Conquest car, his day ended when he hit the wall with 15 laps left in the 228 lap race. Bernoldi was uninjured in the shunt, which was his first of his IndyCar Series career.

Camara, who was starting from the 21st place on the grid in his fourth IndyCar Series start, lost a few positions at the start but quickly regained them. The rookie had moved up to 19th by lap 44 but suffered a gearbox problem which sent him to the pits for repairs. The Conquest crew rapidly fixed the issue and sent Camara back out, only 16 laps down. The Brazilian continued to fight, make passes and run competitive for the remainder of the race, soaking up invaluable experience.

After eight consecutive weekends of on-track activity, the Conquest Racing team will now take advantage of a rare weekend off before heading to Iowa for the Iowa Corn Indy 250, June 21 – 22. The eighth round on the IndyCar Series schedule kicks-off a stretch of six consecutives race weekends for the IndyCar Series team.

Conquest Racing Quoteboard

23rd - Enrique Bernoldi #36 Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"(What happened?) (Ryan) Hunter-Reay and (Ryan) Briscoe were two wide and I was a little bit in the low line and when I started to push up, I got some clean air and the car just snapped on me and I spun and hit backwards. I was having a really good run, one of my best on an oval this year.

It’s disappointing for the team, they have worked so hard the last few months and to have a race, where we were running so competitive, end like this is really unfortunate."

24th - Jaime Camara #34 Sangari Dallara/ Honda/ Firestone

"It was a really tough race. I was expecting this race to be a little easier than Milwaukee but in my opinion it was a lot tougher because of the close racing. I think we had a really competitive car. Unfortunately we had a gearbox problem somewhere around lap 40 and that took the race out of us. The car was behaving well. We adjusted a little bit throughout the race, like everyone else I imagine. We were pretty strong at the end.

I was happy I was passing guys. I’m happy with the team effort we made to fix the car and come back into the race. That was really good. With a gearbox problem, I thought I wasn’t going back out but the guys once again did an awesome job in repairing the problem. I needed to finish the race to gain experience. I brought the car back which is important but I am frustrated about the result, I wanted to give a better result to the team but we’ll have to wait until the next race."

Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing Team Owner:

"The positive part of the race is that our two drivers had a fast pace during the whole run. We have to accept that we are on a learning curve and we have to accept mistakes. I am sure Enrique will learn from his accident. It’s hard to blame him. He was aggressive and fast and this is what we will keep in mind. As far as Jaime, his confidence is back. He was fast too and made many passes.

Unfortunately he suffered some gearbox problems coming from the shifting system. We’ll look at the data to understand exactly what happened. The crew did an excellent job fixing it and losing only about 15 laps. We will go back to the shop, regroup and fix the damaged car. We are getting stronger and our drivers are as well."

 

-Karina Redmond -

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/indycar-conquest-racing-texas-race-enrique-bernoldi-camara-jaime-eric-bachelart---38809.html

08.06.2008 / MaP

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