Conquest Racing ABC Supply / AJ Foyt Indy 225 Preview

29.05.2008: Conquest Racing ABC Supply / AJ Foyt Indy 225 Preview

CONQUEST RACING AT A GLANCE

IndyCar Series Races: 21

Best Start: 3rd ( Long Beach , 2008)

Best Finish: 2nd ( Fontana , 2002)

CONQUEST MILWAUKEE MILE STATS

Races at the Milwaukee Mile: 4 - Champ Car, 5 - Indy Lights

Best Champ Car Finish: 7th (Twice, Mario Haberfeld in 2003, Andrew Ranger in 2006)

Best Champ Car Start: 10th (Mario Haberfeld in 2003)

ABC Supply / AJ Foyt 225

Milwaukee Mile, 1.0-mile oval

May 31 – June 1, 2008, Race #6

Race Distance: 225 laps

Broadcast: Live ABC, 4:00 pm ET

MILWAUKEE CONQUEST PRE-RACE NOTES

No Time to Rest

There was no time to rest for the Conquest Racing crew after the Indy 500 as the team quickly cleared out of their Indianapolis Motor Speedway garage and headed back to their shop on the North West side of Indianapolis to start preparing for this weekend’s ABC Supply / AJ Foyt 225 at the Milwaukee Mile. The team is hard at work building another car for Jaime Camara who will be back on track during the rookie practice session on Friday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. central time.

Familiar Territory

After having to get acquainted with most of the tracks they have competed on so far this season, the Conquest Racing team will now be able to skip the first "getting to know you" step as the team will finally find themselves in well-known territory this weekend. While this will be their first IndyCar Series race at the Milwaukee Mile it will be the team’s 10th appearance at the track which opened in 1903.

The team has competed at the "Mile" in five Indy Lights races (1997 – 2001) and in four CART/Champ Car events. Their best Indy Lights result in Milwaukee was a second place finish by Felipe Giaffone in 1998. Giaffone also scored a pole position in 1999. The team also picked up a couple of seventh place finishes in Champ Car with a best starting position of 10th.

Best of Conquest

Conquest achieved their best combined effort when they 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 on Sunday when Enrique Bernoldi took the checkered flag on the lead lap in 15th place. It was also the Brazilian’s first oval finish of the season.

The Road to the IndyCar Series

Conquest Racing is one of six teams making the transition to the new unified IndyCar Series. Previously the team founded by 1991 Indy Lights Champion Eric Bachelart competed for five seasons in the Champ Car World Series, claiming 2 podium finishes and 57 top-tens in 74 races.

The Indianapolis-based team is entering their second full season of competition in the IndyCar Series. Their first full season of competition was in 2002 with French driver Laurent Redon, who took "Rookie of the Year" honors that season. The team has one podium finish to its credit, a third place finish in Fontana that same year.

 

MILWAUKEE ENRIQUE BERNOLDI PRE-RACE NOTES

IndyCar Series Starts: 4

Best Finish: 4th ( Long Beach )

Best Start: 8th ( Long Beach )

"Rookie of the Year" Standings: 3rd

Point Standings: 12th (99 points)

The Progress Continues

Enrique Bernoldi will be making his first appearance at the Milwaukee Mile (his fourth oval of the season) and the Brazilian is hoping that the momentum and experience he gained at Indy will help him get through the upcoming oval races. The Brazilian showed a lot of maturity and progress throughout the month of May which culminated with him reaching his goal of finishing the 500 mile race, his first oval finish of his career in three attempts.

Family Time

After nearly spending a month in Indianapolis , Enrique and his wife Luisa, along with one year-old daughter Maria, are spending some time in Chicago before heading to Milwaukee . While there Bernoldi will not only be taking in some well-deserved R&R but will be celebrating his wife’s birthday.

The Road to the IndyCar Series

Bernoldi remains the only former regular Formula 1 driver in the IndyCar Series field. Bernoldi drove for the Arrows Formula 1 team in 2001 and 2002 before becoming a test driver for the BAR Honda Team in 2004 and 2005. Some career highlights include a third place in the final standings of the Formula Nissan World Series, a runner-up position in the British F3 Series and a European Formula Renault Championship.

 

MILWAUKEE JAIME CAMARA PRE-RACE NOTES

IndyCar Series Starts: 2

Best Finish: 21st

Best Start: 19th

"Rookie of the Year" Standings: 11th

Point Standings: 30th (22 points)

Making a Comeback

Jaime Camara will be making his first IndyCar Series start at the Milwaukee Mile but the Brazilian is no stranger to the one-mile oval having competed there in his three Indy Lights seasons recording a win (2006 with Andretti Green Racing) and a pole position (2005 Sam Schmidt Motorsports).

The rookie hopes that his past success at the Milwaukee Mile will help him come back strong from his two accidents at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His lap 80 crash in his Indy 500 debut last weekend left his team with a heavily damaged car.

From Indy to Miami to Milwaukee

Camara flew back to Miami early Tuesday morning to spend a few days with his wife Geovanna before leaving again for Milwaukee . The couple is expecting their first child in June.

The Road to the IndyCar Series

Camara finished fifth overall in his Firestone Indy Lights rookie season in 2005 for Sam Schmidt Motorsports recording three pole positions and two victories including the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In 2006, he drove for Andretti Green Racing’s Firestone Indy Lights team capturing his third victory and establishing a Firestone Indy Lights record by qualifying in the top 10 in 18 consecutive races.

2007

Last season saw Camara record seven top-five finishes including thirds at Indianapolis (oval and road course) and Nashville in Firestone Indy Lights aboard the Andretti Green/AFS Racing machine. The 27-year-old also earned the Most Improved Driver award for improving the most positions throughout the season and established another series record with 42 consecutive starts.

 

CONQUEST RACING QUOTEBOARD

#34 Jaime Camara Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"I really want to do well this weekend in Milwaukee for the team. They have worked so hard during the whole month of May and I made their job even harder with my accident during the Indy 500 race. They deserve a good result. I’m confident I can bounce back from my crash and put in a strong performance this weekend.

I have good memories of Milwaukee in Indy Lights with a pole position and a win so hopefully I can carry that success over with me. The team also knows the Milwaukee Mile very well for having raced there in the past and that will certainly help us as well."

#36 Enrique Bernoldi Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"Milwaukee will be my first one mile oval track so again, a new experience to soak in. I’m feeling really good heading into this weekend after a very good Indy 500 race. It was the first oval race that I finished and it meant a lot to me to complete that race.

I learned a lot from it and even if no other oval resembles it there are still things I learned at the Speedway that I can take with me for the rest of the season. It has given us a lot of momentum and I hope that we can continue to build on that as we go along."

Eric Bachelart, owner Conquest Racing

"I really want to thank the team for the all the hard work they have put in, not just in this last month but since the start of the season. Is has not been easy, but they have all stood together and they continue to put in the long hours. Jaime’s crash has added to the work load but those things happen and the crew is hard at work and motivated for the upcoming race. That being said, I expect Jaime to have a good race this weekend.

He has had a long month and I think a change of venue may be what he needs to come back stronger. As for Enrique, I am very happy with his progress, he continues to learn and improve in an environment that he is still not 100% comfortable with but he has proven a lot in the last month and hopefully he can carry that over for the rest of the season starting this weekend in Milwaukee."

- Karina Redmond -

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29.05.2008 / MaP

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