Conquest Racing Nikon Indy 300 Preview

21.10.2008: Conquest Racing Nikon Indy 300 Preview

The following is a series of stats, notes and quotes from Conquest Racing for this weekend’s Nikon Indy 300 on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia.

Nikon Indy 300

Streets of Surfers Paradise, 2.795 miles, 14-turn street course

October 24 – 26, 2008, Race #18

Race Distance: 60 laps (or 1 hour 50 minutes)

Live Broadcast: ESPN Classic, 10:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, October 25

Re-air: ESPN2, 11:00 pm, Sunday, October 26


Conquest’s Paradise

This will be Conquest Racing’s sixth appearance on the streets of Australia's Gold Coast, but its first as part of the IndyCar Series. Thanks to its knowledge of the track and past experience the team is hoping to end its first season in the unified IndyCar Series with an excellent result. The team would like to top its Australian best finish of fifth, scored by Andrew Ranger in 2006, and best start of seventh, registered in 2004 by Justin Wilson.

Tagliani and Australia : a special bond

Australia is like a second home for Alex Tagliani. The Canadian met his wife Bronte Kok there in 2001. Not only did Tagliani find his wife in Australia, he has also returned from the Gold Coast with a couple of podium finishes to his credit. In eight appearances on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Tag has two third place finishes with a top start of fourth, twice.

Australian Rookie

Jaime Camara will be making his first start on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Australia. Even if the track is said to be a difficult one for the rookies, the young Brazilian is up for the challenge.

A Lap of Surfers with Tagliani

Coming down the front straight is where we reach the fastest speed, about 185 mph (300 km/h). Then we must brake hard for the first chicane in order to slow down to 90 mph (145 km/h). We have to be aggressive over the curbs and then reaccelerate up to 125 mph (200 km/h) before braking for the second chicane, which is slower this time at only 75 mph (120 km/h), again always trying to use as much curb as possible. There is very little traction at the exit. We then accelerate up to 165 mph (270 km/h) before turn 4, a heavy braking zone and very bumpy 90-degree corner that we take at about 65 mph (105 km/h).

Following that is a small short shoot leading to turn 5 where we reach 100 mph (165 km/h) before a very tight 90 degree sharp corner with a very important exit because it leads to a long straight by the beach. We go up to 175 mph (285 km/h) on the second fastest straight of the track before approaching the 3rd chicane of the circuit, turn 6, but this time there is banking on the left with no curbs. It is fairly quick in, around 95 mph (150 km/h), then you continue to slow down for the second part, a flat right turn with curbs to hit this time at 60 mph (100 km/h).

Then it’s off to the most difficult part of the track, the sequence of high-speed chicanes on the beach. The turn 8 approach is about 160 mph (260 km/h). When we’re entering the chicanes and attacking the curbs super aggressively at 130 mph (210 km/h), it becomes very easy to make mistakes if the car is not right because it has to respond quickly without being upset.

Exiting the chicanes, you reach 145 mph (235 km/h) before braking hard for a sharp 90-degree turn 9, at 70 mph (110 km/h). We are now approaching the infield of the track, which is the slowest section with left-right-left turns. You start with a left at turn 10 at 60 mph (95 km/h) then in between we go about 75 mph (120 km/h) then turn right at 50 mph (85 km/h) for turn 11.

Finally you speed up to 120 mph (195 km/h) before braking for the last corner, a tight left-hander. You quickly turn left at 40 mph (70 km/h) to reaccelerate aggressively onto the front straight trying to reach the start/finish line at the maximum speed to finish the lap.

What did you do after Chicagoland?

During the break in the racing schedule between Joliet and Australia the Conquest team were hard at work preparing the upcoming race. But the team was also treated to a team barbeque at team owner, Eric Bachelart’s house. Alex Tagliani served as chef for the evening while Jaime Camara played bartender.

Best of Conquest 2008

Conquest scored its best oval finish at Chicagoland Speedway with a 12th place finish by Alex Tagliani. The team’s best oval starting position of the season came in Milwaukee when Enrique Bernoldi took the eighth spot on the grid while the Indy-based team achieved its best combined effort when it placed both drivers in the top six in Long Beach in April at the Champ Car World Series finale.

Conquest also completed their first Indianapolis 500 this year when Bernoldi took the checkered flag on the lead lap in 15th place. It was the Brazilian’s first oval finish of the season. Bernoldi led the team’s first laps of the season in St. Petersburg (3) while Jaime Camara led the team’s first oval laps (44) of the season in Richmond .


#34 Jaime Camara Sangari Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"I’ve heard many great things about the race at Surfers Paradise and I can’t wait to be there. I’ve really enjoyed the street courses we did this year so I am looking forward to this race even if they say that it is tough for rookies, I’m ready for the challenge. The team has a lot of knowledge about this track as does my teammate Alex and I think that will be a plus for us this week."

#36 Alex Tagliani Conquest Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone

"The last month has really been good for the team to prepare for the race in Australia . We learned a lot on the street course in Detroit and the break in the schedule has really helped us to develop some stuff for Australia and catch up, things that we couldn’t have done with a race every other week. The break also allowed me to spend more time with the team at the shop and at the barbeque that Eric organized. It was a good team building exercise.

That being said, I can’t wait for race weekend to get here. I really like the Surfers track. I’ve been competitive there in the past. After Detroit , I was able to tell the team what I liked in a car and what I disliked and they’ve been working on that so I think we will be very competitive at Surfers and that we can have a good race."



IndyCar Series Races: 16

Best Start: 8th (Milwaukee, - Enrique Bernoldi)

Best Finish: 5th (St. Petersburg, - Enrique Bernoldi)

Champ Car Races: 1 (Long Beach)

Best Start: 3rd (Franck Perera)

Best Finish: 4th (Enrique Bernoldi)

IndyCar Series Overall

IndyCar Series Races: 33

Best Start: 4th (Dallas, Richmond, Kansas City, 2002 – Laurent Redon)

Best Finish: 2nd (Fontana, 2002 – Laurent Redon)

Champ Car World Series Overall

Champ Car World Series Races: 74

Best Start: 2nd (Cleveland, 2004 – Justin Wilson)

Best Finish: 2nd (Twice – Monterrey, Mexico , 2005 - Andrew Ranger / Assen, Holland, 2007 - Jan Heylen)  


- Karina Redmond -


21.10.2008 / MaP

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