Sunday, January 21, 2007

2006 Champ Car Review (Part 2)

CTE/HVM:
(Philippe: 4th; Clarke: 12th)

The never-say-die attitude of co-owner Keith Wiggins paid off in spades this season as CTE/HVM had another breakout year…

Vastly improving Nelson “Flowing Locks ‘O Hair” Philippe won his very first Champ Car race down under in Surfers Paradise. Philippe became the youngest ever winner of a Champ Car race in just his third season…

Meanwhile Rookie teammate Dan “Speedy” Clarke had a fairly adventurous season before finishing as the Rookie of the Year runner-up…


Team Australia:
(Power: 6th; Tagliani: 8th)

I really DON’T have anything good to say about Alex Tagliani since as time passes by I suspect more and more that it was TAG who WOULDN’T sign my poster at Portland…

Team Australia’s shining light definitely had to be Rookie sensation Will Power…

Power got off to a slightly shaky start before coming on strong during the second half of the season. Power took a hugely popular pole position in his native Australia and led the races firs 17 laps before being punted by Bourdais…

Yet Power scored his first Champ Car podium at Mexico City where he also captured Rookie of the Year honors…


Rocketsports:
(Dominguez: 9th)

To me this was without a doubt the worst performing Champ Car team on the grid. After winning “Rookie of the Year” in 2005 with Timo Glock and his bag loads of DHL’s Deutschmarks… Rocketsports struggled to keep 2 cars on the grid and shuffled multiple drivers through its doors.

Drivers included a “punted about” Mario Dominguez
And 3 Rookie drivers splitting driving duties between two ex-Formula 1 Drivers: Nicky Pastorelli, (Midland F1) Antonio Pizzonia (Williams) and rookie Champ Car driver Tonis (Tony) Kasemets. (Estonia) Interesting the three drivers finished 16th, 17th and 18th respectively…

While Pizzonia and Dominguez put in good showings, it seemed that press spotlight focused more upon the teams sponsors as Rick “Insert Sponsor Here” Benjamin tripped all over himself pointing out new sponsor’s Lexington Energy and PEMEX…

While Dominguez hopes to land a full time seat for the upcoming season, Tagliani sheepishly is also planning a return to the team that booted him in favour of Glock. It will be interesting to see if this indeed becomes their driver line-up in 2007…

To continue reading my Champ Car review see: 2006 Champ Car Review-Part 3

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