TORONTO, Ontario — Canada, -- RLR/Andersen Racing qualified 11th and 15th Friday at Toronto's Exhibition Place in preparation for tomorrow's 50-lap Firestone Indy Lights race, the first event for this series on this 1.75-mile, 11-turn street course.
The Palmetto, Fla.-based team and its two drivers here, Mario Romancini of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Ali Jackson of Belfast, Northern Ireland, experimented with the set-up of their cars as they tried to find the fastest way around the bumpy circuit. Both Romancini and Jackson are rookies in the series so each venue is new to them, so in that regard it was business as usual.
Romancini qualified 11th with a time of 1:05.4713 and an average speed of 96.500 miles per hour for his No. 5, which is sponsored by Andersen Racing, Revita Recycling, Win Brazil Marketing, Allied Interior Products and Lafarge North America.
Jackson qualified 15th with a time of 1:06.9773 and an average speed of 94.330 mph with his No. 9, which advertises Ireland's Moyvalley Golf and Hotel Resort and Allied Interior Products.
Tomorrow's schedule shows another practice session from 8:50 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. before the 18-car race begins at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. The race is slated to be covered live on the Internet at indycar.com. VERSUS's TV coverage is slated to air at 11 p.m. Eastern time Monday.
After that, the next Firestone Indy Lights race is July 26 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. For more information on that event see indycar.com/pro.
For more information on Andersen Racing, which is sponsored by Allied Interior Products and Lafarge North America and offers programs in karting, Formula BMW and Star Mazda in addition to Firestone Indy Lights, see its Web site at andersenracingteam.com. For more information on its 1-mile road course test track in Palmetto, Fla., see andersenracepark.com.
Post-qualifying quotes follow:
Mario Romancini: "We tried something for qualifying that didn't work out like we hoped, so we'll have to start further back than we want to. It is good that we have another practice session in the morning. We'll make some changes tonight and see if we can come up with a set-up that will be better than what we had today. The team is working very hard.
"The track is very bumpy; there are many different surfaces and patches in the track, which adds to the challenge.
"We'll all do our best, and I'll try my best to get at least a top five tomorrow. We're still second in the points, and we need to make as many points as we can here for the championship."
Ali Jackson: "The track is fun, and the atmosphere of the event is good.
We just have a lot of work to do to get into the top 10.
"I feel a lot more comfortable than I did at Watkins Glen because I have a new seat now. The team is sorting out a few other things tonight that should help too. I look forward to tomorrow and trying to get a top 10 finish."
The weekend stats so far:
First practice (Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.):
1. J.R. Hildebrand, 1:06.5128, 94.989 mph, lap 18 of 24 6. Mario Romancini, 1:06.8407, 94.523 mph, lap 23 of 25 16. Ali Jackson, 1:08.4480, 92.304 mph, lap 28 of 29
Second practice (Friday, 12 p.m. to 12:40 p.m.):
1. James Davison, 1:05.5191, 96.430 mph, lap 20 of 22 10. Mario Romancini, 1:06.6848, 94.744 mph, lap 19 of 22 16. Ali Jackson, 1:07.3554, 93.801 mph, lap 19 of 21
Combined practice results:
1. James Davison, practice 2
10. Mario Romancini, practice 2
16. Ali Jackson, practice 2
Qualifying (Friday, 3:10 p.m. to 3:55 p.m.):
1. Sebastian Saavedra, 1:04.6068, 97.792 mph, lap 17 of 25* 11. Mario Romancini, 1:05.4713, 96.500 mph, lap 16 of 26 15. Ali Jackson, 1:06.9773, 94.330 mph, lap 17 of 24
* Automatic new track record
About Allied Building Products Corp.:
Allied Building Products Corp., headquartered in East Rutherford, N.J., is one of the largest roofing and siding distributors in the United States.
Founded in 1950 with five employees and two trucks, today it is a $1.8 billion building material distribution company with over 3,500 employees, more than 200 branches in 30 states, well over one million square feet of office and warehouse space, and an inventory of approximately 85,000 products, from residential roofing and siding to doors, windows, waterproofing, manufactured stone, interior products and commercial roofing systems. For more information see alliedbuilding.com.
About the Lafarge Group:
The Lafarge Group is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: cement, aggregates and concrete, and gypsum. With 83,000 employees in 78 countries, the Group posted sales of 19.0 billion Euros in 2008.
Lafarge North America Inc. ("Lafarge North America" or "Lafarge"), a Lafarge Group company, is the largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the United States and Canada.
In 2009 and for the fifth year in a row, the Lafarge Group was listed in the "Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World." With the world's leading building materials research facility, the Lafarge Group places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity.
For more information about Lafarge North America, go to lafarge-na.com or contact Louise Muth, director of external communications, at (703) 480-3707.
About Andersen Racing:
Andersen Racing strives to provide the best and most comprehensive training possible for future open-wheel superstars while giving its marketing partners media exposure and hospitality opportunities at some of the most prestigious events in North America. It provides a unique, four-step program utilizing multiple entries in four different platforms: karting, Formula BMW Americas, Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights (televised on VERSUS). In 2008 it fielded multiple entries in 42 races in 18 states and provinces at some of the best facilities on the continent, including the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Andersen Racing won the team championship for 2008 for both the F2000 Championship Series presented by Hoosier Racing Tire and the Star Mazda Cham pionship presented by Goodyear. Two of its drivers finished first and second in the F2000 driver point standings, while another was sixth. Three of its Star Mazda drivers placed third, fifth and sixth in that series' driver standings. RLR/Andersen Racing finished sixth in the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights team standings, while one of its drivers placed fifth in that series' driver point standings.
Andersen Racing's principals, brothers Dan and John Andersen, have extensive experience in series administration as well as team management. They've worked with many of today's top open-wheel stars, including several Indy 500 winners.
Andersen Racing is sponsored by Allied Building Products Corp. and Lafarge North America. It is the official development team of Rahal Letterman Racing. The team is headquartered at Andersen RacePark, an 18-acre facility in Palmetto, Fla. that includes a 1-mile road course test track. For more information see andersenracingteam.com and andersenracepark.com.