Andreas Wirth Wins Fast Trac 100 in Houston to Sweep First Two Races of 2006 HOUSTON, Texas -- May 13, 2006 -- For the first time since 1992, a driver has won the opening two rounds of the Atlantic Championship. Forsythe Championship Racing's...
Andreas Wirth Wins Fast Trac 100 in Houston to Sweep First Two Races of 2006
HOUSTON, Texas -- May 13, 2006 -- For the first time since 1992, a driver has won the opening two rounds of the Atlantic Championship. Forsythe Championship Racing's Andreas Wirth grabbed a dramatic win in the Fast Trac 100 after passing pole-sitter Raphael Matos in the early stages, falling back to third place mid-race, and then taking advantage of an incident between Matos and Graham Rahal to reclaim the lead and storm to his third career Atlantic victory following a win in Denver last season and a flag-to-flag win at Long Beach last month as Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. Wirth leads Simon Pagenaud by 14 points, 65-51 heading into the third round in Monterrey, May 19-21.
Andreas Wirth- #37 INDECK/Wirth Solar
Finished First, Leads Point Standings
"It's fantastic to win here in Houston! We struggled a bit all weekend with the setup over the bumps. The car was good early in the race, but the tire pressures got a bit too high and I had to brake way early in the corners. Raphael got by and Graham just followed him through the inside of the corner and got past also, so I was thinking that was it. But I got lucky at the end when they tangled in the chicane. I pretty much saw it coming when Graham dove inside Raphael and just waited for it to happen. But now I've got a good points lead and I don't think I'll feel any pressure heading into Monterrey."
James Hinchcliffe- #3 Emexis/INDECK
Finished Fourth, Third in Point Standings
"All in all a good weekend for the whole team! I'm third in the points after the first two races so I'm pretty happy. I really thought I had a pass made on Jonathan Bomarito for third at the chicane, and he turned and went straight through the shortcut so I was kind of surprised when he didn't get penalized, but fourth place isn't bad. Now I'll just focus on catching that Wirth kid! Monterrey next week should be interesting. It's my first time at that track, but it was my first time at Long Beach and Houston too so I don't think that will be a problem! It's a low-grip track and we seem to be struggling to find a perfect setup for hot weather, but we're getting better and I have a feeling we'll figure it out."
Leonardo Maia- #7 INDECK
Finished Ninth, Ninth in Point Standings
"There was a lot of attrition today so although I made a couple of passes it really came down to letting others make mistakes and capitalize on it. I'm pretty happy that I got pretty quick at the end of the race and was running the same pace as the leaders, so that's a big improvement. I had a good car in the cooler evening weather all weekend so it was a positive outcome. I'm really looking forward to Monterrey. It's a track I know pretty well. It's got low grip and seems to suit my driving style, so we'll carry the momentum we developed this weekend and see if we can't move up into the top five and then shoot for the top of the podium!"
Richard Philippe- #33 INDECK
Did Not Finish -- Accident While Running Sixth, 27th in Point Standings
"It's very disappointing when you're running well and an accident behind you takes you out of the race. Matos was in the lead during a yellow flag and when he came back to the corner before the green flag he suddenly slowed up and there was a crash behind me. Alex Barron's car came flying up and just barely touched me, but it was enough to break my suspension. I'm having some bad luck so far this year but last year when I won the Formula BMW USA Championship I had a lot of good luck so I guess it all balances out. I think I'm looking forward to Monterrey even more than the other guys because I know this negative streak has to end soon!"
The Forsythe transporters will pack up and head directly to Monterrey, Mexico this week for the next event at the Tecate Grand Prix of Monterrey Presented by Roshfrans. The Fast Trac 100 from the Grand Prix of Houston can be seen on a tape-delayed basis on Saturday, May 20th at 1pm ET. For more information, please visit the official website of the Atlantic Championship at www.champcaratlantic.com.