Justin Wilson on podium! The sixth meeting of the World Series by Nissan took place this weekend at the Circuito de Catalunya with 75,000 spectators watching the Sunday races. Due to very satisfying results on the two test days and during ...
Justin Wilson on podium!
The sixth meeting of the World Series by Nissan took place this weekend at the Circuito de Catalunya with 75,000 spectators watching the Sunday races. Due to very satisfying results on the two test days and during the qualifying sessions, Racing Engineering’s expectations were high but could not completely be met by the race results. The first race saw Justin Wilson on the podium and Franck Montagny in fifth position. Justin finished the second race in fifth position, Franck in fourth.
Very good results during the two test days for Racing Engineering’s drivers Justin Wilson and Franck Montagny promised two interesting qualifying sessions for Saturday. Franck, after just finishing some laps, had to come back to the pits due to engine problems and kept the Nissan engineers busy for almost twenty minutes. When he could finally get back on the track there was not sufficient time left to improve his lap times and he therefore finished the first qualifying in fifth position. Justin Wilson on the other hand felt very confident with his car and marked a lap time of 1,31.283 in his sixth lap that brought him pole position in front of Couto and Garcia. The second qualifying saw Justin in fifth place and Franck in second.
Justin Wilson started into the first race from pole position but was overtaken at the start by Couto. At this point Justin knew that it would be hard to overtake on this day due to a quite dirty and slippery track and almost all drivers having problems finding the proper set up for their cars. The first three, Couto, Justin Wilson and Zonta were very close together until the fourth to last lap, when Zonta coming out of the corner much faster than Justin overtook Racing Engineering’s driver. In the last lap Couto had to face the same situation and was overtaken by Zonta. Justin finished the first race in a respectable third position. Franck Montagny drove a very constant race in fifth position having no problems keeping Garcia and Leinders behind him.
Franck Montagny started into race number 2 from second position, Justin Wilson from fifth. Franck lost one position at the start and was third until lap 15 when he came into the pits for the obligatory tire change. At that moment the gap between him and Leinders in the lead was eight seconds. Due to a 7-seconds-pit stop from Racing Engineering’s mechanics and problems during the tire change on Leinders car, Franck could leave the pit lane only one second behind Leinders. In his first lap with the new tires Franck made a slight mistake and opened the possibility for Ravier to pass him and the positions for the last nine laps were set. Franck finished the second race in fourth position. Justin Wilson keeping his fifth position at the start came in for an early pit stop in lap 5. Driving a thoughtful and constant race Justin finished in fifth position.
Although Racing Engineering is not satisfied with the results obtained during these races, Racing Engineering is still leading the team championship.
After the races Justin Wilson stated“ At the start of the first race I slipped the clutch too much and during this race I had some under-steering. I think Couto and Zonta had these problems, too, but Zonta was just so much faster on the straight. The track was very slippery and the same corner could be different from one lap to the other. In general it was OK as I made another podium and a pole position but it is frustrating because we were so strong in the qualifyings and the tests.”