FIA F3000 International Championship 2000
Round 9 (of 10) Hungary. 11th and 12th June 2000.
Justin Wilson took a well deserved second place grid position in today's qualifying session for the ninth round of the FIA F3000 International Championship, at the Hungaroring, Hungary.
Wilson had finished the first session in 11th place, but with just 15 minutes of the second and final qualifying session, he was holding the pole position with a time of 1:27.904. However, Bruno Junqueira, who had held pole for most of the session, pitted to make some small adjustments and with around six minutes of the session remaining, he rejoined the circuit, taking the pole position from Wilson with just four minutes left to run, his time of 1:27.531 a mere 0.373s faster than Justin.
"The car felt good from the word go and as I completed more and more laps it all came together for me. Once I got a clear run, then I was able to get the most out of my tyres, so pole was no real surprise as I know that the car has been capable of this all season. I would like to thank the team for all their efforts today. I just hope that we can turn this into a win in the race." Said Wilson after the pole position press conference.
Fellow Nordic Racing driver Kevin McGarrity finished the two sessions in 19th place overall, having dropped down from 15th in the second session. The first session, which saw the circuit still wet in places after a shower, had seen Kevin in second place, but as the circuit dried his times started to tumble and Kevin found himself able to get the most from a well set-up car.
Team Manger Chris Mower commented: "What a great day for both Justin and the team, we are all so happy for him. He knew what he had to do and he went out and delivered the goods. He kept in touch with the team on his radio and we knew how his tyres were working. The car was set up well and when he managed to find a clear lap, then he was right on the button to take pole. It is a shame that he could not have held on for a few minutes more, but he had used the best from his tyres and Junqueira was ready to snatch the pole in the closing moments. For the race both Justin and the team are confident of a good result, but the first corner of any F3000 race can prove to be tricky. We just hope that he gets away well and not caught up in any first lap trouble."
Team Principal Derek Mower added: "I knew Justin could do it for us this weekend, although I have told him that at Spa in two weeks, nothing less than pole will do!. With so many guests here from our new sponsors Coca Cola, Justin has done us proud today and I am sure that what ever happens in the race tomorrow, he will give us 110%."
<pre> Final qulifying positions. 1: Bruno Junqueira. 1:27.531 2: Justin Wilson. 1:27.904 3: Fernando Alonso. +0.665 4: Nicolas Minassian. +0.761 5: Ricardo Mauricio. + 0.770 6: Enrique Bernoldi. + 0.851 19: Kevin McGarrity. +1.514
</pre> Race shall be shown live on EUROSPORT at 15:00hrs (cet)