Justin settles for 7th after difficult weekend at Denver Justin Wilson put in a steely performance at the treacherous Denver street course to bring his struggling Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Lola home in 7th place after starting 10th. In a race ...
Justin settles for 7th after difficult weekend at Denver
Justin Wilson put in a steely performance at the treacherous Denver street course to bring his struggling Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Lola home in 7th place after starting 10th. In a race punctuated by spins and contact between other drivers, Justin battled successfully throughout the 90 laps with Mario Haberfeld on the track, and with Patrick Carpentier who ran a different fuel strategy.
Wilson and Mi-Jack Conquest Racing arrived at Denver hoping to improve on their 7th place result at Elkhart Lake, but were unable to find a decent set-up on Friday and ended up 11th in first qualifying. Saturday brought significant improvements to the car's pace, but other teams had progressed overnight as well - Justin and the team still found themselves some way off the pace of front-runner and eventual race winner Sebastien Bourdais, unable to qualify higher than 8th. This translated into a 10th place starting spot when Mario Dominguez and Mario Haberfeld decided to use their Friday qualifying times.
As usual, the race got off to an eventful start when Bruno Junqueira got the jump on polesitter and Newman-Haas team-mate Sebastian Bourdais, the Frenchman spinning when the two touched at Turn 1. Justin threaded himself through safely, but chaos reigned behind him with Alex Tagliani, Michel Jourdain Jr, Rodolfo Lavin and Nelson Philippe (Justin's new team-mate at Mi-Jack Conquest) all tangling at the first corner.
Justin overtook Mario Haberfeld on the opening lap of the race, lost position to the Brazilian during the first pit-stops on lap 38, and put another move on him during lap 78 to take 7th place. A solid fuel strategy and careful use of his tyres also enabled Justin to leap-frog Patrick Carpentier for track position at the second pit-stops. Wilson fought hard to take 6th place from Oriol Servia in the closing stages of the race, but brake difficulties meant that he was unable to do so.
Reflecting on the race Justin commented, "All things considered I'm pleased with my race. Though the car was pretty difficult and we had some braking problems, I was still able to put a move on Mario [Haberfeld] and finish a few places up on my starting position. I'll settle for 7th after the difficult weekend we've had".
Justin heads west for testing this week at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Champ Car World Series continues in a fortnight at the Molson Indy Montreal on 29th August on the famous Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course, familiar to Justin from his F1 race there in 2003.