7th spot after faultless race for Neel Jani
With a faultless and strong performance, Swiss racer Neel Jani finished in seventh place in the traditional ChampCar event in Long Beach, California. This despite major tuning problems during practice with his Red Bull PKV and after being slowed down by tank-system problems during the race.
"I got the maximum out of a difficult racing weekend", was Neel Jani's conclusion after the race. The Swiss ChampCar rookie showed a faultless race in the "Monte Carlo of the United States". Despite the fact that not everything went according to plan, he managed to make up four places from qualifying and was the top-placed rookie of the race.
"The practice sessions were highly frustrating", Neel Jani explains, "we had major trouble getting the tires to the right temperature and we got the same speed with the old and the new tires. This was a clear sign that something was wrong." On Saturday night, the solution was finally found. "It looks like we have spotted the problem."
Contrary to the very successful preseason tests, the first two races in Las Vegas and Long Beach were not held on a normal racetrack but on a city course. "Obviously, we had problems getting the setup right but I'm confident that we will improve on this."
Despite a faultless and strong performance, bad luck also took its toll in Long Beach. The tank system did not work properly and it took about three seconds before fuel flowed at the pit stops. Because of this, Jani lost precious seconds and probably also a few spots in this very tough race marked by several safety car periods.
The next race of the ChampCar Series will already take place next weekend in Houston, Texas.