RSPORTS' WILSON AND TAGLIANI EARN TOP FIVE RESULTS IN LONG BEACH LONG BEACH, California (April 15, 2007) -- It was quite an exciting race, especially at the end leaving the RSPORTS crews holding their breathe during the last two minutes of the...
RSPORTS' WILSON AND TAGLIANI EARN TOP FIVE RESULTS IN LONG BEACH
LONG BEACH, California (April 15, 2007) -- It was quite an exciting race, especially at the end leaving the RSPORTS crews holding their breathe during the last two minutes of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach this afternoon which had an end result that saw Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani in the top five.
After starting fourth on the grid this afternoon, Tagliani charged hard in the #8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone at the drop of the green flag obtaining a position immediately. On Lap 11, the Montreal-native moved into the second spot, running there for a total of 19 laps before making his first pit stop on Lap 31. By Lap 39, the Canadian was back up in the top three before coming in for his second, and final, pit stop of the day on Lap 55. His presence was again found in the top three after Lap 68 where he would stay until the final laps of the race. On a restart with two laps to go, Tagliani knew that he had to fight, but there was not much he could do when he was lacking grip and Cosworth Power-to-Pass.
Tagliani took the checkered flag in the fifth spot taking home 21 points. He moves up to second in the championship standings with 44 points after two of 16 rounds on the 2007 Champ Car World Series schedule.
Wilson started seventh on the grid, powering the #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone to a solid performance and his first top-five result in 2007. The Englishman ran quietly in the seventh spot for the first half of the race, and made his way up to P4 on Lap 30 before making his first pit stop of the day. Great pit work by the #9 CDW crew allowed him to leap-frog two cars in the pits and then catch up and pass Will Power on his out lap, vaulting up to fourth spot by Lap 40. He continued to run there until he made his final stop of the day on Lap 55. By Lap 68, Wilson was back in the running for a solid top-five finish. The final restart on Lap 77 saw Wilson have plenty of Cosworth Power-to-Pass and he was able to get enough momentum to move up to the fourth spot just half a lap from crossing the finish line.
A great weekend for Wilson in Long Beach put him back on track this season, after struggling in Las Vegas and not finishing the event due to a gearbox issue. He now sits seventh in the Champ Car World Series championship with a total of 30 points.
The RSPORTS group will be back at it again next weekend on the streets of Houston, Texas. The Grand Prix of Houston will roar back to JAGFlo Speedway at ReliantPark on April 20-22 and will be televised live on ESPN at 2:00 p.m. (CST). The race will be the first broadcast as part of a new multi-year television partnership between the Champ Car World Series and ABC/ESPN.
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"Things went well for us this weekend, which was a relief after a difficult weekend in Las Vegas. We had a good race and an interesting day. During the first half we were working on our strategy and saving fuel. That seemed to pay off as we were able to gain some positions after the first round of pit stops. During the second half of the race we were focusing on making improvements on the #9 CDW/RSPORTS car and racing flat out. It is good that we were able to earn some valuable points this weekend and it was a reasonable finish for CDW. I think that we are definitely making progress, hopefully next week we can finish on the podium."
"I am really happy for the RSPORTS team. We have had no major issues with #8 LXN2/RSPORTS car in the past two races and that is a tribute to all the hard work this crew has put into this effort. The car was ok, but for some reason we were always running out of steam and grip at the end of every stint during the race. Along with that issue, we were having radio communication issues, which caused some confusion when Oriol (Servia) came out of the pits. I could have gotten around him, especially if I knew it was for position, but at the time I did not think it was. It was disappointing to lose a podium at the end. What is important is that we leave this weekend second in the championship standings. We earned more valuable points and that is what we are striving for. Our goal is to win races, but most importantly to win the championship, so obtaining as many points as we can each weekend is the key. We were able to do that once again, and I think we are on the road to a great season and there is much more to come from the RSPORTS team."
Dan Pettit, RSPORTS team co-owner
"I am very happy with the team's results. The drivers did as well as they could with the cars this afternoon. We could have used a better pit position, but next week we should have a better location. All-in-all, it was a good day and things are really coming together for RSPORTS."
Paul Gentilozzi, RSPORTS team co-owner
"It was a plus and minus day for RSPORTS. You hate to lose two positions at the end of the race like that, but we knew we would lose one to Will Power because he had more Power-to-Pass left. But it was not too bad of a thing that Justin (Wilson) got around Alex (Tagliani) because he is his teammate who really needed points and a solid finish. Our goal is to finish in the top five in every race, so we are doing pretty good having both our cars do exactly that this weekend in Long Beach."