RSPORTS ROUND OUT THE TOP SEVEN ON THE GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH GRID LONG BEACH, California (April 14, 2007) -- RSPORTS continues to demonstrate its competitive edge in Long Beach as Alex Tagliani and Justin Wilson qualify in the top seven...
RSPORTS ROUND OUT THE TOP SEVEN ON THE GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH GRID
LONG BEACH, California (April 14, 2007) -- RSPORTS continues to demonstrate its competitive edge in Long Beach as Alex Tagliani and Justin Wilson qualify in the top seven after running solidly in that range throughout the day.
After hitting the streets of Long Beach, California at full speed this morning, Tagliani and Wilson sat sixth and seventh, respectively. Tagliani completed 28 laps during the one hour and fifteen minute practice session. After making several changes, he posted his fastest time of 1:08.399 (103.580 mph) on his final trip around the 1.968-mile temporary circuit this morning. Feeling quite happy with the #8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone, Tagliani and his crew knew exactly where they wanted to be for the final round of qualifying this afternoon.
Wilson made contact with the wall this morning, but was still able to pull off a competitive time of 1:08.652 (103.199 mph). Despite the incident and a few lingering issues, he was fairly happy with the #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone after completing only 11 laps.
As the afternoon came and the green flag dropped to start the 15-minute practice session, Tagliani and Wilson were posting times that were consistently in the top four. As the session wrapped up, Tagliani and Wilson sat P3 and P4.
The final round of qualifying then followed, seeing the stablemates immediately take advantage of their two sets of Red Bridgestone Tires. After Tagliani's first stint, he began to complain of some push in the car, but that did not stop him from posting a time of 1:08.047 (104.116 mph), good enough to put him fourth on the Grand Prix of Long Beach grid. This is the second time this season that he will start on the outside of row two, after a fourth place start in the Champ Car World Series season opener in Las Vegas a week ago.
Wilson just could not get a break this afternoon. He was only able to get in one clear lap during the final round of qualifying; as traffic was the Englishman's biggest obstacle in terms of recording a faster time. Wilson recorded a 1:08.200 (103.883 mph) placing him seventh on tomorrow's grid. This marks his best starting position so far this season, after starting eighth on the grid in Las Vegas.
Alex Tagliani #8 LXN2 Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"I am very happy that we are going to be starting on the second row once again; however, I am a little disappointed because we had a good lap going right before Katherine (Legge) spun. We had just headed out for our second run with a fresh set of Red Bridgestone Tires, and I was on my third timed lap. I think that would have been a good lap. I don't think it could have been good enough to beat (Sebastien) Bourdais, but I think it would have put us in the top three. So we are close in the #8 LXN2/RSPORTS car, and I think that we are showing that this team can be very competitive. It is important that we are staying consistent and now we just need to gain two or three tenths in order to be on top. We are close and we will continue to work hard in closing the gap. I believe we will be there very soon."
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"Today went ok for us. We made progress throughout the day, so I definitely think we have a good chance in the race. We just have to keep working hard to get a faster car that will be competitive tomorrow. The CDW crew did a fantastic job getting the #9 CDW/RSPORTS car ready for qualifying. After hitting the wall this morning, they had some work to do to repair the damage, and I want to thank them for all their efforts."