Heroic drive yields 2nd for Justin in Mexico Justin put in one of the grittiest performances of his career to take 2nd place for the CDW-RuSPORT team at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. After dominating the race with a heavily ...
Heroic drive yields 2nd for Justin in Mexico
Justin put in one of the grittiest performances of his career to take 2nd place for the CDW-RuSPORT team at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. After dominating the race with a heavily strapped wrist under mixed weather conditions, he narrowly missed out on the win. Sebastien Bourdais made an aggressive, wheel-banging pass on the final lap of the race to take victory for Newman-Haas.
Justin led the field away at the start, but carnage behind brought out the race's only full course yellow. On the restart he lost out to Sebastien on the long drag down the front straight to Turn 1. He kept the Frenchman in sight and returned the favour on Lap 23 to retake the lead. Shortly afterwards the heavens opened and the field made their second pit-stop for wet tyres. Excellent pit work by the #9 CDW crew allowed Justin to maintain a comfortable lead until the final few laps of the race.
Justin made a late splash and dash stop with 12 laps to go, but the fresh Bridgestone wets struggled on a rapidly drying track conditions. Sebastien closed the gap and eventually launched the curb at Turn 6 on the last lap to barge through for the win.
Though disappointed to have lost out on the win, Justin was pleased to have ended the year with another podium (his 7th of the season) and to have secured 2nd place in the 2006 drivers championship.
"We had a great race today and I think we put on a great show", said Justin. "The CDW RuSPORT team have done a fantastic job all weekend and I'm very grateful for their efforts." He acknowledged that his fractured wrist had affected his performance to some extent. "It wasn't too bad until about half way through the race and then the shock from every downshift reminded me that I'd damaged my hand! It meant that I didn't have the finesse that I was looking for in the rain."
"The last three laps were really tense", Justin added. "I was sliding around a lot and I could see that Sebastien was catching me. I was able to keep a gap on the straight, but the car was taking longer to slow under braking and I couldn't get the power down so well either. In the end I slid wide into Turn 4, Sebastien got a run out of Turn 5 and you saw the rest. Having finished 3rd in the championship last year and 2nd this year, I'll be going all out for the title next year".