Justin celebrates 2nd place in Monterrey Justin took his second podium of the 2006 Champ Car season in Monterrey, Mexico, finishing in 2nd place, three seconds behind Sebastien Bourdais at the chequered flag in a race where fuel strategy was ...
Justin celebrates 2nd place in Monterrey
Justin took his second podium of the 2006 Champ Car season in Monterrey, Mexico, finishing in 2nd place, three seconds behind Sebastien Bourdais at the chequered flag in a race where fuel strategy was key. Justin's team-mate A.J. Allmendinger took third to secure RuSPORT's first double podium this year.
The race got off to clean start around the twisty Fundidora Park circuit. A.J. ducked to the inside of Justin into turn 1, but Justin retook him on the outside of the same corner to keep 2nd place as he pursued polesitter Bourdais. All of the front-runners started the race on the softer red Bridgestone tyre and Justin kept within a second of the Frenchman during the first stint as both drivers conserved fuel.
As the field pitted under a full course yellow on lap 25, great pit work by Justin's CDW crew saw him jump ahead of Bourdais and he then led comfortably for the 28-lap middle stint. At the second and final stops, however, the Newman-Haas driver was able to run a lap longer and that was enough to vault him into the lead for the final stint.
Bourdais had saved his second set of red tyres for his final stint, but with no need to conserve fuel Justin put in an impressive hard-charging performance on the harder black Bridgestones in an effort to take back the lead. Though he got close - particularly on lap 58 as they came up to lap Katherine Legge - the pace wasn't quite there and Justin had to settle for 2nd at the flag.
"I'm pleased with 2nd and it's great that A.J. was up there on the podium for RuSPORT as well", said Justin afterwards. "Obviously it's a little bit disappointing that we didn't get the win, but we gave Sebastien a run for his money today. The CDW guys gave me great pit-stops, but Sebastien had the edge on us fuel-wise. I was pushing really hard in the final stint and the encouraging thing is that we could keep up with Sebastien when we were on the black tyres and he was on reds. It's not like Long Beach where he ran away with it and it shows that we're making progress."
The result puts Justin back into 2nd place in the drivers championship on 77 points to Bourdais' 102 as the series heads to the Milwaukee Mile for the only oval race of the season on 4th June.