Justin's Montreal race ends in tyres Justin crashed out of the Grand Prix of Montreal on lap 47, clipping the tyres at the infamous "champion's wall" at the start of the pit straight. The uncharacteristic error came as Justin was on a fightback...
Justin's Montreal race ends in tyres
Justin crashed out of the Grand Prix of Montreal on lap 47, clipping the tyres at the infamous "champion's wall" at the start of the pit straight. The uncharacteristic error came as Justin was on a fightback drive from the back of the pack. Sebastien Bourdais won for Newman-Haas, ahead of Paul Tracy (Forsythe) and Nelson Philippe (CTE-HVM).
The rain-delayed race re-started on Monday morning, with A.J. Allmendinger (Forsythe) resuming his lead, ahead of Sebastien, Paul and Justin. By lap 14, however, A.J. was out of the race with mechanical failure and Justin was up to 3rd. Sebastien and Paul pitted on lap 31, but Justin had conserved sufficient fuel to stay out a lap longer, which would almost certainly have moved him up to 2nd place, if not the lead. But, unluckily for Justin and RuSPORT, a Full Course Yellow was thrown on lap 32 when Oriol Servia (PKV) crashed. Following normal procedures the pits were closed, but Justin had no option but to pit there and then or run out of fuel. His penalty for this infringement was to be sent to the back of the pack.
When the pits re-opened Justin took the opportunity to pit again under yellow and top off his tanks. This alternative fuel strategy would have given him a decisive advantage at the end of the race - almost certainly a podium and possibly the race win - even from the back of the pack. However, as Justin carved his way through the field from 13th, he skated wide through the chicane while passing Jan Haylen (Dale Coyne) for 5th, clipping the tyre barriers at the start of the pit straight. The damage to the #9 CDW car's right front suspension was terminal.
"Obviously, we didn't get the result we were hoping for," said Justin. "The car was quick, we had the right strategy and the CDW crew had done a great job all weekend. But luck wasn't on our side today. The penalty we received for entering a closed pit made things difficult for us, but we felt we could still make up some of the positions we lost. However, the car got away from me as I was going through the last turn and I hit the wall. It's disappointing for me, because we were hoping to turn in a good result for the team's guests, for CDW Canada, and for Cristiano da Matta and his family, but it wasn't meant to be. So, we'll just take what we can from this weekend and try for a better result at Road America next month."
The result means that Justin is now level on points with A.J. in the Driver Championship. However, Sebastien Bourdais has now opened up a significant, 62 point advantage which will be hard to close down with only three races remaining. The next event is at Road America, Wisconsin on 24th September.