CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: Justin Wilson preview

Justin aiming high down under The Champ Car World Series makes its annual trip to the streets of Surfers Paradise in Australia this weekend. Justin is mathematically still in the hunt for the drivers championship, but he's also locked in a...

Justin aiming high down under

The Champ Car World Series makes its annual trip to the streets of Surfers Paradise in Australia this weekend. Justin is mathematically still in the hunt for the drivers championship, but he's also locked in a fierce battle for runner up spot with local hero Will Power and Dutchman Robert Doornbos. Justin clawed his way back into the championship fight with his victory in Assen and he's hoping that RuSPORT's strong form on street circuits this year will put him in contention down under.

Justin has been busy since Assen, doing promotional work for Champ Car in Australia and some sportscar racing for Michael Shank Racing in Grand-Am. The season finale in Utah didn't go MSR's way after an alternator belt became dislodged early on. Justin and team-mates Oswaldo Negri and Mark Patterson had to pit multiple times to replace the car's battery, so a possible podium finish ended up a disappointing tenth.

"The problem we had was very frustrating, but I had a lot of fun racing these cars again," said Justin. "Many of the skills used to drive a Champ Car, like fuel saving and being easy on the equipment, are even more important in an endurance race."

While last minute performance improvements on the #9 CDW car continued at the RuSPORT workshop, Justin got a late season upgrade too. He underwent surgery to his left knee to repair a meniscus which he tore just before the Assen event. "Luckily it was my left leg, which I only use for braking", said Justin. "Assen was such a fast track that it didn't really bother me much during the race".

It's a year since Justin was forced to sit out the Surfers event after breaking his wrist when his car snagged a chicane tyre stack. So, with wrist and knee both fully repaired, he's hoping for better luck this time.

"I'm looking forward to this weekend. Surfers is a very demanding and unforgiving track and it always produces some interesting racing", said Justin. "I hope that we can have a good weekend to make up for the disappointment of last year. I've been told there will not be any tyres on the apex of the corners this time!" He added, "We've been competitive on street circuits this year and I hope that will stay true for Surfers."

To get in the mood for this weekend's action tune in to JW TV on www.justinwilson.co.uk for a pre-race interview with Justin. There's also a new edition of Tech Focus where Justin explains how the #9 CDW team get the most out of their Bridgestone Potenza tyres during a race weekend.

We'll bring you the usual mix of practice, qualifying and race news throughout the weekend. Surfers Paradise is 9 hours ahead of the UK and 14 hours ahead of US ET. Those willing to forgo some sleep can follow proceedings live on Race Director at www.champcar.ws. Eurosport 2 has live coverage of the race at 4.30am UK time on Sunday morning, as well as a highlights programme at 10am.

-credit: www.justinwilson.co.uk

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Robert Doornbos , Oswaldo Negri Jr. , Will Power , Mark Patterson , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing