CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver: Justin Wilson race report

Wilson salvages 14th after technical problems at Vancouver Justin Wilson was running in fifth place at the Molson Indy Vancouver when his race was effectively ended by electrical problems. In a race which was also dogged by gearshift problems,...

Wilson salvages 14th after technical problems at Vancouver

Justin Wilson was running in fifth place at the Molson Indy Vancouver when his race was effectively ended by electrical problems. In a race which was also dogged by gearshift problems, the Yorkshireman lost power during his first pit-stop on lap 27 and his Mi-Jack crew had to replace the battery. He got going again two minutes later, a lap down on the leaders.

Wilson eventually finished 14th, minus a gearstick, which sheared off with 15 laps to go. The race was eventually won by 2003 Champion Paul Tracy, followed by Michel Jourdain Jr and AJ Allmendinger.

Wilson and his Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team had been optimistic of a good result in Vancouver. Although they struggled to find a good set-up for the street course and its big kerbs in Friday's practice sessions, they worked hard overnight and found a better balance when it counted on Saturday. Justin posted the fifth-fastest time in Saturday's qualifying, but was bumped down to a seventh place starting position due to Tracy's Friday pole and Patrick Carpentier also taking advantage of his Friday qualifying time.

The race itself got off to an eventful start when Gaston Mazzacane spun on cold tyres before the race had even turned green. Wilson was jumped by Bruno Junqueira for seventh on lap 2. Although he reported gearshift problems as early as lap 7, Justin drove a strong race until the first stops, moving up three places to fifth after incidents involving Memo Gidley, Patrick Carpentier and Rodolfo Lavin. Wilson's #34 car was on the same strategy as AJ Allmendinger and he was ahead of him on the track at the first stops. A podium was therefore in prospect again.

They say problems come in threes and Justin is hoping that Vancouver marks the end of his spell of bad luck. "After Cleveland and Toronto we were hoping for a solid race, so it's disappointing when a rare electrical problem gets in the way of what was looking like a great result", he reflected. "The Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team did a good job to find a competitive set-up for qualifying and the race, and to get me going again after the first pit-stop. It's a shame that after all our hard work we weren't able to translate that into a better result.'

However, Wilson remains confident that the team can move on from their recent disappointments, and is already looking forward to the next race. "We're staying positive because we know we are capable of running with anyone else out there. If we'd had a better run of luck we'd already have bagged a podium or two, but there's no point dwelling on that. The whole team's focus will now be on Elkhart Lake in a fortnight where we're hoping for a good result".

-justinwilson.co.uk-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Gaston Mazzacane , Justin Wilson , Bruno Junqueira , Patrick Carpentier , Rodolfo Lavin , Michel Jourdain
Teams Conquest Racing