Justin endured a miserable start to his Zolder weekend, after yet another Dan Clarke-induced shunt in the opening seconds of morning practice wrecked Justin's race car and put the ...
Justin endured a miserable start to his Zolder weekend, after yet another Dan Clarke-induced shunt in the opening seconds of morning practice wrecked Justin's race car and put the #9 CDW RuSPORT team and others on the back foot for the rest of the day.
Clarke (Minardi Team USA) tried to pass along the back straight after Justin had already pulled out to overtake Jan Haylen (Conquest). "Jan was taking it really steady and moved over to let me through", explained Justin. "But Dan, who was behind me, must have come off the previous turn about 50mph faster than anyone else. By the time I was checking my mirrors he was beside me and hit me. I can't believe it - it's an installation lap on a new circuit and we should all be learning it, not dicing like it's the first lap of the race." After Clarke had run into Justin, Forsythe's Paul Tracy collided into the rear of the #9 CDW car.
The RuSPORT team tried desperately, but unsuccessfully, to get the spare car on track before the end of the session. Justin managed to get things back on an even keel in the pre-qualifying warm-up, hustling to 4th fastest lap in the session, amazing given that it was only his third serious lap of the day. But qualifying itself was to prove fruitless, after Justin ground to a halt half way through the session with a fuel pressure problem causing a red flag and losing his subsequent fastest lap as a penalty. That lap would have been good enough for 7th quickest, but in the end he had to settle for 11th.
Will Power took provisional pole for Team Australia. After today's fiasco, Justin and the team will regroup overnight and hope for some trouble-free running and a competitive showing tomorrow. Dan Clarke has been barred from taking further part in this weekend's proceedings.