Justin Wilson had a bad break in the ...
Justin Wilson had a bad break in the #9 CDW/RuSPORT car, literally and figuratively, today during his first day of on-track activities at Circuit Zolder, in Belgium.
It was a rough start to the weekend as Dan Clarke caused a four-car incident, which involved the RuSPORT driver. Just as Wilson was taking the opportunity to get around the slow-moving Heylen, Clarke tried to make a move on the #9 CDW car. Clarke's left rear wheel made heavy contact with Wilson's right front, causing severe damage to the #9 CDW car. And that was not the end of it for the Englishman, who was then hit from behind by Paul Tracy when he locked up his brakes trying to avoid Wilson.
"Jan was taking it slowly, and had moved over for me to get passed him," commented Wilson on the incident. "However, Dan must have come off the previous turn about 50 mph faster then anyone else. By the time I was checking my mirrors, he was beside me and hit me. I can't believe it. It was an installation lap on a new circuit, I just don't know what he was doing; it was not the time to pull a move like that."
After sitting out for the entire morning session as his #9 CDW crew worked hard to prepare a car for him to run this afternoon, he was more then ready to get back out there.
His determination was demonstrated early on in the afternoon session, as he posted the fourth quickest time during the 15-minute practice session of provisional qualifying. He headed out for his first qualifying run on the Bridgestone Potenza Black tires, and set a time of 1:15.862. He sat P4 on his final lap of his first stint, when the engine shut off and stalled him on track, causing a Red Flag. He lost his fastest lap time as a penalty for bringing out a red flag. He got back into the pits, put on a new set of the black tires, and headed back out with just under five minutes to go. He had a few close calls at recording a faster time, but was held up on the track which ultimately prevented him from recording a fast enough time to be happy with his result overall. On his last lap of the day, he recorded a time of 1:15.041 (119.551 mph/192.398 kmh) which put him eleventh on the provisional grid for Sunday's Belgian Champ Car Grand Prix.
"We definitely did not have a good start today here at Zolder," said Wilson after a disappointing day. "It is a shame; I did not have the chance to get to know the track this morning in the #9 CDW/RuSPORT car after the incident, which took me out on my first lap. That also caused my crew to have a lot of work to do, but they did a great job on being able to get me a car that I could run this afternoon. Then, just as we headed out for our first run this afternoon during provisional qualifying, a red flag came out. I knew it was just going to be one of those days. We did the best we could, but we just weren't able to get it done today. We will try again tomorrow and hope for a better day on track."
Wilson and the #9 CDW RuSPORT team will be back at it tomorrow morning with another practice session with the final round of qualifying scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m. CET (8:30 a.m. ET). Round 11 of the 2007 Champ Car World Series in Zolder, Belgium will take place on Sunday, August 26.