DREYER & REINBOLD RACING SETS TRACK RECORD AND QUALIFIES ON POLE FOR THE HONDA INDY TORONTO
Toronto, Ontario, Canada (July 17, 2010)- Dreyer & Reinbold Racing proved that they truly were a force to be reckoned with as Justin Wilson not only set a track record, but also won the pole today for tomorrow's Honda Indy Toronto. The Indianapolis-based squad has been knocking on the door all season and they were able to deliver a positive result in qualifying.
Today's result is the team's second career pole position. The last time that Dreyer & Reinbold Racing started from pole was in 2002 with Sarah Fisher at Kentucky. Additionally, this year will be DRR's second year to compete at the 1.75-mile temporary street circuit. Last year the squad showed promise as Mike Conway made it into the Firestone Fast Six and qualified sixth. Both of the DRR cars were running high during the race, but it was ended early as both Scheckter and Conway were taken out due to contact.
Wilson amazed the crowd with each lap he turned during today's qualifying. In the first session he went out on the Firestone Firehawk Primary (black sidewall) tires and turned the second fastest lap of the session, immediately advancing to the fast twelve. In the second session he clocked the fastest time of 60.52 seconds on the Firestone Firehawk Primary (black sidewall) tires. As a result, he moved to the Firestone Fast Six and still managed to save two sets of the Firestone Firehawk Alternate (red sidewall) tires for that session. He was able to save his "red" tires for the last stint and he posted a quick lap of 1 minute, 0.2710 seconds (104.827 mph), earning him his first IZOD IndyCar pole position.
Again, he quickly proved that he knows the Toronto circuit like the back of his hand. This will be his sixth year at the 1.75-mile temporary street circuit. Wilson competed in four Champ Car races at the track from 2004 to 2007. He won his first Champ Car race in 2005 at Toronto and led 10 laps after starting third. In 2006, he won the pole, led 10 laps and finished fourth. Last year, as the IZOD IndyCar Series made the return to Toronto, he finished fifth after starting fourth.
Earlier this season, Wilson earned DRR's best result since team co-owner, Robbie Buhl, won in 2000 at Walt Disney World Speedway, as he came home with 2nd place finishes for the organization in St. Petersburg, Florida and in Long Beach, California. He started competing in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2008 and since then he has won on a street course (2008 Belle Isle) and a road course (2009 Watkins Glen). Wilson has also qualified in every Firestone Fast Six since 2008, except for two (2009 -Edmonton and 2010-Barber), which makes a total of 15 Firestone Fast Six Qualifying sessions he has advanced to. Out of those sessions he has qualified in the top-5 ten times. So far this season he has started 3rd in Brazil, 4th in St. Petersburg, 3rd in Long Beach and 6th in Watkins Glen.
After a year of not competing on a road/street course, Tomas Scheckter had a solid run in qualifying. As he diligently worked to make it into the fast twelve, he was barely nudged out in the end. The South African will start 19th (1:02.0426, 101.833 mph) on the grid for tomorrow's race.
Last year marked Schecker's first start at the Toronto circuit. He started in 14th place, led six laps in 2009 start but was eliminated by contact with Alex Tagliani and Mario Moraes to finish 16th.
What they have to say:
Justin Wilson, No. 22 Z-Line Designs: "It's great. We've had a couple of tough races so to come back and get the pole here is just fantastic. Everyone at Dreyer and Reinbold has worked so hard. I'm very pleased for Z-Line Designs. It's a good weekend so far. We have to keep it up. We'll keep pushing for the race. It's easy in this stage to sit back and relax, but we have a lot of work to do. It's great that this is the team's second career pole and I want to get their second career win. That's the big picture we're looking at but this is a great moment. After the difficulties at Watkins Glen and Iowa, it's been tough. We've been working so hard, trying to stay focus and stay on track and not go off on a tangent."
Tomas Scheckter, No. 24 MonaVie: "The MonaVie car felt alright. I think that I led the team a little bit in the wrong direction. We wanted to save some red tires for the race so now we are looking good for the race. Right now I'm just supporting Justin. He did a great job and I'm trying to learn as much from him as possible."