Forsythe Atlantic's Andreas Wirth Takes Pole for First Race of Cleveland Doubleheader CLEVELAND, Ohio - June 23, 2006 - As Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, Forsythe Championship Racing's Andreas Wirth...
Forsythe Atlantic's Andreas Wirth Takes Pole for First Race of Cleveland Doubleheader
CLEVELAND, Ohio - June 23, 2006 - As Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, Forsythe Championship Racing's Andreas Wirth has led the point standings since winning the season opener in Long Beach. Today on the brutally fast runways of Burke Lakefront Airport in the shadow of downtown Cleveland, Wirth continued his charge as he expanded his series lead by taking Pole for the first of this weekend's two races and earning a critical point. The front row position is especially important this weekend as teams gear up for the first Formula 1-style standing start for the Atlantic Championship in almost eight years.
Andreas Wirth #37 INDECK/Layer 7/Wirth Solar
"Thanks to this great team the car was very good. I had a couple of better laps going on but one time I had traffic, one time I made a mistake and then on one really quick lap there was somebody's rear wing lying in the middle of the track. I still have to improve is some corners and the car is good but we can still make it better. It's about 70% me and 30% car improvements, but there's more speed out there. That's my third Atlantic pole so I'm very happy and if we can apply what we saw on the data today we should be fine for tomorrow."
Wirth's teammates had trouble with traffic, two Red Flag stops in the session and handling issues.
Leonardo Maia #7 Layer 7/INDECK
"The car was good but each time I got a good lap going I either hit traffic or a Red Flag came out. I managed to get in one relatively clear lap but I made a little mistake that probably cost me a top five. But I like this track and with the standing start tomorrow there are going to be some opportunities to move up. Hopefully I can be on the opposite end of the start I had in Portland where I qualified well but got boxed in approaching Turn 1."
James Hinchcliffe #3 Emexis/INDECK
"The car was amazingly good in the wet this morning, but on the dry track we were just off a bit. Between that and the fact that the whole session either seemed to be stopping for crashes or I was cruising around trying to find space on the track, we just couldn't put a good lap in. It's disappointing but Andreas came from twelfth to third in Portland last week so that showed us all that if the car is consistent you can move up."
Richard Philippe #33 INDECK/Layer 7
"I had the same issues as James. I had a lot of oversteer everywhere and the changes we made didn't seem to help. When we have that may Red Flags there aren't many laps to be able to work on the handling so we just never found the groove. But it's a long race and there's another Qualifying session for Race 2 tomorrow also, so I'm still optimistic that we can fix the car and I can get a result that these guys deserve."
The Qualifying session for Race #2 starts the day on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. ET. Race #1 of the Gehl Atlantic Championship of Cleveland gets underway at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.