Red Bull Team Forsythe Grinds through Frustrating Friday in Houston HOUSTON, Texas -- Friday 20 April 2007 -- With a limited amount of track time and two rookie drivers unfamiliar with the bumpy nuances of a 1.638-mile temporary circuit laid out...
Red Bull Team Forsythe Grinds through Frustrating Friday in Houston
HOUSTON, Texas -- Friday 20 April 2007 -- With a limited amount of track time and two rookie drivers unfamiliar with the bumpy nuances of a 1.638-mile temporary circuit laid out on the parking lots of Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, coming off the transporter with a setup that's close to optimum is critical. In today's first rounds of practice and qualifying for Sunday's Fast Trac 100 at the Grand Prix of Houston, an overly stiff setup in the morning practice led to more frustration in this afternoon's first qualifying round as the #3 and #7 Red Bull / Indeck cars ended the day mired in the middle of the pack.
For Red Bull Team Forsythe drivers Robert Wickens and John Edwards, who finished a strong third and fourth in last weekend's Long Beach event, it was a character-building day as their crews struggled to find consistent grip and balance on the bumpiest track of the season. This week saw grinding machines working away to smooth out the uneven pavement and expectations were that the surface would be much smoother than last year's inaugural event. And while that was true in some areas much of the track remained as rough as ever, compromising the pre-race setups configured by the team.
John Edwards 14th in First Round of Qualifying
"Just an ugly day. When I went out in the morning session it was like the tires spent more time in the air than on the ground over some of the really bumpy spots. We made the car a little better but in the qualifying session I lost the rear over some bumps and drifted out into the wall, bending my rear suspension. The guys did a great job fixing it but by then I'd missed a lot of laps. Then there was a Red Flag as they were buttoning the car back up, and when we went out on new tires there wasn't time to improve and the car still wasn't close to right. When you start the day that far off it's a struggle to improve and for sure we all felt a lot of frustration after such a good weekend in Long Beach. All we can do is study the data, keep our heads up and come out here tomorrow on a mission."
Robert Wickens 16th in First Round of Qualifying
"This morning it was obvious right away that we were way, way too stiff. The car was jumping all over the place and braking hard was basically impossible. We kept going softer and softer but then we started having balance issues that carried through to qualifying. There just wasn't a comfort zone at all. I had massive understeer at turn-in, but if I trail-braked a little bit to plant the front the rear would jump out. You can't push when the car is like that and it was very frustrating for all of us. But the Red Bull crew will burn the midnight oil tonight and I expect we'll be much better tomorrow."