Red Bull Team Forsythe to Start on 3rd and 4th Rows at Long Beach LONG BEACH, California -- Saturday 14 April 2007 -- Long Beach, perhaps the crown jewel event of the season as Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by...
Red Bull Team Forsythe to Start on 3rd and 4th Rows at Long Beach
LONG BEACH, California -- Saturday 14 April 2007 -- Long Beach, perhaps the crown jewel event of the season as Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, has been site of some of the most storied battles in Atlantic history. On Sunday, 18 year-old Robert Wickens of Toronto, Ontario and 16 year-old John Edwards of Little Rock, Arkansas will make their first starts on the legendary downtown streets in the shadow of the Queen Mary as the Red Bull Junior Team drivers continue their pursuit of the 2007 Atlantic title and the mind-boggling $2 million dollar prize to the overall champion.
Today's final round of Qualifying saw the Red Bull cars secure good positions on the massive 30-car grid. Edwards, the youngest driver in Atlantic history, was second overall just a fraction of a second out of first place when a red flag stopped the session with nine minutes remaining. The accident was cleared quickly and the pack roared off pit lane with time enough for two laps, but traffic prevented Edwards from improving his time and he ended up fifth on the grid.
John Edwards Qualified Fifth
"It really kills me because the Red Bull car should have been further up front. I was P2 when that last red flag came out and I was thinking 'please let it take lots of time to clean up'! A front row start my first time at this place would have been pretty cool but it just wasn't to be. When I went back out I had a few slower cars in front and had no choice but to just follow them, while some of those guys that moved up had clear track in front. But the lesson there is you don't want to crash out of races because your pit selection at the next race will suffer! (Edwards had wall contact at the season-opening event in Las Vegas while running seventh.) I'm feeling good and the car is really good, so I'll be looking to move up and get my first podium!"
Teammate Robert Wickens was also was trapped in traffic for the final segment. Despite a braking issue, the 2006 Formula BMW USA Champion was able to secure seventh spot on the final grid.
Robert Wickens Qualified Seventh
"It was a bummer when the red came out because our Cooper tires were getting up to just the right temperature and pressure. The car was pretty well balanced but we had some sort of braking issue. I was getting a lot of chatter in some places and even though my split times showed me fastest overall through some segments I was losing time in the hard braking zones. But I'm sure it's fixable and the Forsythe crew will get it working better. Once the brakes are improved I'm pretty sure we have one of the fastest cars so it should be a great race for all these fans!"