Robert Wickens Takes Third In San Jose SAN JOSE, California -- Sunday, July 29, 2007 -- Toronto teenager Robert Wickens took another step towards locking up third overall in the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic point standings as he secured his fourth...
Robert Wickens Takes Third In San Jose
SAN JOSE, California -- Sunday, July 29, 2007 -- Toronto teenager Robert Wickens took another step towards locking up third overall in the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic point standings as he secured his fourth podium of the season and his eighth top five result in 11 events as the Red Bull Junior Team star brought the #3 Red Bull/Indeck Mazda-Cosworth/Cooper/Swift machine home in third place at today's Grand Prix of San Jose at Redback Raceway.
Starting from third spot on the grid, Wickens fell to fourth at Turn 1 as series points leader Rafael Matos swung around the outside to move past. Wickens' teammate and fellow Red Bull Junior Team standout John Edwards started sixth on the grid and the front runners ran in that order until a full course caution at Lap 7 bunched the field. When the green flag came back out to start Lap 11, Edwards moved inside to try and claim fifth only to nudge into the back of his teammate as they slowed for the ultra-tight hairpin Turn 1.
Wickens suffered no damage in the light contact, but Edwards' front wing came askew and as he lined up to enter pit lane to have the wing replaced he was punted from behind by another competitor, damaging his gearbox and ending a very promising day. Wickens continued to press Matos as the laps wound down, setting fastest lap of the race in the process. He closed on Matos gearbox and passed the Brazilian veteran into Turn 1 for third spot where he remained as the final laps played out.
Third in Points with 238
Second in Rookie of the Year Points
"First thanks to the guys for building a strong car -- it was like bumper cars out there today! I got hit from behind by John and that nudged me into Rafael (Matos) but luckily we didn't have any damage. I pushed pretty hard in the middle part of the race and was able to close in, and at Turn 7 Rafa made a small mistake and I was able to get alongside down the front straight. After that I was able to pull out a gap and was closing on Franc (Perera) but ran out of time. But it was a good race for the Red Bull guys and now we head for Elkhart Lake to wrap up the season and hopefully get another win!"
Ninth in Points with 109
Fifth in Rookie of the Year Points
"The field packed up pretty hard at the hairpin; there's a pretty big accordion effect when you're going from 150mph down to 20! I just barely touched Robby's gearbox and it knocked my front wing sideways. I only lost a few spots but as I lined up to come into pit lane for a new nose somebody behind me must have not realized I was pitting and they ran into the back of me. That broke my gearbox and my race was done; it's too bad because we could have gotten back out there pretty quickly and scored some points. But the guys did a great job this weekend and we had a fast car in every session so I'm looking forward to a good result in Elkhart Lake!"
Up next is the final event of the 2007 Championship at the blindingly-fast road course at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 10-12.