Justin Secures Friday's Provisional Pole in Assen Justin took full advantage of the wet first qualifying session at Assen to take the provisional pole in the ...
Justin Secures Friday's Provisional Pole in Assen
Justin took full advantage of the wet first qualifying session at Assen to take the provisional pole in the #9/CDW/RuSPORT car with a lap time nearly one second faster around the 2.83 mile, TT Circuit Assen than second place qualifier, Simon Pagenaud in the #15/Aussie Vineyards/Team Australia car.
In a cool, dry, morning practice session, multiple red flags for errant drivers taking off-track excursions made the amount of on-track time sporadic, but Justin ended the session fifth fastest, feeling confident in the baseline setup of his car.
Heading out to the afternoon qualifying session, a light drizzle began to fall near the end of the fifteen minute, pre-qualifying warm-up session. During the ten minute break before actual qualifying began, that drizzle quickly turned to a rain shower. Within minutes, Justin's crew changed from the Bridgestone Potenza slicks to rain tires and changed the suspension settings to an intermediate rain set-up to deal with the rapidly changing conditions. Demonstrating his mastery of the fast but slippery circuit, Justin's position on the timesheet never dropped lower than fourth, trading fastest laps with Pagenaud, but in the end, Justin was 0.9 seconds faster than the Frenchman with his provisional pole lap of 1:30.656s (112.381 mph).
"The #9/CDW car was fantastic!" said Justin. "I've got to thank the whole team. They've already put in quite a few hours this week on my car, completing the repairs from our Dan Clarke incident last weekend. We weren't quite as quick in the dry this morning, but we felt we were in with a shout this weekend .When it started to rain, I thought "this should be good". I was determined to go for it and hoped that when the track started drying we'd get a quick lap in."
Though he'll be pushing hard again in final qualifying on Saturday to secure the pole position and another championship point, Justin is now guaranteed a front row starting position for Sunday's Bavaria Champ Car Grand Prix. "I feel pretty confident with the way the weekend is going. We'll spend tomorrow working on the dry set-up, but knowing we're on the front row definitely takes some of the pressure off."