RSPORTS ROUND OUT THE TOP SIX IN CLEVELAND CLEVELAND, Ohio: Despite not qualifying higher up on the grid, RSPORTS drivers Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani drove their Champ Cars to a fourth and sixth place finish, respectively, in today?s ...
RSPORTS ROUND OUT THE TOP SIX IN CLEVELAND
CLEVELAND, Ohio: Despite not qualifying higher up on the grid, RSPORTS drivers Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani drove their Champ Cars to a fourth and sixth place finish, respectively, in today?s action-packed Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by LaSalle Bank.
18 laps in today's 89-lap race were under yellow. There were four different caution periods, which ultimately helped some drivers more then others.
After starting eighth on the grid, Wilson had moved the #9 CDW car up into the top five by Lap 4. On Lap 28, the Brit came in for his first-of-three pitstops. By Lap 37, Wilson was back in the fifth spot where he ran consistently until moving up to third, which marks his highest position in today's race, one lap before his second stop of the day on Lap 57. He came in for his final pit stop on Lap 70 and drove the #9 CDW machine home to a fourth-place finish.
Tagliani started today's event in the ninth spot. By Lap 11 he moved into the top five and was looking good. However, troubles came in the pits for the French-Canadian. During his second pitstop of the day, a fueling issue was the cause for a loss of time and a possible podium finish. This problem also resulted in Tagliani having to make an extra stop. However, Tagliani was able to hold it together for RSPORTS on track and bring home a sixth-place result.
In his fourth run in Cleveland, Wilson earned his best finish on the Burke Lakefront Airport circuit. Wilson's fourth-place result marks the third time in five events this season that he has finished in the top five. He earns 23 points, giving him a total of 92 markers in the championship where he remains fifth in the standings. Wilson trails his teammate by only five points.
Tagliani earned his fifth consecutive top-ten finish this season when he crossed the line sixth. He maintains his fourth position in the championship standings after earning 19 points this afternoon, which gives him a tally of 97. Tagliani sits only eight points behind third place, and 20 points behind the leader, Sebastien Bourdais.
The fun has just begun for RSPORTS, as they continue their summer tour and head to Mont-Tremblant in just one week. The team heads to Montreal on Tuesday evening, to participate in a go-karting event hosted by driver Tagliani on Wednesday. The crew will then drive up to Mont-Tremblant that evening and get back to work at the race track on Thursday. The Grand Prix of Mont Tremblant will take place at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in St. Jovite, Quebec, Canada next weekend, June 29 - July 1.
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"Well a top five finish is not a bad result. This was just one of those races where the cars that pitted off-sequence were able to be on top at the end. So, we did the best that we could but it just wasn?t our luck. The #9 CDW car was good this afternoon and the crew did an excellent job for me in the pits. We just have to make sure that we can have more chances like this and try to be stronger in the next race. We are not quite quick enough yet, but we are close and I hope that in Mont-Tremblant we can put the #9 CDW car back on the podium."
Alex Tagliani #8 RSPORTS Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"We worked really hard here in Cleveland; it was a tough weekend for the team. We were not very happy with our starting position, but the guys worked very hard last night and they gave us a car that was very decent in the race today. So I would like to thank them for their hard working effort this weekend. I think we really lost the chance to finish with a better result at the end of the race in the pits. We had a problem refueling and we did not get all the fuel in the car, so we had to do an extra stop. On top of that, we had to save fuel at the end of the race. So, it was unfortunate; everyone was disappointed about that because we probably would have had a podium finish. We were dicing with Paul (Tracy) at a certain point and I think that the #8 RSPORTS car was as quick as the Forsythe car. Basically, we just missed out on a fantastic opportunity. We just need to get back and work on our pitstops and refueling for Tremblant. Also, we will have to work on improving the car for qualifying and then we should be good. The points are getting very tight in the championship, so with this race we are happy that we are still fourth in the standings and we just have to keep moving forward."
Dan Pettit, RSPORTS team co-owner
"I think that it was a good race, it is just that it wasn't a leader's race today. There was just too many yellows and those that went out of sequence (with pitstops), ended up in front. It was just one of those days, but that happens. I think that the team worked very hard this weekend and Justin drove a great race in the #9 CDW car, but being fast just wasn't good enough today. Justin's fifth place gave him some good points in the championship standings, which helps him stay fifth in the standings, so we will just continue to work hard and I believe that our time will come to be on top."
Paul Gentilozzi. RSPORTS team co-owner
"Alex drove a great race today, but we let him down as a team. We had some problems in the pit stops, but we have identified them. We know that we can fix them and we know that we can do better in the next race. We will go to Mont-Tremblant with a new attitude and a new chance."