Mechanical Problems Take RuSPORT Out of Contention in Cleveland Justin Wilson officially finishes in 13th, Cristiano da Matta finishes in 14th at Burke Lakefront Airport CLEVELAND, Ohio, June 25, 2006 -- The 2006 Grand Prix of ...
Mechanical Problems Take RuSPORT Out of Contention in Cleveland
Justin Wilson officially finishes in 13th, Cristiano da Matta finishes in 14th at Burke Lakefront Airport
CLEVELAND, Ohio, June 25, 2006 -- The 2006 Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank turned into an incident-filled affair that included several crashes, spins and mechanical failures. Unfortunately for RuSPORT, luck was not on their side. Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) was forced to spend several early laps of the race as a spectator, because of a broken throttle cable in his #10 car that occurred during the first lap. His teammate, Justin Wilson (#9 CDW / RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) seemed to have a quick enough car and the right fuel-saving strategy to win the race, but was the victim of a steering arm malfunction on lap #78 that caused him to go off-course in turn four and make contact with the wall.
Officially, Wilson finished in 13th place and da Matta finished in 14th.
"It was very disappointing, really," said Wilson. "I think we had a good car. We were saving fuel, and it was going to come down to who could make the mileage at the end and finish without making that last pit stop. I had just gotten the message that we could make it and nobody else could, so it was looking good. But unfortunately, something broke in the front of the car, and stopped the steering from working. So, I'm very disappointed, because I thought we could have put the CDW #9 car on top of the podium today."
"It's obviously disappointing to lose so many laps right from the beginning," said da Matta. "It seemed like we had a decent race car, so it makes me feel even more frustrated. Even though we didn't have a good starting position, the way the race went, it could have been an easy race to score some points, and we just missed a good opportunity. Going into turn three on the first lap, I had gotten past the mess from the earlier crash, and I had to go onto the brakes suddenly to avoid hitting Katherine Legge, who was trying to avoid something ahead of her, I think. When I did that, I spun the car. So, I turned the car around and went onto the throttle to get out of there, and the throttle cable just broke. It was a tough day."
"Ah, the highs and lows of racing, and a tough day for RuSPORT," said team owner Carl Russo. "Mechanical failures unfortunately took both the #9 and #10 cars out of contention...Cristiano early in the race, Justin late in the race. It seemed that Justin did have a chance at winning the race, but unfortunately, it was not to be. So, we head off to Toronto and look for a repeat of our first win, last year."