CHAMPCAR/CART: Edmonton: Justin Wilson race report

Justin took his first win of 2006 in style at the Edmonton Grand Prix, beating Sebastien Bourdais in a thrilling battle both on the track and in the pits and setting a new track record in the process. A.J. Allmendinger took third for Forsythe. The...

Justin took his first win of 2006 in style at the Edmonton Grand Prix, beating Sebastien Bourdais in a thrilling battle both on the track and in the pits and setting a new track record in the process. A.J. Allmendinger took third for Forsythe. The result moves Justin back up to 2nd in the Champ Car driver championship.

In the first stint Justin held station in 3rd place, saving fuel behind polesitter and race-leader Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy in 2nd. When he and Paul pitted a lap later than the Frenchman on Lap 37 the #9 CDW crew short-filled Justin, getting him out of the pits ahead of Paul and in a position to hunt Sebastien down with a lighter car.

Justin used this advantage to the full, closing a gap of 7.4 seconds on lap 38 to under a second ten laps later. On Lap 55, in a pivotal move, Justin capitalised on a mistake by the Newman-Haas driver to power past him into Turn 10. Even though Justin then pitted earlier than the others for his final stop on Lap 61, a blistering in-lap and good laps immediately afterwards meant he maintained the lead after Sebastien and A.J. had pitted.

After a spate of yellows late in the race, Justin put the hammer down in the final 15 laps, pulling away from Sebastien and A.J. even though he was on the harder black Bridgestone tyres while they were on reds. The icing on the cake was Justin’s race lap record of 59.200 seconds (119.980 mph) on lap 82, a feat achieved without using Cosworth Power to Pass. Three laps later he celebrated his third Champ Car victory in traditional style with a helping of donuts for the fans.

After a succession of podiums, but no win since the 2005 season finale, the result was a much-needed fillip for Justin and the whole CDW RuSPORT team. "It's been a fantastic day," said a euphoric Justin. "The car was awesome. My engineers gave me a great strategy and race set-up and the crew did great pit stops. That middle stint was like qualifying every lap, flat out, but the car just got quicker and quicker as the race went on. I'm really pleased to get the first win of the year for the CDW #9 team."

-justinwilson.co.uk

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Paul Tracy , Sébastien Bourdais , A.J. Allmendinger