CHAMPCAR/CART: Houston: Neel Jani race report

Again no luck for Neel Jani in Houston Neel Jani still didn't get a lucky break in the American Champ Car World Series. On the contrary: In the third race of the season in Houston, Texas, the 23-year-old Swiss got rammed and knocked off ...

Again no luck for Neel Jani in Houston

Neel Jani still didn't get a lucky break in the American Champ Car World Series. On the contrary: In the third race of the season in Houston, Texas, the 23-year-old Swiss got rammed and knocked off the racecourse by Katherine Legge while being in fourth position. He had to retire after three quarters of the race distance; once again, a spot on the podium would have been in reach.

With a strong fourth place in qualifying, Neel Jani had shown clear signs of improvement compared to the first two races. "We have made progress in Houston. We greatly improved our setup for street courses and made up ground on the top competitors again", Jani analyzed, "but there still is plenty of room for further improvement."

The Champ Car rookie also showed a convincing performance during the race. After his last pit stop, he was in fourth position and on the way to a top finish. However, he then was rammed and literally knocked off the racecourse by British racer Katherine Legge.

"It was a completely useless and unnecessary attempt to pass me. Katherine had one more pit stop coming up, therefore, she wasn't in a direct fight with me", Jani said in legitimate disappointment. "I'm very frustrated. The way the race was proceeding, I would have finished on the podium."

The first three races in the Champ Car Series haven't given Neel Jani the top results he had hoped for. Nevertheless, he had been on track for a spot on the podium twice before being forced to retire through no fault of his own.

In the season opener in Las Vegas, it was a technical failure that ended his hopes for a top spot; now in Houston he was involved in a crash through no fault of his own. One week ago, in Long Beach he finished the race and got a strong seventh place. "We have shown that we can race with the top teams. Now, we have to make sure that we can finish the race. Maybe, all we need is a lucky break. Or a little less bad luck", Jani sums up.

The next race will be held on 10 June in Portland, Oregon -- on a permanent road course for the first time this season. "Though we have improved our setup on the city tracks, I believe that we will be slightly stronger on the regular tracks", said the Red Bull PKV Racing Team driver. In all the preseason tests, which were held on permanent tracks, he had shown convincing performances.

-credit: www.neel-jani.com

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Katherine Legge , Neel Jani