Wilson satisfied with 8th in second oval race In only his second oval race, and Mi-Jack Conquest's first outing with the Lola in oval-spec, Justin Wilson had a strong run at Las Vegas to finish 8th. Justin ran competitively with the main...
Wilson satisfied with 8th in second oval race
In only his second oval race, and Mi-Jack Conquest's first outing with the Lola in oval-spec, Justin Wilson had a strong run at Las Vegas to finish 8th. Justin ran competitively with the main pack, flat out for 166 laps at speeds in excess of 205 mph, and moved steadily through the field from his 15th qualifying spot. Though content with 8th, Justin was tantalisingly close to the front-runners after running as high as 4th, but the #34 car suffered from understeer in the closing laps which meant he couldn't use the oval's low line to protect his position.
Justin and the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team had a difficult build up to the race. They tested the Reynard chassis at the oval a few weeks ago, but after its uncompetitive showing decided to bring Lolas to the race. The lack of Lola running cost Wilson dearly in the early practice sessions and in qualifying, but after an engine change and further set-up work they managed to find more speed in the pre-race warm-up.
When the race went green Justin was able to pass Guy Smith, team-mate Nelson Philippe and Roberto Gonzalez. By lap 34 he was running 11th, and by lap 59 was up to 8th. For most of the race he ran with the main pack, duelling at various points with Guy Smith, AJ Allmendinger and Patrick Carpentier. By the end of the fourth stint (lap 132) Justin had moved up into 5th place, and after the final stops, he managed to get by Carpentier for 4th. He got tantalisingly close to Lavin who was running in 3rd, but found that he could not hang on to his position when the tyres went off towards the end of each stint.
Overall Justin was satisfied with the team's progress over the weekend. "I'm pleased with the result, especially considering where we qualified. My crew did a great job between qualifying and warm-up which really helped us for the race. The car was excellent at the start of each stint and we were able to make good progress immediately after each of the stops. But then the tyres would go off, and I'd get understeer which meant I couldn't stay in the faster low line. Still, it was a good result and a much more enjoyable experience than my first oval race at Milwaukee."
It was a good weekend overall for Mi-Jack Conquest Racing, with Justin's team mate Nelson Philippe finishing in 9th.
The Champ Car World Series continues on Sunday 24th October with a street race at Surfers Paradise in Australia.