Justin pleased with 4th in Long Beach Justin and the CDW/RSPORTS team put their bad Las Vegas luck behind them as Justin drove a determined race to 4th place in Long Beach from 7th on the grid. Justin's team-mate Alex Tagliani finished 5th in...
Justin pleased with 4th in Long Beach
Justin and the CDW/RSPORTS team put their bad Las Vegas luck behind them as Justin drove a determined race to 4th place in Long Beach from 7th on the grid. Justin's team-mate Alex Tagliani finished 5th in the #8 LXN2 car to make it a double top five finish for RSPORTS. Sebastien Bourdais won the race for Newman/Haas/Lanigan while Oriol Servia, standing in for injured Paul Tracy at Forsythe, made the most of an alternative pit stop strategy to take second. Will Power grabbed the third podium spot on the final lap for Team Australia.
The race got off to a clean start and Justin spent his first stint focusing on fuel-saving, staying in 7th place until the first pit stops on lap 31. Great pit work by the #9 CDW crew allowed him to leap-frog two cars in the pits and Justin then caught and passed Will Power on his out lap, vaulting up to 4th spot. By that point Alex Tagliani was in 3rd in the #8 LXN2 car. Justin was all over him for some time before dropping back while he and his engineers diagnosed a rear handling imbalance. In the end Justin worked around the problem by adjusting his driving style, but Power re-took 4th spot on the second round of pit stops on lap 54.
Justin drove a fast final stint in 5th place before a full course yellow emerged on lap 72, less than ten minutes before the end of the race. When the green flag fell there was just enough time for a thrilling, two lap, finale. Justin had plenty of Cosworth power-to-pass remaining and chased Will Power hard down to Turn 1. But, before Justin could pass the Australian, Power overtook Alex Tagliani for 3rd. Justin tucked in close behind his team-mate and took advantage of his own momentum to make the pass for 4th at Turn 6, just half a lap from the chequered flag.
"Things went well for us this weekend", said a relieved Justin. "We had a good race and an interesting day. During the first half we were working on our strategy and saving fuel. That seemed to pay off as we were able to gain some positions after the first round of pit stops. During the second half of the race we were focusing on making improvements on the #9 CDW/RSPORTS car and racing flat out. I'm very pleased we were able to earn some valuable points this weekend and give CDW a decent finish. We're definitely making progress and hopefully next week in Houston we can finish on the podium."
The Champ Car circus now heads south to Houston, Texas for the third of three back-to-back street races on Sunday 22nd April.