Justin tastes podium success at Long Beach Justin took 2nd place in the opening race of the 2006 Champ Car World Series at Long Beach from 2nd on the grid, getting his, RuSPORT's and new sponsor CDW's season off to a great start. This...
Justin tastes podium success at Long Beach
Justin took 2nd place in the opening race of the 2006 Champ Car World Series at Long Beach from 2nd on the grid, getting his, RuSPORT's and new sponsor CDW's season off to a great start. This was Justin's second consecutive podium after his dominant win in 2005's season finale in Mexico City.
Justin and race winner Sebastien Bourdais of Newman-Haas escaped the first lap carnage at Turn 1 one, but Justin's team-mate A.J. Allmendinger was a passenger in a pile up which also eliminated Forsythe's Paul Tracy, PKV's Oriol Servia and Newman-Haas' Bruno Junqueira. For Justin, meanwhile, it was a case of chasing Sebastien as hard as he could. Both cars ran flawlessly, and while Justin kept the Frenchman in sight for most of the race in the end, the #9 car just didn't quite have the pace needed to fight for the lead. The result marked significant progress by the team on street circuits - last year Justin finished 4th at Long Beach - and shows that RuSPORT have potential to be title contenders this year.
"It's great to finish on the podium at the first race of the season", said Justin. "I've got to thank the whole CDW-RuSPORT team for their hard work this weekend in getting the car competitive. I'm really sorry for A.J. - I looked in my mirrors as I went through turn 1 and he was really unlucky to get caught up in that. But I'm sure he'll bounce back at the next race. It was a tough weekend and we were continually chasing the set-up as the track gripped up. I pushed as hard as I could in the race, but we didn't quite have enough to take it to Sebastien today. About ten laps from the end I overcooked the front tyres in one of the corners and after that I suffered bad understeer, so I decided then to back off a bit rather than risk the podium. There's a lot of data for us to study from this weekend and we'll take a hard look at it before the next race in Houston."