Justin Wilson, ...
Justin Wilson, #9 SanDisk
Sophomore Champ Car World Series pilot Justin Wilson secured his first top- five qualification of the 2005 season in today's final qualifying session before Sunday's 31st annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Wilson's flyer of 1:07.919 (104.312-mph) helped place both RuSPORT cars in the top-ten and will give him a third-row start in his second Long Beach Grand Prix. Last year Wilson delivered the highest rookie finish with a 6th-place result. Tomorrow's race takes the green flag at 1:00 PM (local) and can be seen live on the NBC network.
"Well I'm very happy overall with the first outing with the SanDisk/RuSPORT team. We qualified 5th, we've been quick all weekend, and we're always right there at the right end of the grid. We've got the speed and consistency to deliver a great result, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow's race."
Jeremy Dale, Team President
"The guys on the #9 SanDisk car are really closing in on the top of the times sheets and they've put a really good race car on the track every day. The field really stepped up today with Paul Tracy setting a new track record, and Justin stepped up to meet the times. It's easy to look at 5th and be disappointed, but when Justin is delivering fast speeds and consistently good laps, it's just what we need to translate that into a podium finish."
A.J. Allmendinger, #10 Beijing '06
Reigning Roshfrans Rookie of the Year and native Californian A.J. Allmendinger turned in his first top-ten qualification of the season with his time of 1:08.638 (103.220-mph). The #10 Beijing '06 crew made a turbo change after this morning's practice session and A.J. continued to struggle with handling and balance, but nonetheless helped place both RUSPORT cars in the top-ten. Allmendinger's 10th-place result was the highest by an American for the start of tomorrow's 31st annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which can be seen live on the NBC network at 4:00 PM (EST).
"To say we're frustrated is probably an obvious understatement. I was struggling with some front-end grip yesterday, and today it was more of the same. The car is just not handling well. I know we can get there, because we've been really quick in testing and Justin (Wilson) has been quick all weekend. We're definitely going to be working hard tonight so that we can deliver the results we all know RuSPORT is capable of."
Jeremy Dale, Team President
"The #10 Beijing '06 crew are definitely not happy with where they are on the grid today. We all know A.J. is capable of driving the car; we just need to give him a car that he's happy with and is to his liking. It's frustrating. We need more car speed, and the guys are going to get to work on getting that. On a positive note, today RuSPORT put both cars in the top- ten, and with the depth of the field, that's a respectable accomplishment."