Justin clinches 2nd in 2007 Champ Car World Series Justin took the runner-up spot in the 2007 Champ Car World Series in Mexico City, but not in the way he'd hoped. He nursed the ...
Justin clinches 2nd in 2007 Champ Car World Series
Justin took the runner-up spot in the 2007 Champ Car World Series in Mexico City, but not in the way he'd hoped. He nursed the #9 CDW car home in 10th place after a debilitating fuel pressure problem took the edge off his pace for most of the race.
Sebastien Bourdais won his final race in Champ Car for Newman/Haas/Lanigan, while Will Power (Team Australia) and Oriol Servia (PKV) were second and third respectively. Robert Doornbos (Minardi Team USA), Justin's rival for 2nd in the driver championship, had clutch problems and was classified 16th, 52 laps down. He finished 3rd in the title chase, 13 points behind Justin.
Starting from 5th, Justin shot past Servia's stalled Panoz - one of three cars stranded on the grid - to move up to 4th behind Doornbos. After a brief full course yellow, the race got properly underway on Lap 4, and Justin found himself up to 3rd as Doornbos suddenly dropped back through the field. Justin settled in for the now traditional first stint of fuel saving, staying in touch with polesitter and race leader Power. But on Lap 16 the #9 CDW car suddenly went off the boil.
"The car would just cut out in some of the corners and on the straight", explained Justin. "My engineers figured out that if we kept the fuel tank above 12 gallons, the problem would go away. Running this track on a full tank of fuel makes the car slow, so that didn't help our times and we had to make extra stops to keep the fuel level up."
The extra stops meant that Justin ran for much of the race effectively in P9, but he got picked off by the fully functioning PKV of Neel Jani in the closing stages to finish 10th at the chequered flag.
On his third stop, Justin did his best to make light of the situation. Pulling into his pit box for the final time, he quipped: "We've put so much fuel in this car, shouldn't I qualify for a discount?!"
After the race Justin reflected on the championship result after what has been, at times, a trying season for him and the RuSPORT team. "It wasn't the way I wanted to end the season. To finish 10th is frustrating, but 2nd in the championship was our main goal coming into this weekend and we achieved that. I really have to thank my entire team. They've worked so hard all year and have kept their spirits high all the way to the end. I'm also grateful to CDW and all our partners for being such great sponsors."