Justin Wilson Clinches 2nd in Champ Car World Series Championship Finishes 10th in a difficult Mexico City race Justin Wilson clinched second place in the Champ Car World Series Driver's championship, not by way of a stellar performance, ...
Justin Wilson Clinches 2nd in Champ Car World Series Championship
Finishes 10th in a difficult Mexico City race
Justin Wilson clinched second place in the Champ Car World Series Driver's championship, not by way of a stellar performance, but through the mechanical misfortunes of Robert Doornbos, Justin's main rival for the second position in the championship. Justin battled fuel problems and some minor handling issues while Doornbos had clutch problems that put him out of the race.
Immediately at the start, Justin, starting fifth on Bridgestone Potenza Red option tires, drove around a stalled Oriol Servia and gained one position, before a full course yellow came out to clear two other stalled cars off the grid. At the restart on lap four, Doornbos began experiencing problems that saw him drop from third to 16th within the space of a single lap. Doornbos' team brought the car into the garage for repairs, changing the clutch and getting him back on track but the effort was in vain as Justin went the race distance and Doornbos finished 52 laps down.
With Robert out of the championship hunt, Justin thought he was in the clear, but by lap 16, the #9/CDW/RuSPORT car began to develop a miss in the engine that was attributed to a loss of fuel pressure. Mike Talbott and Chris Lerch, Justin's race engineers surmised that if the fuel tank was kept full, the problem was negated.
"We had a fuel pressure problem that started early in the race, where the car would just cut out in some of the corners and on the straightaway. My engineers sorted 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 heavy and slow, so that didn't help our times and we had to make extra stops to keep the fuel level up, which didn't help either." Justin joked with his team over the radio about the situation saying "We put so much fuel in this car that I think I qualify for a discount!"
The fuel problem meant a conservative pit strategy for Justin, making three pitstops for tires and fuel, while most of the field only needed two stops to go the race distance. In the end, Justin kept the #9/CDW car on the lead lap, finishing the race an uncharacteristic tenth.
Looking back on the weekend and the 2007 season, Justin commented "Although I'm disappointed with tenth in the race, we finished second in the championship, which was our main goal coming into this weekend and I really have to thank my entire team, who have 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."
RuSPORT Team Owner, Dan Pettit, echoed Justin's comments on the weekend and the championship, "Tenth place is not the way we wanted to finish the race or the season, but finishing second in the championship ahead of Robert was our main focus and we achieved that, which is positive for the team, CDW and all our partners that have worked so hard for this all year."