MORE THAN 100,000 FANS WITNESS WIRDHEIM'S VALIENT EFFORT Bremer's Day Ends Early with a Mechanical Problem Bjorn Wirdheim led his first laps in a Champ Car race today. Not only did he lead, but he looked poised to win the 76 lap race under ...
MORE THAN 100,000 FANS WITNESS WIRDHEIM'S VALIENT EFFORT
Bremer's Day Ends Early with a Mechanical Problem
Bjorn Wirdheim led his first laps in a Champ Car race today. Not only did he lead, but he looked poised to win the 76 lap race under the soaring Monterrey sun and in front of 111,518 roaring race fans. The team knew it would be tight as Bjorn was just short of enough fuel to take the checkered flag. Things seemed to go their way as contact occurred and yellow flags fell from start to finish, allowing Bjorn the opportunity to save fuel. Enduring four re-starts from the lead and eight overall, Bjorn kept his car on track and up front despite getting just one set of fresh tires during the event. His Bridgestone's held on and so did Bjorn, he led a total of 18 laps and ran in the top-three throughout most of the race. The fuel tank ran dry just as he made the final turn on the final lap and he coasted to the checkered flag to finish eighth. Ronnie Bremer took the green flag from the 10th position and was prepared to race to the front until a gearbox problem ended his day on 14th lap. Despite the premature end to the event, he continues to impress and earned his second top-ten starting position in as many races.
Bjorn on the Race:"Thanks so much to the HVM team; in particular Will (Phillips, Race Engineer), Vince (Kremer, Team Manager) and Daniel (Louks, Assistant Race Engineer) for giving me a great race strategy, we managed to turn the weekend around. My car was better today and we set some pretty competitive race laps. We need to do more testing so I can work on the qualifying pace and we'll be fine. I definitely had a lot of practice on the re-starts today, and managed to hang on despite being hit twice, the experience from today is invaluable. The re-starts were very nerve-wracking, especially the final re-start because there was nothing left on my tires, I knew the fuel was crucial, so I could not use my push-to-pass and I had a bunch of cars behind me who were obviously wanting my position. It says a lot for the Bridgestone tires, I used just two sets today, they were incredible. Overall, of course I am disappointed not to have finished on top, but we led our first laps in just my second race and gained a lot of experience, so I am pleased. I am really looking forward to Milwaukee, it will be my first race on an oval, but we tested there and I have the winning car, so I feel well prepared."
Ronnie on the Race:"Looking from the outside, it seems like it could have been a great day for us if we had been able to finish. Unfortunately something broke in the gearbox after a decent start. I lost a couple of positions just before I broke, I was right behind Jimmy and Mario. Jimmy was slow and he and Mario got tangled up, unfortunately I had no where to go and Nelson and Andrew had a gap behind be and got a good run on it. After that, I came out of the hairpin and there was no second (gear), no third, no fourth and that was it. Very unfortunate because I had a good racecar and I think we could have had a good shot at it today. I am really looking forward to getting back in the car in Milwaukee."
Keith Wiggins, Co-Owner/Managing Director:"I am sort of happy and disappointed at the same time. I feel sorry for Ronnie and for Bjorn, I think it was good experience for only his third time in the car and to run up front is a good job. Obviously we would have liked to have held on to a top-three finish and found another couple of pints of fuel. That's the luck of the draw. Finishing eighth isn't that exciting but I think we certainly had an exciting race."