Justin Wilson Takes Second Place in Portland Cristiano da Matta captures fifth place in his first race with his new team Portland, Ore., June 18, 2006 -- A historic day in Portland was highlighted by two solid performances by RuSPORT drivers...
Justin Wilson Takes Second Place in Portland
Cristiano da Matta captures fifth place in his first race with his new team
Portland, Ore., June 18, 2006 -- A historic day in Portland was highlighted by two solid performances by RuSPORT drivers Justin Wilson (#9 CDW / RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) and Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone). Wilson started the race in fourth position, but rang strong all day and finished second behind first-time Champ Car race winner A.J. Allmendinger. Da Matta held off a fierce challenge by Paul Tracy, and helped RuSPORT place two cars in the top five once again by finishing fifth.
The fourth runner-up result of the 2006 season earned Wilson his seventh appearance on the podium of his career, and moved him one point closer to Sebastien Bourdais in the Champ Car World Series driver's championship standings. Da Matta's fifth-place finish moves him into a four-way tie for fifth place in the championship standings.
"I managed to slide in behind A.J. at the start, and Dan Clarke moved into second, but that wasn't too concerning," said Wilson. "I was just trying to save fuel for the first stint, pushing as hard as I could without burning too much. After Dan went off and got his flat tire, I just pushed hard and tried to close the gap to A.J., and it was just a case of running flat-out for the rest of the race. It seems like we did 105 laps of qualifying pace. Every lap was flat. I got very close to making a move in turn 1, and locked up the right front for some reason, and that pretty much put an end to my attack. I lost grip after that and had a huge vibration, and we were losing time. So we decided to pit early, and that caused us to have a long last stint, which ultimately hurt us. But fortunately, I was able to stay ahead of Sebastien and claim second place. The entire #9 CDW team worked extremely hard all weekend long, and I'm pleased with the result."
"I'm happy with the results of my first weekend with the team," said da Matta. "Fifth place is a good place to start from. Obviously, we don't want to be fifth forever, but I think it's a good start. I understand the team principals and philosophy a lot better, and the team understands a lot better what I want out of the car. I understand how the car works a lot better, and I think we have a very solid place to build from. So, I'm very happy overall."
"It was a great job by the entire team," said team owner Carl Russo. "Obviously we're very proud of the effort to bring Cristiano in and get a second and a fifth place. I'd like to congratulate A.J. Allmendinger for winning his first race. We're all for happy for him and proud of him for winning it. For us, it's on to Cleveland, and we'll see if we can put our first win in the column, this year."
The 2006 Champ Car World Series continues with The Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank on June 25. The race will be broadcast live on CBS, starting at 2:30 pm EDT.