Justin Wilson moves up to fourth, Cristiano da Matta improves to fifth on starting grid Portland, Ore., June 17, 2006 -- After a disappointing day of provisional qualifying, RuSPORT bounced back to post two solid starting positions for the Grand...
Justin Wilson moves up to fourth, Cristiano da Matta improves to fifth on starting grid
Portland, Ore., June 17, 2006 -- After a disappointing day of provisional qualifying, RuSPORT bounced back to post two solid starting positions for the Grand Prix of Portland. The final qualifying session saw Justin Wilson (#9 CDW / RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) capture the fourth starting spot on the grid with a time of 57.818 seconds. His teammate, Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) recorded a best-lap time of 58.018 seconds to jump from tenth to fifth position for his first race with his new team.
"Today was a lot better than yesterday," said Wilson. "The balance of the car is much closer to what we need, so we've made progress. I think we've got a reasonable starting position. We still need a little bit more rear stability, but the CDW Car #9 team is working hard, and I'm sure we'll work it out."
"I'm happy with the result," said da Matta. "Of course, the first weekend with a new team isn't always easy, and there are a lot of things to learn. We went back-and-forth with the car setup and the car build, yesterday and today, and I think we've finally got it. Our best session was qualifying, and while we train for our best session to be the race itself, we have some time to do that for tomorrow. But we were at our best so far in qualifying, so there's obviously a trend of improvement, and I think we'll keep getting better."
"I think the team has done a great job this weekend, bringing Cristiano into the team," said RuSPORT president Jeremy Dale. "Adding a new driver to the team is always a challenge, especially in the middle of the season, and everyone has really rallied around Cristiano. He has done the same with the rest of the team, and the results have been really solid. Obviously fourth and fifth isn't quite as good as first and second, but both cars are well positioned to have a good, solid race on Sunday, and we think that's exactly what will happen."
The Grand Prix of Portland will be broadcast live on CBS, and will start at 3:30 pm EDT on Sunday, June 18.