SAN JOSE, California -- Quick out of the box, that is what RSPORTS demonstrated during their first day on the streets of San Jose, California as drivers Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani provisionally qualified second and fifth, respectively. The...
SAN JOSE, California -- Quick out of the box, that is what RSPORTS demonstrated during their first day on the streets of San Jose, California as drivers Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani provisionally qualified second and fifth, respectively.
The duo rounded out the top eight during this morning's practice session. Working on their cars and trying to find the right combination for the challenging street course, the RSPORTS drivers had moved into the top three by their tenth laps around the 1.443-mile temporary course. Wilson, posted a time of 50.458 (102.953 mph) 26th of 28 laps ran this morning, and sat fourth overall. Tagliani ran a time of 50.716 (102.429 mph) on his 15th out of 25 laps and finished eighth.
This afternoon looked promising for an RSPORTS top three effort. During Wilson's first stint, which he ran on the Bridgestone Black Potenza tires, he posted a time of 49.747 (104.424 mph). That lap time was posted on his last lap of his first run in provisional qualifying. Opting to save the Bridgestone Red Potenza tires for tomorrow, he put on a fresh set of black tires on and went back out in the #9 CDW Champ Car. After eight laps, Tagliani ended his first stint after recording a time of 49.852 (104.204 mph) sitting in the third spot. He chose to switch from his black tires, to the softer red tires for his second run of the provisional qualifying session.
Neither Wilson, nor Tagliani were able to run a quicker lap time in the remaining six and a half minutes, and it was up until the final minute of the session when the RSPORTS teammates were knocked down a spot by Sebastien Bourdais, who grabbed the pole posting a time of 49.509 (104.862 mph). Just when the checkered flag dropped, Bruno Junqueira jumped a spot ahead of Tagliani, moving him down to the fifth spot, while Wilson remained P2.
It was demonstrated today that the times are close, and this weekend will see the Champ Cars fight another tight battle. There is no sign of rain, making it promising that the track will be even quicker tomorrow in the warm sun of Northern California. There will be another practice session tomorrow morning, before final qualifying for Sunday's San Jose Grand Prix at Redback Raceway gets underway at 2:00 p.m. local time. Fans can follow the RSPORTS team on the internet by logging onto www.champcar.ws and signing up for Race Director.
Justin Wilson #9 CDW Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"I think we're just starting to find our speed and work things out. It was quite a difficult start to the year with all the changes going on, but we've managed to work through that and try and understand what this car needs. I'm pleased that we're making progress and we can do it on the street circuit this year, which is quite nice compared to the last couple of seasons. The first run I thought that the #9 CDW car was feeling good, despite not knowing for sure because my dashboard was not working. So, I didn't know what lap time I was doing, apart from every now and then what the team would tell me over the radio. I felt like I had plenty left over to go in the second run, but for some reason the car just didn't feel as good and it was bouncing a lot more over the bumps. It was quite frustrating that we couldn't carry a bit more speed and get more lap time out of it during that second stint. We've just got a little bit more work to do and hopefully get the # 9 CDW car right up there and qualify on the pole tomorrow."
Alex Tagliani #8 RSPORTS Cosworth/DP01/Bridgestone
"It's the start of a good weekend. We had a pretty good car this afternoon on the first set of tires, but we did not have a completely clean lap. We got in a situation where we caught up with a lot of guys, but we are pretty confident that we could have been on the pole today with the car we had. When we went out on the second set of tires and we didn't improve. We missed on the fine tuning of the set up for the second set of tires and we ended up fifth. But that is not too bad, because I am very pleased with the #8 RSPORTS car right now. I think if we get it a little bit closer tomorrow then we are going to fight to qualify in the top three."