Cristiano da Matta jumps from tenth to fourth position, Justin Wilson qualifies in twelfth in backup car SAN JOSE, Cal., July 29, 2006 -- Cristiano da Matta improved six spots on the starting grid for tomorrow's Grand Prix of San Jose, jumping...
Cristiano da Matta jumps from tenth to fourth position, Justin Wilson qualifies in twelfth in backup car
SAN JOSE, Cal., July 29, 2006 -- Cristiano da Matta improved six spots on the starting grid for tomorrow's Grand Prix of San Jose, jumping from tenth to fourth position with a time of 49.549 seconds. His teammate, Justin Wilson (#9 CDW / RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) was forced to use his spare car to post a qualifying time of 50.341 seconds, after a crash in the pre-qualifying warm-up session that damaged his primary car, to take the twelfth position.
"I'm very pleased with fourth place, especially coming from where we were yesterday," said da Matta. "We've made some improvements on the car, especially in this morning's practice session, and it looks like we've found a good route to pursue. We will try to see if we can make it a little bit better yet again, for the race tomorrow. My engineers and crew have been pushing very hard, and we have definitely improved. We found a couple of small things on the car that have helped make it better suited to the way I like to drive, so I'm happy overall."
"The CDW crew did a good job getting the spare car ready for qualifying after I made a mistake at the end of warm-up and put in into the tires," said Wilson. "It's times like this when they really step up to the plate, and they did that again today. It was impressive. I'm just disappointed that I made a mistake and damaged the car. It cost us quite a bit in track position, which is one thing we didn't want to do, but we just need to go and make the best of a bad job now."
"Today is proof that there's never a dull day in the Champ Car paddock, and that certainly describes our day today," said RuSPORT president Jeremy Dale. "First off, congratulations to Cristiano and the entire Car No. 10 team. They've been working tirelessly, and I think they had a small breakthrough this afternoon. Cristiano drove the wheels of off the car, and was very close to P3, but a second row start tomorrow is a great achievement."
"Justin had a difficult afternoon," continued Dale. "He made a small mistake in the pre-qualifying warm-up session and crashed his car. This is the kind of race track where you have to push, and he was pushing, and that kind of thing happens. It's not a big deal, but when it happens in that pre-qualifying warm-up, it puts you in an interesting position. In this case, the CDW No. 9 car team ended up pulling out the backup car, and they did a marvelous job to get the car down to pit lane, get it warmed up and get Justin into it. He did a fantastic job to sling it around the track, and twelfth place right now doesn't look like much, but it's an accomplishment under the circumstances. Tomorrow will be an interesting day."