Justin disappointed with 7th at Surfers Paradise Justin finished where he qualified in 7th in Sunday's race around the streets of Surfers Paradise, but behind these bare statistics was a 90 minute roller-coaster that saw him running as high as...
Justin disappointed with 7th at Surfers Paradise
Justin finished where he qualified in 7th in Sunday's race around the streets of Surfers Paradise, but behind these bare statistics was a 90 minute roller-coaster that saw him running as high as 3rd and as low as 11th. After jumping up to 4th by avoiding a first lap tangle between Oriol Servia, Cristiano da Matta and Mario Dominguez, Justin moved into 3rd when Paul Tracy's engine expired on lap 25.
RuSPORT were looking good for a double podium, but Justin's race took a turn for the worse while trying to clear a backmarker, Marcus Marshall, who held him up for nearly two laps after the race restarted on lap 33 following a full course yellow. As a frustrated Justin finally got past, his right rear made contact with Marshall's front left leaving the Brit with what he initially thought was a puncture and forcing him to pit way ahead of schedule. In fact the contact had damaged the Lola's suspension and the consequent ill-handling took the edge off his pace. Justin doggedly worked back up to 5th as the rest of the field cycled through their pit-stops, but by pitting so early he needed a full course yellow to get to the end without another fuel stop. Unfortunately for him the race stayed green and he had to come in for a splash & dash on the penultimate lap, dropping him back two spots to 7th at the chequered flag.
Sebastien Bourdais won the race, with A.J. taking 2nd for RuSPORT ahead of PKV's Jimmy Vasser in 3rd. After setting the pace in the pre-race warm-up, and posting the 3rd fastest race lap, the result was bitterly disappointing for Justin. With Newman-Haas drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Oriol Servia securing 1st and 2nd in the Drivers Championship at Surfers, the only silver lining was that Justin moved back into 3rd, ten points clear of Paul Tracy. The final race of the season is at Mexico City in a fortnight.