It was a bittersweet day for the RuSPORT team on the streets of Surfer's Paradise as what could have been a day with both drivers on the podium ended with one on the podium and one, unfortunately, relegated to seventh place. AJ Allmendinger and...
It was a bittersweet day for the RuSPORT team on the streets of Surfer's Paradise as what could have been a day with both drivers on the podium ended with one on the podium and one, unfortunately, relegated to seventh place. AJ Allmendinger and Justin Wilson both started the race strong and were able to avoid the first lap melee between Oriol Servia, Cristiano DaMatta and Mario Dominguez and by lap ten, Allmendinger was third and Wilson fourth. As the race progressed, Allmendinger was able to maintain his position and captured second place on lap 24 when Paul Tracy retired and Allmendinger held his position until the checkered flag. Meanwhile, Wilson was running a strong race and was as high as third position when on lap 34, while trying to pass Marcus Marshall who was two laps down, his right rear tire made contact with Marshall's left front leaving Wilson with what was thought to be a puncture. Wilson pitted and in actuality there was suspension damage to the car from the contact. Wilson returned to the race, fought hard and worked his way back to fifth but the ill-handling car and the need for the off-sequence pit stops had cost them and the team had to settle for a seventh place finish. The silver lining for Wilson today was that he recaptured third place in the championship. The RuSPORT team will now begin preparations for the season finale to be held in Mexico City on November 6.
"It was a really disappointing race. We had a great car. We were fast and the car was good even on old tires. It is a shame that someone who was a lap down wanted to compete irresponsibly and basically finished our race for us. Today, we could easily have finished with both cars on the podium. It is a shame for all the guys on the crew who did a great job during the whole weekend".
"It was a great race for us. The car was awesome. My crew did a great job and gave me the best car on the track except for Sebastien who seemed to be on another planet. My engineers also came out with the right numbers even though somehow we lost our fuel data from the morning's session, so we were almost blind during the first run. That is why I had to be more conservative during the first part of the race. For the second part, I had the opportunity to push harder, but Sebastien was already too far, so I decided to stay calm, keep my pace and not make any mistakes. Everybody talks about how good it is to be on the podium in Surfer's, so now I will enjoy the Paradise before going to Mexico to try to repeat the podium that I had there last year."
"AJ and his team did an outstanding job today to bring the Intel car home in second place. This is a race track on which we struggled last year. It was a very strong performance by everyone on AJ's car and this shows how much we have improved as a team. Now we will focus on the next round in Mexico City and try to solidify our position in the championship. On the other hand, it was a disappointing race for Justin on a day that at the beginning looked promising. Justin and his guys fought hard during the entire weekend and at the end things should have not been this way. His car was as fast as AJ's and we could have had both of our cars on the podium. But this is sometimes how things are in racing. The good news is that Justin is now third in the championship with one round to go in Mexico City."