Justin Wilson captures Bridgestone Pole Award, Cristiano da Matta takes the eighth spot on starting grid TORONTO, Ontario, Canada, July 8, 2006 -- Justin Wilson ( ...
Justin Wilson captures Bridgestone Pole Award, Cristiano da Matta takes the eighth spot on starting grid
TORONTO, Ontario, Canada, July 8, 2006 -- Justin Wilson (#9 CDW / RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone) used his last lap in final qualifying to capture the pole position for the 2006 Molson Grand Prix of Toronto, recording a best lap time of 58.182 seconds, which was the fastest pole lap time in Toronto since 2002. His teammate, Cristiano da Matta (#10 RuSPORT Ford-Cosworth / Lola / Bridgestone), posted a best lap time of 59.102 seconds to qualify in eighth place for Sunday's race at Exhibition Place in Toronto.
The result gives Wilson his third Bridgestone Pole Award in his three-year Champ Car World Series career, and his first of the 2006 season. The pole position also earns Wilson a point in the Champ Car World Series driver's championship, where he currently sits in second place, just 25 points behind Sebastien Bourdais.
Until the last two laps in the final qualifying session, Wilson was unable to post a better lap time than his provisional qualifying time, because of slower traffic on the track at Exhibition Place.
"I was just getting into a little bit of traffic, and kept getting held up," said Wilson. "No matter where I was on track, I always had Oriol Servia in front of me. It was getting a little bit frustrating. But I knew I had to stay calm. Fortunately, he'd gone out early, so he pulled off and left me two clear laps. I just managed to put it all together on my last lap and make it count. The car felt great. It's been working well all weekend. I'm just really pleased to have finally put that one lap together and make it count. I've just got to thank my team, and the whole crew on the CDW #9 car. I'm very pleased for them, and I'm looking forward to a great race tomorrow."
"I'm a little a disappointed that we didn't get everything out of the car," said da Matta. "I think we had a car that was good enough for the top five. But fortunately, we have 86 laps in tomorrow's race to get it back. I was hoping to make more gains from yesterday to today than we did , but we'll just keep working hard and try to find out what we need to do for tomorrow."
"Congratulations must go out to everyone on the CDW #9 car team today," said RuSPORT President Jeremy Dale. "Justin and his team did an exceptional job, and it was a real nail-biter in final qualifying. On his last lap, Justin managed to squeak through and post that pole position time. I think it's very important for the team to start from the pole position, especially at this event. Obviously we're very happy to get the championship point for the pole, but more than that, the track position here in Toronto is very important. It's great for everyone on the car #9 team, and it's great for CDW, because we've got many guests here in Toronto this weekend. We're hoping for a great result on Sunday not only for the team, but for all of our CDW guests."
"Cristiano had a good day, but not a great day," continued Dale. "He's in the eighth position on the grid, but I don't think the car #10 team got the performance out of the car that they wanted to. A tenth-and-a-half of a second less on his final qualifying time would put Cristiano inside the top five, so he's very close, and actually has quite a good car. He's a very savvy racer, and I think everyone on the car #10 team will be thinking about how to move that car forward in the race tomorrow here in Toronto."
The 2006 Molson Grand Prix of Toronto will take place on Sunday, July 9. The race will be broadcast live on CBS, beginning at 12:30 pm EDT.