Watkins Glen: Justin Wilson qualifying report

Justin qualifies 2nd at Watkins Glen Justin achieved his second front row start this year by qualifying 2nd for Sunday's Camping World Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International (1:29.3106s/135.841mph). He lines up beside polesitter Ryan Briscoe...

Justin qualifies 2nd at Watkins Glen

Justin achieved his second front row start this year by qualifying 2nd for Sunday's Camping World Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International (1:29.3106s/135.841mph). He lines up beside polesitter Ryan Briscoe (Team Penske, 1:28.5970/136.935mph), repeating last year's front row at the renowned road course.

"It's been a good day," said Justin. "I'm really pleased with qualifying second. It's great for Dale Coyne Racing and Z-Line Designs Furniture to be on the front row again. Ryan did a great job out there today. He was very fast and I don't know if we had enough to match that."

After six oval races, Justin and Dale Coyne Racing had no trouble regaining their early season road course form. The #18 Z-Line Designs car was 6th fastest in the morning practice session and after a few lunch-time set-up changes the car was clearly to Justin's liking as they began the three round qualifying session.

A first round gamble to run Justin on the harder compound Firestones for both stints paid off, although with every other driver running at least one stint on the softer, faster, red-sidewalled tyres it was a close call. But Justin hung on to 6th fastest in his qualifying group to make it through to the second round with two new sets of reds still available.

With the field whittled down to 12 competitors for round 2, Justin was 3rd quickest, setting a fast lap of 1:28.8214s on reds to make it through to the Firestone Fast Six. And so the stage was set for a final 10 minutes of qualifying with Justin battling it out against Briscoe, both Chip Ganassi Racing drivers (Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon), Graham Rahal (Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing) and Mario Moraes (KV Racing). Justin ran two timed laps on scrubbed reds before pitting for a new set of reds, hoping to be able to take advantage and edge ahead of Briscoe in the five minutes remaining. But as he pulled out of his pit box to make his final run, Dario spun hard into the tyre barriers at the last corner bringing out a full course caution. When the track went green the IRL allowed one flying lap, but while Justin was quickest on that one circuit of the 3.37 mile track, there was too little time to beat Briscoe's pole time.

"We were a little bit brave in the first run to not use a set of reds when everyone else did, but we got away with it!" said Justin. "That should have helped us later on, but unfortunately we never got a chance to use them when it counted. It definitely seems like the reds are faster, so having an extra set gives us some options tomorrow. Hopefully we can have a good race - if we stay mistake-free we should be in good shape."

The race starts at 1.30pm EDT on Sunday, with live TV coverage in the US on ABC, and in the UK on Sky Sports 2 from 1 pm ET/6pm BST. Live timing and scoring, radio coverage and video streaming is available at www.indycar.com.

-credit: justinwilson.co.uk

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Dario Franchitti , Scott Dixon , Ryan Briscoe , Chip Ganassi , Mario Moraes , Dale Coyne
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Dale Coyne Racing