Justin Wilson to Start a Disappointing 5th in Sunday’s Gran Premio Mexico City

11.11.2007: Justin Wilson to Start a Disappointing 5th in Sunday’s Gran Premio Mexico City

After a promising Friday and a solid performance in Saturday’s morning practice, Justin Wilson qualified the #9/CDW/RuSPORT car fourth for Sunday’s Gran Premio Tecate in Mexico City, Mexico. However by way of Sebastien Bourdais’ provisional pole on Friday, Justin will line up fifth behind the #14/Muermans car of Robert Doornbos.

Team Australia’s Will Power laid down a blistering lap of 1m 23.558s, breaking Justin’s 2006 lap record by more than 1.3 seconds and securing his sixth career pole position, more than 0.5 seconds ahead of second place qualifier, Robert Doornbos.

The RuSPORT team made few changes to car overnight Friday and after finishing Saturday’s morning practice session fourth, they remained upbeat in their chances of securing the pole position in Saturday’s final qualifying session.

Early on in qualifying, the #9/CDW car looked good and was handling well, but as the sun warmed the track surface and the rubber was laid down, the minimal changes made to the car weren’t enough as Justin struggled to keep the car on pace with the rest of the field. Running on Bridgestone Potenza black tires in his first stint, Justin got three flying laps in the #9/CDW car, but failed to break into the top five.

Only after a setup change and a switch to the Bridgestone Potenza Red option tires, was the car able to move up the time charts. When the session ended, Justin’s best lap of 1m 24.365s was only good enough for fourth place.

"The car wasn’t as smooth as yesterday and as the track got better, we weren’t able to keep up with it and it cost us the pole," lamented Justin. "It was also very difficult to find a gap in traffic when the Red tires are at their best."

Further adding to the excitement of the weekend is the fight for second place in the Champ Car World Series Driver’s Championship, with Justin a mere eight points ahead of Doornbos. If Justin and Doornbos finish the race as they start, Justin would still clinch second in the Driver’s Championship, but only by the narrowest of margins, leaving very little on the table for either driver.

"We are obviously disappointed that we can’t be at the front and now we have to concentrate on making the car good for the race tomorrow and hope for a good result."

The Gran Premio Tecate Presented by Banamex at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico is the final round of the 2007 Champ Car World Series season. It will be televised live on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. (ET).


- Tom Lutz -

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11.11.2007 / MaP

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