Champ Car: Top-five qualifying position for Wilson

By Andy Darley

CalendarSunday, August 26th, 2007

 
 

Justin Wilson left his practice woes behind him to put his car on the third row of the grid for today’s Champ Car race in Zolder, Belgium – but still felt he could have done better.

Wilson had been one of the principal losers from the incident that saw Dan Clarke banned from the race weekend, but recovered in style during qualifying to finish fifth – his seventh top-five grid position in the 11 races so far. He’s been in top ten for every race so far.

He said: “I was up a few tenths on my last lap, and I lost a little bit in the second chicane, a little in the third, so it was quite frustrating. I felt that we should have been a little bit quicker and a bit higher up on the grid.

“Overall, I am pleased with the progress, especially considering the late start yesterday. Hopefully the race is going to be good. Hopefully we can stay out of trouble, have some good pit stops, and see if we can make the car a little bit quicker yet.”

But he was critical of Minardi driver Clarke’s role in the previous day’s incident: “Dan must have come off the previous turn about 50 mph faster then anyone else. By the time I was checking my mirrors, he was beside me and hit me. I can’t believe it. It was an installation lap on a new circuit, I just don’t know what he was doing; it was not the time to pull a move like that.”

Dale Coyne Racing’s Katherine Legge had expected to set a top-10 position but will have to work her way up through the field after only finishing a disappointing 14th.

She said: “The team did a terrific job getting the car ready for qualifying today. We had a great car today, but we just didn’t get the chance to show it. I just couldn’t get it together to run a good lap because of the traffic and red flags. I do like our chances in the race tomorrow.”

Ryan Dalziel, sporting his new sponsorship, found his car falling apart around his ears during qualifying: “Today’s sessions didn’t go so well, we had a carload of problems and never got a decent run. We had a headrest fall off then a bolt come loose on my sticker run.

“On the development side of things, we made great gains today in developing the car and I think we are sneaking in around a 10th or 11th place car, so I am hoping for a better session tomorrow.”

He also reported another issue on his way 16th place in qualifying: “The only problem here is we have to pay to go to the bathroom and its getting expensive!”

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