JUSTIN WILSON OVERCOMES INJURED WRIST TO EARN BRIDGESTONE POLE AWARD IN MEXICO CITY CHAMP CAR RACE

 
 

MEXICO CITY (November 11, 2006) – Wearing a brace on his rapidly-healing wrist, Justin Wilson could have easily passed for an injured basketball player as he negotiated the paddock on a cloudy Saturday at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

But once the engines fired for today’s final round of qualifying for the Gran Premio Telmex Presentado por Banamex, Wilson proved himself every bit the racer as he set a new track record in taking the Bridgestone Pole Award for tomorrow’s Champ Car World season finale.

Wilson stormed around the 2.774-mile road circuit in a time of 1:24.801 (117.763 mph) to take the pole, becoming the first driver since Bobby Unser (1980-81) to win consecutive poles in Mexico City. Wilson started from pole a year ago and blitzed the field, leading 65 of 70 laps to score the victory. The RuSPORT driver shook off the ill effects of the broken wrist that sidelined him for the Australia event two weeks ago, and joined such luminaries as Mark Donohue, Ted Horn and Mauricio Gugelmin as Champ Car drivers to have won four poles.

The third-year Champ Car star sealed the pole on his seventh lap of the day, but then had to watch as three-time series champion Sebastien Bourdais took two final shots at upending him as the session closed, only to come up less than two-tenths of a second short. Bourdais carded the second-best time of the day with a 1:24.986 (117.506 mph) clocking, and will start from the front row for the seventh consecutive race.