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  • Reigning Champion Returns to Belle Isle

  • June 2, 2012

  • Detroit, MICHIGAN – The last time the IZOD IndyCar Series raced at Belle Isle, Justin Wilson was in victory circle. Four years later, he’s on track to reclaim his crown. As the second quickest in yesterday’s practice sessions, Wilson qualified at the top of the pack and will be starting tomorrow’s Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix from 10th position.

    After two practice sessions Friday afternoon, Justin Wilson was the second quickest of the daywith a fastest lap of 1:12:9343. In Saturday morning practice he finished in fifth position with a fastest lap of 1:11.9306.

    Running in group one of the first round, Wilson easily finished in fourth position with a fast lap time of 1:11.5936 seconds to advance to the Firestone Fast 12 round two. In his second trip to the Firestone Fast Twelve this season, Wilson qualified into the 11th position with a time of 71.3376 seconds. However, he will be starting the race in tenth position due to a penalty for an unapproved engine change on Graham Rahal, who qualified ahead of Wilson.

    “The day didn’t quite go as we would have liked it to have gone,” said Wilson. “We advanced to the Firestone Fast Twelve, but we just didn’t have good enough grip with the tires to make it to the Fast Six. I got help up by a couple of drivers, but that didn’t make much of a difference in the outcome. We start the race in P11 and hopefully my No. 18 Sonny’s Bar-B-Q Honda can move up through the field like we did last weekend in Indy and get another top-ten finish. I know the Dale Coyne Racing team will do everything possible to give me a great car for the racetomorrow.”

    James Jakes, driver of the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda, finished the final practice session this morning in 15th position. Qualifying in the second group ofRound One, Jakes posted a lap time of 72.8469 and qualified into the 25th position. Jakes also will be starting the race one spot higher at 24th position as Simona de Silvestro incurred a penalty for an unapproved enginechange.

    “I’m not sure what went wrong,” said Jakes. “We had a good last practice, but things just didn’t go our way in qualifying. I know we can have a good race, we just need to regroup and work as hard as we can to get the car ready for tomorrow. There’s nowhere to go but up!”

    The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix can be seen live on ABC-TV starting at 3:30 p.m. (EDT).

    Dale Coyne Racing
    Chris Gallas, Director of Public Relations
    cjgallas@comcast.net
    630-677-5114