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Hunter-Reay wins Long Beach Grand Prix

"Overall, it was a good day, but on one lap I got stuck in first gear," the Australian revealed, ending rumours that he had pressed the pit-lane speed limiter by mistake, "I have no idea why that happened, and I hope it doesn't do that again because I slowed down. I was able to get out of it and speed back up, but it hurt my placement. Once Justin passed me, I tried for a couple of laps, but there was no point in putting the car in the wall. The Verizon Wireless car is still leading in points, and the team has a goal of winning the championship, so we are still in line for that. It was great to be on the podium again this weekend."

While Hunter-Reay improved on the second place he took in the season-opener in Sao Paulo, Wilson's runner-up spot equalled a similar result from St Petersburg, maintaining Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's strongest start to a season since co-owner Robbie Buhl won at Walt Disney World Speedway in 2000, but he wasn't happy with the antics of fellow Briton Alex Lloyd, who caused a collision that broke the DRR car's front wing and dropped Wilson back down the order.

"I am really disappointed," Wilson commented, having had to fight his way back from fifth place, "Alex was a lap down and he nearly took Ryan out a couple of times. Once Ryan got past, it got Alex off line and slowed him up. I dove down the inside of turn eight, and I braked pretty late, [but] I just got the door slammed in my face. Even if you aren't going to give way to the leaders, you need to leave room at the apex to back out.

"But there's nothing you can do about it. We had to come in and change the front wing and were just in mad fuel-saving mode after that. It's just a shame that it happened. Fortunately, the Z-Line Designs car was fantastic - to have a front wing change and come back in finish second is an amazing day."

Scott Dixon claimed fourth place on 'a tough day' for Target Chip Ganassi, claiming that the team may have opted for the wrong gears - 'our first gear was too long, and it was hard to get out of it, while our sixth gear was too short', the Kiwi reported - while Tony Kanaan finished a season-best fifth on a good afternoon for Andretti Autosport.

"I am happy for Ryan, and I think he deserves this win, as he was quick all weekend, but we lost a couple of positions on our pit-stop," the Brazilian sighed, contemplating a lost potential podium, "It was a hard race and seemed to be very physically demanding, but we are on the right track, and I am looking forward to heading into the ovals."

Mario Moraes finished a season-best sixth, with Penske pair Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe, Dan Wheldon and Mike Conway rounding out the top ten.

The only caution of the day came when rookie Mario Romancini made an optimistic move to the inside of Graham Rahal at turn one, putting the Dollar General car into the wall and both drivers out of the race.

"To end it that way is just incredibly frustrating," Rahal admitted, "I just said 'what are you thinking?', and he said 'I'm sorry. I missed my braking mark a little'."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
16-18 April, 2010, Long Beach, California, USA Race winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Briscoe go wheel-to-wheel during the Open Test at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastien Bourdais go off course during the start of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
The field scatters as the drivers avoid the cars of Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Briscoe at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud on the podium after the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on pit lane prior to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay navigates the Turn 9 Esses during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe enters Turn 3 during practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay enters Turn 3 during practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti sit in the Esses of Turns 4 and 5 after contact during the start of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe exits Turn 5 during the final practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti looks over his machine prior to practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on course during practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on the pit wall at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Rain drops on a space nose cone for Ryan Hunter-Reay`s car (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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