Darren Manning Mid-Ohio column

We came into Mid-Ohio with high expectations after the last few races. I've been really happy with the balance of the car and our pace has been good throughout race weekends. So it was frustrating to struggle with the balance of our racecar on a day when the American Spirit Reynards went so well.

Darren Manning Mid-Ohio column

We missed the target, by a long way really. The weekend started well because we were fastest overall after the first two practice sessions and I was really happy with the car. But the track was cool and had very low grip, and when the circuit totally gripped in, we went backwards and everyone leapfrogged us.

We kept fine-tuning it because we had dropped to 10th in first qualifying, and then were pretty fast in the Saturday practice when it was cold. But again in qualifying when the track was grippier, we were miles off and I wound up 13th. From there, we figured I wasn't going to get anywhere so we turned the set-up on its head and tried some really radical things. It just didn't work, and the racecar was a nightmare to drive.

Understeer, oversteer, wheelspin, bad on the bumps - you name it. It was just plain difficult to drive, so we still have some work to do. The way Ryan Hunter-Reay and Jimmy Vasser went in their Reynards, it looks like you needed something very specific for this track and we didn't have it. Considering how bad the balance was, we've got to be pleased to come away eighth after starting 13th.

We got good points in the championship, and when you're struggling, all you can think about is picking up points and trying not to lose points to those guys around you. That's what we did. It will be nice to have a week off before we go to Montreal. It's been a long three weeks, but we got three brilliant results and we're looking very good in the championship.

Right now I'm joint eighth with Alex Tagliani, but Oriol Servia and Adrian Fernandez are within four points and we've got sixth place squarely in our sights.

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