Bowmanville, Ontario (July 28, 2000) - Last year, Olive Garden-Team Rafanelli's Mimmo Schiattarella led the Grand Prix of Mosport for 38 laps and arguably could have won, had he not been called to the pits for a stop-and-go penalty a mere 12...
Bowmanville, Ontario (July 28, 2000) - Last year, Olive Garden-Team Rafanelli's Mimmo Schiattarella led the Grand Prix of Mosport for 38 laps and arguably could have won, had he not been called to the pits for a stop-and-go penalty a mere 12 laps from the checkered flag. Despite the penalty, he and his 1999 co-driver made it to the winner's podium in third place behind race winners Jan Magnussen and Johnny O'Connell and runner-ups David Brabham and Eric Bernard in their Panoz Roadsters.
This year, Schiattarella and his ALMS 2000 teammate, Didier de Radigues want to win the GlobeMegaWheels.Com Grand Prix at Mosport. They have possessed the speed to win (as in their qualifying and race lap records at Silverstone, England in May) but reliability has been elusive. Thus the new ALMS season has been as tantalizing as it has been frustrating.
There were the two Silverstone lap records. Then there were two separate European test sessions -- one at Monza, Italy and the other at Magny Cours, France just a week before Le Mans, where the Olive Garden Rafanelli V-10 racing sportscar was faster than even the "dominating" Audi R8s.
Among the world's greatest assemblage of racing sportscars at Le Mans, Schiattarella put the Olive Garden machine fifth on the grid only to have technical trouble prevent the team from capitalizing on their strong qualifying run.
Schiattarella: "Mosport Suits Us."
Schiattarella, who hails from Maranello, Italy, feels that the team can surprise the competition at Mosport. "I like the Canadian circuit very much," he says. "Mosport suits us. It is a driver's circuit. It's fast and the surface is much improved this year. Last year, we were quick with the strong old horse; the Riley & Scott. This year, Lola has given us a thoroughbred racehorse - much faster but more high strung for sure."
Mimmo's teammate, de Radigues added reasons for both drivers' continued optimism. "Frankly," he said, "We have not been able to test nearly as much as the other teams. So, like many privateer teams our races count like testing as well. Even so, last week at Sears Point, Mimmo and I struggled, but together with (team engineer) Giuseppe Angiulli, we further developed the new front and rear suspension modifications that showed such promise in tests at Monza and Magny Cours. I'm sure we now have a race car that will be the match of the Panoz and BMW teams. Also at the last race our fuel economy was very, very good. That will help us a lot at Mosport versus the Audis. What we need most is a reliable run to the checkered flag.
So, at Mosport, I believe we will be close to the form we showed at Silverstone - as to where that puts us on the grid vis-...-vis the others... well let the Canadian sportscar racing fans come out and see for themselves."
While U.S. sportscar racing fans are more than welcome at Mosport Park, those who can't make the trip can catch all the action on NBCSports, Sunday afternoon, August 6. The race will be broadcast there starting at 2 PM Eastern Time