Ronnie Bremer took on the streets of Denver for his first Atlantic victory this weekend. Rookie Bremer took on point leaders' Jon Fogarty and Ryan Dalziel for his first Toyota Atlantic Championship series win as he regained the rookie points lead by two points.
"We were struggling a little when we came into the first qualifying, and in the second qualifying we spent too much trying to change some things on the car in the pits," said Bremer. "It's been a hard season for me, running for different reams, leading the championship early on, then falling down to sixth and struggling to get back up there."
From the drop of the green flag, series points leader Jon Fogarty, in the #96 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Umbrella Entertainment car, Dalziel and Bremer were battling it out on the 1.675-mile street course. This race marked the second time this season that an Atlantic race ran caution free.
"I was the first rookie to win a race this year and maybe I was a little lucky, but I still felt I had the car to do it," stated Bremer.
Fogarty, who started on the pole, led for most of the race until he found himself fighting to say out front. On lap 32, Fogarty made a defensive move in Turn 9, which series officials later determined to be illegal blocking.
A few laps later, Fogarty received the black flag for that move; at that point, Dalziel and Bremer took advantage of the infraction and Bremer came out in the lead. Bremer eventually took the win by 1.283-seconds over the Scotsman, Dalziel, who came in second.
"In the incident with Fogarty, he got a black flag for blocking. He broke the rules and I was able to take advantage of it," explained Bremer.
After the Denver race, the Scottish driver is now within one point of Fogarty, with only two races remaining in the Atlantic Championship.
After a chaotic week for Dalziel and the Sierra Sierra team, including the penalty announced last week for a shock absorber technical infraction from Road America and a crash early in Friday's qualifying session this weekend, the good news started to pour in.
"It's been a week-long struggle. We just wanted to come here and focus on the race. We proved all weekend, that despite the questions people may have about our car, we weren't cheating and our car is still the fastest car," said Dalziel.
The team appealed the ruling with the sanctioning body officials, who then overturned the ruling and reinstated the five championship points to Dalziel and canceled the team's fine.
Bryan Sellers, in the #19 Lynx Racing, came in third after a wheel-to-wheel battle with rookie Andrew Ranger in the #27 Sierra Sierra car. This was Sellers' third podium finish of the season.
"We struggled in the first practice and the first qualifying and we made a decision to go with a different car for the second day (of qualifying). We turned our best laps of the weekend in the race, but we're happy anyway," claimed Sellers.
Sellers suffered a back injury at last weekend's Road America event, and this hurt throughout the race. "My back really started to cramp up on the last seven laps, my legs started to numb. I'm glad we finished third. It's a great result for the team."
Fogarty came home in sixth place after his drive through penalty - his worst finish since Monterrey, Mexico where he also came in sixth. "Plain and simple, I broke the rules and I acknowledged that and served a penalty for it. I'm fortunate to come away with a slim lead (in the championship)." admitted Fogarty.
The Toyota Atlantic Championship will continue their action when they visit the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve road course in Montreal, in two weeks from August 27-29.