Buddy rice to start second at Montreal

Montreal, Quebec, Canada (June 16, 2000) - Buddy Rice and DSTP Atlantic will start second in tomorrow's CART Toyota Atlantic race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, despite running only seven laps of the 45-minute timed session. Rice's time of ...

Montreal, Quebec, Canada (June 16, 2000) - Buddy Rice and DSTP Atlantic will start second in tomorrow's CART Toyota Atlantic race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, despite running only seven laps of the 45-minute timed session. Rice's time of 1:38.101 (100.733 miles per hour) held the pole until the final eight minutes, when Lynx Racing's David Rutledge eclipsed Rice's time to take the first spot. Rutledge turned a time of 1:38.050 on his 18th lap. Behind Rutledge and Rice are Andrew Bordin, Martin Basso and Daniel Wheldon.

"We really can't complain with second," said Rice, who set the fastest time in today's morning warm-up session by seven-tenths of a second. "We only ran seven laps before something in the motor let go. I was running at a comfortable pace, just bringing the tires up to temperature and getting ready to go for a fast lap. Our time held the pole for most of the session until David put a good time in with about eight laps to go. We'll go through the car tonight and should be in good shape for tomorrow."

"I am so happy with this team," said Dede Rogers, team owner. "We just didn't have luck on our side today, but at least we know we can run up front for the race. Buddy has such a great track record in Montreal and I would love nothing more than to give him his first victory here tomorrow."

Rice, 24, is no stranger to Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In two previous appearances, he's finished on the podium twice while driving for Lynx Racing in 1998 and 1999. Last year, he started sixth and moved up to third by the time he exited turn one. By the third lap, he was challenging Canadian favorite Alex Tagliani for the lead. The two pulled away from the field and staged their own two-car duel for the remainder of the race, with Tagliani winning by a nose at the line - just four-tenths of a second ahead. During the race, Rice set the fastest lap with a new course record of 1:36.704 - faster than the pole position qualifying speed.

In 1998, Rice jumped from third position and into the lead in his first-ever Atlantic standing start on dry pavement, bypassing the Player's Canadian front row of Tagliani and Lee Bentham. He led the first lap before Tagliani was able to get by in a battle that saw them swap the lead several times. Rice led the race on three different occasions before the Player's teammates were able to get together and open up a comfortable lead. Rice finished the race third, behind Bentham and Tagliani.

Rice currently leads the 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship points standings, 61-51 over Wheldon. DSTP has captured two wins and one pole out of four races this season in Atlantic competition. Tomorrow's 27-lap, 74.16-mile race is scheduled to begin at 4:20 pm Eastern Daylight Time. The Atlantic race is the feature support event to the FIA Formula One Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Alex Tagliani , Martin Basso , David Rutledge , Gilles Villeneuve , Buddy Rice , Andrew Bordin , Lee Bentham