BORDIN PICKS UP FIRST ATLANTIC VICTORY OF SEASON AT ROAD AMERICA ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- Andrew Bordin, of Woodbridge, Ont., showed patience in the beginning and precision driving at the end to collect his second career KOOL/Toyota...
BORDIN PICKS UP FIRST ATLANTIC VICTORY OF SEASON AT ROAD AMERICA
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. -- Andrew Bordin, of Woodbridge, Ont., showed patience in the beginning and precision driving at the end to collect his second career KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship victory Sunday at Road America, part of the Texaco/Havoline 200 weekend. Lynx Racing's Buddy Rice made a bold move on the race's opening turn, passing polesitter Alex Tagliani and Bordin to take the lead, holding it for the first eight laps. But Bordin sized up Rice several times on laps seven and eight - temporarily passing Rice on lap eight - and eventually made his move for the lead at Canada Corner on lap nine. Bordin raced flawlessly from there, earning the PPI team its third victory of the season, and giving his crew a well-deserved triumph. Rice finished second - his third straight podium finish - while Bordin's teammate, points leader Anthony Lazzaro, was third. "I want dedicate this race the to PPI team. They gave me a tremendous car this weekend, as always. We've had a bit of bad luck this season, so to give them this win feels really, really good," said Bordin, whose previous victory was last year at Vancouver. "It was great racing Buddy out there. Buddy is a tough racer and it was challenging and pretty exciting. I knew when I had to let him go, and watched for when I could reel him in. It was great." Lazzaro continued to lead the championship after placing third - his fifth podium finish of the year - and now leads Rice by a 99-74 points margin. Tagliani is third with 70 points. Bordin's victory moved him into seventh in the standings with 41 points. Rice, finishing in second for the second-straight race, was suffering from some handling problems after taking the lead, and raced valiantly, but saw his best chance at victory so far this year escape at the midway point. Rice made a strong challenge at the end, even earning the $1,000 "MCI WorldCom Fast Pace Award" for the race's fastest lap, but could not catch Bordin. "We're very happy with the car right now and our strategy was to go to the front right away and let them battle it out behind us," said Rice. "The car got a little loose as the fuel load burned off and the tires heated up, but we were still able to run at the front. Lynx is used to running up front, and it's nice to be able to run there again. We expect to give the other front-runners a battle through the rest of the season." Tagliani started at the front, earning the $1,000 "Toyota Pole Award" for the second straight race, but couldn't hold off Rice initially, falling back to fifth by the fourth lap. Tagliani finished fourth, dueling with Lazzaro, Nicolas Rondet, Kenny Wilden and Tony Ave throughout the race. "I'm a little disappointed of course, because the car was so strong Saturday at qualifying," Tagliani said. "From the start, I lacked power on the straights, everybody was pulling away and I couldn't draft. My car handled very well, and if it wouldn't have been for the power problem, I'm sure I would have given Player's another podium." Rondet won the 'heartbreak award' at Road America, unfortunately, after starting fifth and racing to as high as fourth from laps six through eight, before gearbox problems ended his day on lap 11. Wilden produced one of the stronger efforts of the day, starting 10th and battling to a fifth-place finish. Wilden remained fourth in the championship with 59 points.
Ave, an Atlantic veteran running for Ove Ollson at this event, showed his experience, qualifying seventh and running as high as fifth before claiming his sixth-place finish. David Rutledge finished seventh while reigning Atlantic champion Lee Bentham was eighth.
Lazzaro earned the $1,000 "Yokohama Now You've Got Control Award" for his sensational pass of Rice at turn five, early in the race.
ESPN2 will televise Sunday's KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship race at Road America on Saturday, July 17, at 5:00 p.m. (please note change from original 5:30 p.m. time), with repeat broadcasts on Monday, July 19, at 1 a.m., and again at 5 a.m. The French-speaking RDS Canadian network will broadcast the Road America race on Sunday, Aug. 1. Check local listings for RDS air time. ESPN International will televise the Road America race on Saturday, July 17, at 5:30 p.m. All times are Eastern. Canadian broadcaster CTV SportsNet is airing the race on Tuesday, July 20, at 8 p.m. in all local markets.
The KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship continues held Sunday, Aug. 1, at the Grand Prix Player's de Trois-Rivieres, in Trois-Rivieres, Que., Canada.