Figge gets first career victory at Monterrey

Figge gets first career victory at Monterrey

Alex Figge tasted victory today in Monterrey, the second round of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship series. The Pacific Coast Motorsports driver survived the first lap melee, took the lead and coasted to the checker flag 2.050 seconds in...

Alex Figge tasted victory today in Monterrey, the second round of the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship series. The Pacific Coast Motorsports driver survived the first lap melee, took the lead and coasted to the checker flag 2.050 seconds in front of Rocky Moran Jr for his first career win and PCM's first victory.

Alex Figge.
Photo by Todd Corzett.
"This is a great victory," explaimed a happy Figge. "To win again and for this team means a lot, they did a great job. That first turn is tricky here and not the place to overtake in the opening lap. We were lucky today and the car was perfect."

Moran Jr returns to the Atlantic series in fine style. His podium finish in the Polestar Racing Group car today in the Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix at Monterrey gave the former series winner a boast to carry him into round three in Milwaukee, the only oval event in 2004.

The top two out-ran the rest of the field at the 2.104-mile Fundidora Park circuit. Danica Patrick placed third in her Team Rahal Atlantic machine, over ten seconds adrift of the top two as she lost time in the first lap incident directly in front of her third place start.

Patrick's best podium finish was last year when she scored a second place at Laguna Seca. Last year, she became the first woman to score a podium finish at this same venue with the exact same placing - third.

Rookie Ronnie Bremer came home fourth followed by another rookie in the class of 2004, Jonathan Bomarito.

Polesitter and championship points leader Ryan Dalziel finished 8th, his two bonus point this weekend kept him on top of the standings with 52 points. The battle for second in the standings tightens up: Moran Jr, Patrick and Bremer all have 46 points.

Dalziel's Sierra Sierra teammate, Andrew Ranger, was the first driver out of the race. The rookie was caught in the first lap melee, costing him valuable points after his brilliant drive in Long Beach with his second place finish in his debut race.

The first lap incident was in the first turn, so no surprise there, when Lynx Racing's Bryan Sellers tried to underbrake Dalziel and the collision damaged both cars. The two started on the front row, thus leaving those behind them maneuvering to avoid the incident. That immediately changed the face of the race. Dalziel pitted for front nose and other body repairs as the full-course caution came out.

The fast time in today's race was set by the Scotsman at 1:24.693 besting the track record and earning him one more bonus point.

"I said earlier this weekend just how important being able to score points is and I think today's a good example of this," expressed a downtrodden Dalziel. "Thanks to some great team work in the pits I was able to get back into the race and come away from the weekend still leading the championship. The extra point for fastest lap is another positive as we had the quickest car throughout the event. Needless to say I'm now looking forward to competing at The Milwaukee Mile and as defending champion I'm settling for nothing less than a return to the top step."

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Series ATLANTIC