American Jon Fogarty has his sights set on a second Toyota Atlantic Championship after running away with the race on the 2.709-mile, 15-turn permanent road course at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal. Jon Fogarty. Photo by...
American Jon Fogarty has his sights set on a second Toyota Atlantic Championship after running away with the race on the 2.709-mile, 15-turn permanent road course at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal.
"It was a good car to drive. My opening laps, I pushed hard because I knew Ryan (Dalziel) would be there," said Fogarty. "Then, I had to back off a little in the late part of the race. I had a little left because I knew I had to stay in front of Ryan."
Late in the race Fogarty battled to get past a back marker. Trying to keep his momentum, Fogarty kept his foot in it and was forced onto the grass and bounced off of the wall a couple of times when the back marker moved over on him.
"I couldn't back off because Ryan was right there. I didn't know if I had cut down a tire. Like Ryan said, it would be a shame to have the championship decided that way," remarked Fogarty.
Dalziel in the #28 Sierra Sierra car finished a close 0.534 seconds behind Fogarty, making it the second closest finish this season and certainly showing a glimpse of what is to come for the final race.
"We had a good car all weekend. It was a bit disappointing to be starting on the outside," stated Dalziel who lost the pole position to Fogarty during the final qualifying session. "When you're within a couple of tenths of each other, it's hard to pass. It's going to come down to Laguna Seca."
Dalziel believes that the one who starts in front at Laguna Seca will be the one to win the championship. "It's going to take a perfect weekend for us (to win the title). It is similar to tracks in Europe. I know it's Jon's home track, but you just have to look at my results there in the past."
Alex Figge, Fogarty's teammate, in the #69 Pacific Coast Motorsports car came in third, visiting the podium for the first time since his first Atlantic victory in Monterrey, Mexico at the beginning of the season.
"My car took a while to come in. I was good in the middle section of the race, then it fell off a little late in the race. At Cleveland, I had a bad race and took my championship-leading teammate out. A lot of it is attitude. I'm feeling good and I've been qualifying better," commented Figge.
Danica Patrick, who has 10 top-five finishes in 11 races this season, came in fourth, taking her out of contention for the championship.
Local favorite and teenaged marvel Andrew Ranger in the #27 Sierra Sierra car finished fifth and took the lead of the series Rookie of the Year standings, 232-221 over Ronnie Bremer.
"In the beginning, I had a very good car. I could do what I wanted to do with the car. I think I pushed a little too much and my rear tires got very hot. It's too bad (he couldn't finish higher) because this is my hometown. But, I'm the first rookie (in the season standings). My biggest pressure was here in Montreal. But I feel good," stated Ranger.
Today's race ran caution free, setting a new record for the road course for the fastest race, being completed in just 39:06.067.
The race did have some incidents that were dealt with under local caution. After the beginning of the race, Josh Hunt (#15 Lynx Racing) ended up in the tires and finishing his day. Around halfway, Philip Fayer (#3 Polestar Racing Group) spun and did not continue due to apparent suspension damage. With around two laps to go, Ronnie Bremer (#4 Polestar Racing Group) the latest race winner from Denver, hit the wall ending his battle for seventh in the race due to gear box problems.
The Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokahama will enter into its season finale in hillsides of Monterrey, California at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 12.