Car 23, Jonathan Bomarito, Salinas, CA, USA Started 3rd/ Finished 3rd Championship Position -- 3rd, 25 Points Car 32, Mike Forest, Edmonton, AB, Canada Started 17th/ Finished 11th Championship Position -- 11th, 10 Points Driver ...
Car 23, Jonathan Bomarito, Salinas, CA, USA
Started 3rd/ Finished 3rd
Championship Position -- 3rd, 25 Points
Car 32, Mike Forest, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Started 17th/ Finished 11th
Championship Position -- 11th, 10 Points
It wasn't really much of a race, but rather a series of restarts. The first three restarts didn't go as well as I planned. On the first one Matos got around me, but the last restart finally went my way and I was able to get around Hinchcliffe for third and hold it to the end. I'd rather have raced my way into the points as I'm sure the other drivers would have as well, but in the end I'm happy with the way things went this weekend and I'll take the points. I'm looking forward to Long Beach and Houston as both place were good for us last year.
I made an awesome start gaining three positions by the first corner. But for the rest of the time it was more like a rodeo than a race. It seemed like all the incidents were happening just ahead of me, so the biggest challenge was avoiding the mayhem just to finish. My goal today was to drive a steady race and finish in the Top-10, which we almost did thanks to my Team Miracle Sealants/PR-1 Motorsports crew getting my nose repaired without losing a lap. So I'm pretty happy with the result and looking forward to Long Beach. It's a great track and hopefully everyone's got the first race jitters out of their system and we can have some cleaner racing.
Race Recap: Bomarito on the Podium in Vegas Opener, Forest Just Misses Top-10
(Las Vegas, NV) April 8, 2007 -- Californian Jonathan Bomarito capped off a strong start toward his bid to win the 2007 Cooper Tires Champ Car Atlantic Championship powered by Mazda with a third-place finish at the season opening round in Las Vegas, Nevada. Bomarito, 25, finished every session on the weekend within the Top-5, ultimately qualifying the Team Miracle Sealants/PR1Motorsports Swift 016a in third place.
Teammate Mike Forest, making his fourth career Atlantic start after missing most of the 2006 season with a back injury, qualified 17th and battled to finish in 11th place, just shy of his goal of a Top-10 result.
The opening round on the new downtown Las Vegas circuit unfortunately had the field spend more time under the control of the pace-car than actually racing with no less than four full-course caution periods chewing up a majority of the 45 minutes allotted for the race.
For Bomarito it was an exercise in restarts and the first restart Bomarito faulted slightly to open the door for eventual race-winner Raphael Matos and slipped to fourth. Following a second caution period, Forest, 26, had worked his way to 12th place before the caution flags would wave again on lap 14 when Forest was forced to pit to repair his nose after some contact while avoiding an incident, dropping down to 17th position in the process. Meanwhile, Bomarito remained vigilant.
The green flag came out for the final time on lap-19 and Bomarito regained his third position by passing James Hinchcliffe into turn 1, this time having gotten the proper jump on the green flag. With only two laps remaining, there was no time to erase the 1.7 sec gap to the leader.
By contrast, Forest had more drama occurring around him and in front of him in the last 2 laps that narrowly included a pre-mature end to his race. By the penultimate lap, Forest gained back two positions lost in the front wing change to position himself in the 15th spot. Coming into turn-8, yet another melee was occurring forcing the Canadian driver to stand on the brakes to avoid becoming a victim. With the car at standstill, Forest quickly selected reverse gear and picked his way through the debris to cross the line in 11th place.