After putting his ...
After putting his #19 Lynx Racing Swift 008.a sixth on the grid during this morning's final qualifying for the final round of the 2001 CART Toyot a Atlantic season at the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey, David Rutledge of Vancouver B.C. battled deteriorating handling and an off-course excursion to finish 9th in the 30-lap event and secure second place in the championship battle. His teammate, Jason LaPoint, 24, of Woodburn, Oregon, put his #32 Lynx Racing / Infinity Racing / Regency Aviation / Trackmagic Karts Swift seventh on the grid, struggled with both handling and lack of power to finish 10th.
Rutledge: "We've been chasing a handling problem all weekend in which the car just wouldn't handle on fast, long, duration corners. There are two of those at this track, so it cost us a lot in both qualifying and the race. This obviously isn't the result we'd hoped for in the last race, but the team worked very hard all season long and we did acomplish a great deal with three wins from the pole, three podium finishes and second place in the championship. I'm working on moving up to CART next season and the things I've achieved and learned in my two years at Lynx Racing will be with me for the rest of my career. I'd like to thank the team, team owners Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, team manager Steve Cameron and all the guys on the crew for having faith in me and giving me this tremendous opportunity."
LaPoint: "It's a puzzler. David's car and mine are set up almost the same, yet he was loose and I had a major push. And either the engine was a bit off or we used too high a gear ratio because I just couldn't gain on anyone even when they made a mistake ahead of me. That aside, the three races I've run with the Lynx team - at Road America, Houston and here at Laguna - have been a real eye-opener for me. The competition is fierce, and the talent pool is deep, but I've proved to myself, my sponsors and the team that I have what it takes to be competitive in Atlantic. I'm hoping my performances will translate into a ride for next year, and I'd like to thank the Lynx team for the opportunity to drive for a top team."