De Silvestro Extends Points Lead and Muniz Finishes in Eighth Clouds greeted the participants at this weekend's Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda qualifying day at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, Ohio but...
De Silvestro Extends Points Lead and Muniz Finishes in Eighth
Clouds greeted the participants at this weekend's Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda qualifying day at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in Lexington, Ohio but by the end of the weekend Team Stargate Worlds would be all smiles. With the championship within her grasp, current points leader Simona De Silvestro was aiming to increase her lead, while teammate Frankie Muniz was looking for another top-5 finish. While it may not have turned out to be a perfect weekend for both drivers, there were plenty of high fives going around at the conclusion of the race weekend.
De Silvestro entered the weekend carrying a five-point lead over Newman Wachs driver John Edwards. De Silvestro faced an uphill battle as she would have to start the race in the third spot behind Edwards and his teammate Jonathan Summerton. Facing the challenge head on De Silvestro took the green flag start of the race, bolted past Edwards, and began to mount a challenge towards the front. De Silvestro and Summerton enjoyed periods of side by side racing throughout the race, however, De Silvestro would eventually settle behind Summerton and stay close enough to take advantage of any mistakes Summerton might make but Summerton never faulted and was able to take the win with De Silvestro following close behind. De Silvestro's second place finish helps her regain some valuable ground in the Championship fight and extends her lead by 16 points with 135 points.
Muniz who qualified for the race in the 8th spot was hoping to finish among the top-5 spot for the race but his plan took an unfortunate detour on the first lap as he was involved in a 3-way incident involving himself, John Edwards, and Tonis Kasemets. Muniz quickly made his way to the pits where his crew went to work and fixed the front suspension of the car and managed to get Muniz back into the race without losing a lap. The incident relegated Muniz back to the eighth spot. Later it was discovered that Muniz had suffered a chipped bone in his thumb as a result of the accident. Once back on the track Muniz was able to maintain his composure and finished the race in eighth. He now finds himself in eighth place in the championship standings with 54 points, just 6 points away from the seventh spot.
Frankie Muniz, Driver No. 77 - "It's unfortunate that I got caught up in another first lap incident. Tonis and John got together and the #77 car suffered a broken suspension but a lot of credit goes to the team for their fast work and getting me back into the race despite the damage and the chipped bone in my thumb. We'll regroup and be ready for Trois-Rivieres."
Simona De Silvestro, Driver No. 78 - "It was a very positive weekend. The result allows us to extend our points lead by a bigger margin. This is not a time to rest or take it easy. We will go to Trois Rivieres with just as much focus and intensity that we have had for every race this season. I want to thank the Team Stargate Worlds team, our sponsors, the Atlantic series, Mazda, Cooper Tires, and all of the series sponsors'"
Imran Safiulla and Shane Seneviratne, Principals Of Team Stargate Worlds- "We are happy with our weekend. We were quick out of the box and should have had the pole position, but all in all we are all happy to be leaving Mid Ohio in the points lead. The team has done a terrific job and performing at a very high level and we look forward to continuing that in our quest for the Championship."