Montreal: Pre-race notes, schedule

WHAT: Molson Indy Montreal WHERE: Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve - Montreal, Quebec, Canada. WHEN: Friday-Saturday, August 22 - 23. CART TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times local): FRIDAY, AUGUST 22 Practice, 8:45 - 9:15 a.m. First...

WHAT:  Molson Indy Montreal

WHERE: Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve - Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
WHEN: Friday-Saturday, August 22 - 23.

CART TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times local):

FRIDAY, AUGUST 22
Practice, 8:45 - 9:15 a.m.
First Round Qualifying, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 23
Final Qualifying, 8:45 - 9:45 a.m.
Molson Indy Montreal, 3:15 p.m.

U.S. TELEVISION SCHEDULE: SPEED Channel:
SATURDAY, AUGUST 23 - SPEED Channel, 4:00 p.m. ET.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 24 - Rebroadcast, SPEED Channel, 3:00 a.m. ET.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 29 - Rebroadcast, SPEED Channel, 5:00 p.m. ET.

TRACK LAYOUT:  2.709-mile permanent road circuit.

RACE LENGTH: 27 laps (73.143 miles) or 50 minutes

RACE ROUND: 10 of 12 in the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship.
NEXT EVENT: August 31, Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver, Denver, Colo.

INSTANT REPLAY: Rocky Moran Jr. picked up his second career CART Toyota Atlantic victory and his first of the 2002 season in the 2002 Molson Indy Montreal, passing Jon Fogarty in Turn 10 on Lap 25 and holding off Fogarty for the final two laps en route to a 0.308-second margin of victory. Ryan Dalziel had his second podium result of the season with a third place run in his first start with Hylton Motorsports after running the previous 10 events with Michael Shank Racing. Joey Hand finished fourth, while Fogarty's Dorricott Racing teammate, Alex Gurney rounded out the top five. Championship leader Michael Valiante started second, but suffered a punctured right rear tire early in the race that dropped him to 27th place. However, he battled back to finish seventh and retain a six point lead in the championship standings heading into the season finale at Denver.

Notes of Interest:

* Local Angles: Montreal-based Starwood Team Jensen will field a pair of Montreal residents this weekend as owner/driver Eric Jensen (#2 Westin Hotels) and rookie Philip Fayer (#8 PaySystems) and the entire team will have the opportunity to sleep in their own beds throughout the weekend. CART Toyota Atlantic Championship veteran Stephan C. Roy (#16 PlayStation 2/MGD/Mexxsport/Momo) of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec will compete for California-based P-1 Racing, and Trois-Rivieres native Louis-Philippe Dumoulin (#17 Autovalue/Chey Rock Detente/Cascades/SFP/MCI/Le Temple) returns to the series for his second career start this weekend with Lynx Racing. There will be a total of six Canadian drivers in the field, as Gormley, Ontario's Jonathan Macri (#84 NTN Bearings) and Michael Valiante (#19 Lynx Racing), of Burnaby, B.C. will also be flying the maple leaf this weekend.

* Let's Make A Deal: Lynx Racing pilot Michael Valiante (#19 Lynx Racing) announced during the Vancouver Champ Car weekend that he is working together with long-time Champ Car World Series team Walker Racing to put together a Champ Car program for the 2004 season. Valiante and the team are diligently pursuing sponsorship, and if those efforts prove successful, the Canadian will join Toyota Atlantic grad Rodolfo Lavin and 2003 Champ Car rookie Darren Manning on a three-car team.

* Championship Battle: Due to an incident on the first green flag lap in Round 9 at Mid-Ohio that put him out of the race, rookie A.J. Allmendinger (#4 RuSPORT) saw his championship lead reduced from 36 points at the start of the race to 20 over Ryan Dalziel (#28 Pro-Works/Discovery Lake/Daily Record) heading into the final three races of the season. Canadian Jonathan Macri (#84 NTN Bearings) stands third, trailing Allmendinger by 36 points, while Michael Valiante (#19 Lynx Racing) is 39 points back in fourth place. Aaron Justus (#3 RuSPORT) rounds out the top five in the point standings, 53 points in arrears of his teammate, and is the last driver still in mathematical contention for the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship title.

* Streaks: Rookie A.J. Allmendinger (#4 RuSPORT) has been the fastest qualifier in eight consecutive qualifying sessions dating to first round qualifying at Cleveland in early July, and has started from the pole position in four consecutive races. He has not failed to qualify outside the top-three in any race thus far in his Toyota Atlantic career. Ryan Dalziel (#28 Pro-Works/Discovery Lake/Daily Record) has finished inside the top-five in seven straight races and 10 of the last 11 dating to a third place run at Montreal last season.

* Montreal Nuggets: The victory by Rocky Moran Jr. in last year's Molson Indy Montreal came after the American started fifth on the grid, and snapped a streak of six consecutive Toyota Atlantic races at the venue in which the polesitter has gone on to win the race, dating to a victory by polesitter Patrick Carpentier in 1996. It also snapped a streak of consecutive victories for Canadian drivers at seven, dating to a win by David Empringham in 1995. In 22 Toyota Atlantic races at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, the polesitter has gone on to win 11 times. Canadian drivers also have 11 victories at Montreal.

* Adding To History: The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship is celebrating its 30th Anniversary throughout the 2003 season. The series has produced notable racing superstars such as Formula 1 stars Gilles Villeneuve and Keke Rosberg; Champ Car champions Bobby Rahal, Michael Andretti, and Jimmy Vasser; 1995 Champ Car champion and Indy 500 winner and 1997 Formula 1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, as well as current Champ Car World Series competitors Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, Paul Tracy, Roberto Moreno, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Rodolfo Lavin.

-atlantic-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Alex Gurney , Ryan Dalziel , Darren Manning , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Roberto Moreno , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Jon Fogarty , Michael Valiante , Joey Hand , Stephan C. Roy , Jonathan Macri , Rocky Moran Jr. , Gilles Villeneuve , David Empringham , Ryan Hunter-Reay , A.J. Allmendinger , Keke Rosberg , Rodolfo Lavin , Eric Jensen , Aaron Justus , Philip Fayer , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing