Toronto: Jonathan Macri race report

Toronto, Ontario (July 12, 2003) - On a cool day in his native Toronto, Jonathan Macri accomplished quite a feat as he clenched a podium finish after starting sixth on the grid. His third place victory couldn't have come in a sweeter spot, as ...

Toronto, Ontario (July 12, 2003) - On a cool day in his native Toronto, Jonathan Macri accomplished quite a feat as he clenched a podium finish after starting sixth on the grid. His third place victory couldn't have come in a sweeter spot, as Macri's family, friends, sponsor NTN Bearings and hometown fans filled the grandstands cheering on their local hero. Macri, driver of the #84 -- NTN Bearings swift was overwhelmed by the support from the NTN Bearings sponsor and crowd that was cheering him on. "Coming home to Canada is just the best", Macri said. "Seeing my family and friends in the stands is such a push for me and my racing."

Canadians were impressed with Macri as well. The fans were scrambling to get a glimpse of him all weekend, whether it be at his autograph sessions, Thunder Alley radio appearances or in the paddock. "I wanted to win for myself, but also for my family, friends and sponsors who have supported me incessantly", Macri stated. "I didn't get to the top step, but I will. I am also really just happy for my crew, as they deserve a good finish after all their work. They don't get the glory after the race, but they certainly deserve it."

The intensity and excitement from the #84 car started from the second lap as Macri passed Joey Hand (#27) on the back straight heading into Turn 3 for fifth place. Then on Turn 3 of lap five, Macri took third place away from fellow Canadian Michael Valiante (#19) and held it until a full course yellow occurred in lap 23 as Kyle Krisloff (#31) made contact with Stephan Roy (#16) after #31 locked his brakes. As a final push after three laps of cautionary yellow, Macri pushed into second place on lap 27 after passing Scotsman Ryan Dalziel (#28) in Turn 1.

With the crowd in a frenzy, Macri held the second position until two laps before the checkered flag when Aaron Justus (#3) pulled past him in Turn 3 of lap 33. The checkered flag waved with Macri finishing in third. The Molson Indy Toronto definitely kept all fans on the edge of their seats as the top drivers exchanged positions throughout the session.

With today's win, Macri earned his fifth podium finish of the season and the ninth of his Toyota Atlantic career, keeping him in third place with 94 points overall in the Toyota Atlantic Championship standings. "My tires got really hot during the first half of the race, so the full course yellow was actually good for me as it allowed my tires to cool down", Macri said. "I was glad I was in second for so long, but I knew it would just be a matter of time for Justus to catch up with me, as my car got really loose near the end. Regardless, it is still a great feeling to be on podium."

The 35-lap race in Toronto was televised live on the Speed Channel. They will also show the race early Sunday, July 13 at 1:00 a.m EST and then again on Monday, July 14 at 1:00 p.m. EST. Round eight of the 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship takes place in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec for the Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres on Sunday, August 3.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Michael Valiante , Joey Hand , Jonathan Macri , Aaron Justus , Stéphan Roy