Toronto Lynx Results

THE FLIP SIDE OF SKILL Part II: Time To Dig Deeper If, as we speculated in the Toronto pre-race press release, racing is the ongoing act of flipping a coin with the sides labeled not 'heads' and 'tails,' but rather 'skill' and 'luck', then it ...

THE FLIP SIDE OF SKILL Part II: Time To Dig Deeper

If, as we speculated in the Toronto pre-race press release, racing is the ongoing act of flipping a coin with the sides labeled not 'heads' and 'tails,' but rather 'skill' and 'luck', then it managed to land standing on edge during a troubled weekend for Lynx in this beautiful Canadian city. Lynx Racing drivers Memo Gidley and Buddy Rice came to Toronto 1 - 2 in the points, and in early practice, were atop the time sheets. But as things progressed, other teams who have more experience with their new Swift 008.a Atlantic cars kept getting faster while the Lynx duo struggled. In the end, Rice qualified fifth and Gidley 10th, the worst results for the team in recent history. Gidley ultimately finished sixth and is now tied for the lead in the championship battle with Player's driver Lee Bentham at 86. Rice made contact with the wall on lap 24 and did not finish, dropping him from second in points to fifth with 70. Six races remain on the 1998 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic schedule, however, and with 20 points awarded for a win, the championship is far from decided. The race was won by Player's driver Alexandre Tagliani, his first win of the season, with teammate Lee Bentham in second and Kenny Wilden in third. "This is where our inexperience with the Swifts showed up," said Gidley. "In our debut with them at Cleveland, through a combination of skill and luck, we hit on the right setup and were able to put the car on the pole and dominate most of the race. But here, we just never able to come up with the right combination, and now it's time to really dig deeper and come to an understanding with these cars. It felt really strange to be starting so far back, but we knew from last year that this would be a race of attrition, so I knew I could get up into the points if I drove aggressive but smart." And so he did, but not before yet another piece of unusually bad luck. Noted for their reliability -- the team hasn't had a mechanical DNF since Nazareth in 1996 -- Gidley's Lynx Atlantic car suffered a fuel pump problem on the 'reconnaissance laps' and he pulled in the pits while the other cars were lining up to start. By the time the crew fixed the problem, the entire field had gone by and Gidley was left to contemplate the daunting task of working his way up from last place. In the meantime, Buddy Rice, who got a very good start, had a fourth-place seat from which to watch Tagliani and Bentham, slowly build a commanding lead. "I just didn't have the car today to run with the leaders," said Rice. "We made some major changes between qualifying and the race, but it didn't really help that much. I was running very conservatively to try and score some points when I got into a dice with Kenny Wilden (the surprise winner at Cleveland). I got out into the marbles and tagged the wall with my left rear wheel and that was the race. It wasn't a great weekend, but Lynx is a great team, and anybody who thinks this is a trend instead of just a bit of bad luck is in for a surprise." The KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship race at the Molson Indy Toronto will be broadcast on ESPN2 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Sunday, July 26. It will also be shown on RDS at 7:30 p.m., Friday, July 24 and on CTV at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, July 25. The next event on the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic schedule of 13 races for 1998 is the Grand Prix Player’s du Trois Rivieres on August 2. Lynx Racing, now entering its ninth year of operation, is a uniquely successful driver development team owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty. The team is dedicated to seeking out young drivers with championship potential and helping them make the jump to the top levels of the sport. Lynx Racing has won the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship two years in a row, and both of its champions were immediately signed by CART teams. 1996 winner Patrick Carpentier, who won 9 of 12 races -- eight of them in a row from the pole -- was the CART "Rookie of the Year" in 1997, and now drives for Player's/Forsythe. Alex Barron, who won the 1997 Atlantic championship in his rookie year now drives for Dan Gurney's All-American Racers. In addition to the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, Lynx Racing has a 'junior team', Lynx/DSTP Motorsports, operating one step down on the ladder, in the U.S. F2000 series. Lynx also fields an effort, in conjunction with Kent Stacy's S3 Racing, in the Star Formula Mazda Championship for Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske, 19, of Kennewick, Washington. In the most recent Star Mazda race, on the oval at Pike's Peak Raceway, Senske started on the front row and finished third, becoming the first woman in the history of the series to score a podium finish. For further information on Lynx Racing and its drivers, please visit the team's web site at www.lynxracing.com.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Memo Gidley , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Barron , Dan Gurney , Buddy Rice , Lee Bentham