Trois-Riveres race report

Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres race report By: Pit Note Specialist Brian Tate The clouds have given way to a mostly sunny afternoon as the participants get ready for Round Eight of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. There is a light wind...

Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres race report
By: Pit Note Specialist Brian Tate

The clouds have given way to a mostly sunny afternoon as the participants get ready for Round Eight of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. There is a light wind blowing toward the south across the front straight. Yokohama Tire engineers report a track temperature of 105 degrees (41C) and an ambient temperature of 85 degrees (29C). It looks like there will be no threat of rain for today’s race.

At 1:41 p.m., the command “Gentlemen, Start your Toyota Engines!” is given.

At 1:42 p.m., the Dodge Viper pace car leads the field off of the grid for the first of two pace laps.

On the pace lap in Turn 9, #16 PERONA and #17 CONTE make contact. #17 CONTE has minor damage. . GREEN FLAG waves at 1:47 p.m. to start Round Eight of The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. #1 BORDIN leads going into Turn 1 followed by #27 RICE, #3 WHELDON, #19 RUTLEDGE, and #48 GURNEY.

. After 1 Lap complete, the running order shows #1 BORDIN leading the way followed by #27 RICE, #3 WHELDON, #19 RUTLEDGE, and #48 GURNEY.

. After 3 Laps complete, the running order is still the same with #1 BORDIN’S lead margin growing to 1.620 seconds.

. On Lap 4, #3 WHELDON passes #27 RICE for second place in Turn 6. #27 RICE then passes #3 WHELDON back in Turn 7

. After 4 Laps complete, the lead margin has grown to 3.978 seconds after #27 RICE and #3 WHELDON battle for second place.

. After 5 Laps complete, the running order still shows #1 BORDIN leading the way followed by #27 RICE, #3 WHELDON, #19 RUTLEDGE, and #48 GURNEY. The lead margin is now 4.247 seconds. 40 laps remain in the race.

. On Lap 9, #4 YELKIN spins at the exit of Turn 1 and continues on under power.

. After 10 Laps complete, the running order still shows #1 BORDIN leading the way followed by #27 RICE, #3 WHELDON, #19 RUTLEDGE, and #48 GURNEY. The lead margin is down to 3.677 seconds. 35 laps remain in the race.

. On Lap 11, #4 YELKIN spins at the exit of Turn 3 and continues on under power after the field passes by.

. On Lap 14, #1 BORDIN makes contact with the front of his car to the rear of #4 YELKIN.  Both cars are
damaged and forced to pit.  #1 BORDIN looses two laps in the pits while changing the nose of the car.  #4
YELKIN retires from the race due to contact.  #27 RICE takes over the lead and #46 BASSO moves to fifth. 

. After 15 Laps complete, the running order now shows #27 RICE in the lead followed by #3 WHELDON, #19 RUTLEDGE, #48 GURNEY, and #46 BASSO. The lead margin is 2.821 seconds. 30 laps remain in the race.

.  YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 20 when #26 CUTLER spins at the exit of Turn 2 and stalls.  #26 CUTLER gets
out of the car under his own power and is uninjured in the incident.  #26 CUTLER retires from the race. 

. After 20 Laps complete as the field takes the Yellow Flag, the running order still shows #27 RICE leading the race followed by #3 WHELDON, #19 RUTLEDGE, #48 GURNEY, and #46 BASSO. 25 laps remain in the race.

. On Lap 20, #18 SISKA pulls off course in Turn 6 and retires from the race due to mechanical failure.

. GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 24 resuming the race. #27 RICE leads the field into Turn 1 and the rest of the top five stay the same.

. After 24 Laps complete, #27 RICE leads #3 WHELDON by 0.713 seconds

. After 25 Laps complete, the running order still shows #27 RICE leading the way followed by #3 WHELDON, #19 RUTLEDGE, #48 GURNEY, and #46 BASSO. The lead margin has grown to 0.942 seconds. 20 laps remain in the race.

. On Lap 27, #16 PERONA spins in Turn 3 and continues on under power.

. On Lap 29, #23 LANGHORNE spins in Turn 9 and stalls. Corner workers move the car to a safe location and #23 LANGHORNE exits the car under his own power. #23 LANGHORNE retires from the race due to gearbox failure.

. After 30 Laps complete, the running order still shows #27 RICE leading the way followed by #3 WHELDON, #19 RUTLEDGE, #48 GURNEY, and 46 BASSO. The lead margin has swelled to 2.562 seconds. 15 laps remain in the race.

. On Lap 32, #9 ORSI pits the car and retires from the race due to mechanical failure.

. On Lap 32, #65 BINDER brushes the wall in Turn 6 and continues on under power.

. On Lap 34, #12 ROY makes contact with the front of his car to the rear of #20 NAGASHIMA. Both cars continue on under power.

.  YELLOW FLAG waves on Lap 35 when #17 CONTE spins and makes hard contact with tire wall at the exit of
Turn 3.  The car sustains heavy damage to the rear and right side of the car.  #17 CONTE gets out of the
car under his own power and is uninjured in the incident.  #17 CONTE retires from the race due to contact. 

. After 35 Laps complete and the field taking the Yellow Flag, the leader of the race is still #27 RICE, followed by #3 WHELDON, #19 RUTLEDGE, #48 GURNEY, and #46 BASSO. The lead margin is 3.687 seconds but the field will close back up for the restart. 10 laps remain in the race.

. GREEN FLAG waves on Lap 38 to resume the race. #27 RICE leads the field into Turn 1

. After 38 Laps complete, #27 RICE is leading the race by 1.193 seconds.

. On Lap 39, #19 RUTLEDGE pulls up beside #3 WHELDON heading into Turn 6 but #3 WHELDON holds onto the position. #48 GURNEY passes #19 RUTLEDGE in Turn 8 to take over third place.

. On Lap 39, #55 BELL runs into the runoff area in Turn 6 and continues on under power.

. On Lap 40, #8 BEAUVAIS and #16 PERONA make contact on the front straight. Both cars pull off the course just past pit exit and retire from the race due to contact.

. After 40 Laps complete, the running order still shows #27 RICE as the race leader followed by #3 WHELDON, #48 GURNEY, #19 RUTLEDGE, and #46 BASSO. The lead margin is now up to 2.537 seconds. 5 laps remain in the race.

. After 41 Laps complete, #27 RICE’S lead margin is now 2.831 seconds. 4 laps remain in the race.

. After 42 Laps complete, #27 RICE’S lead margin is now 3.535 seconds. 3 laps remain in the race.

. After 43 Laps complete, #27 RICE’S lead margin is now 3.850 seconds. 2 laps remain in the race.

. On Lap 44, #46 BASSO passes #19 RUTLEDGE in Turn 2 to take over fourth place.

. After 44 Laps complete, #27 RICE’S lead margin is now 4.250 seconds. 1 lap remains in the race.

. WHITE FLAG waves to #27 RICE followed by #3 WHELDON, #48 GURNEY, #46 BASSO, and #19 RUTLEDGE.

.  On Lap 45, #19 RUTLEDGE runs into the runoff area in Turn 6 and continues on under power.  #19 RUTLEDGE
falls to 13th place.  #29 MORAN JR. takes over fifth place. 

. CHECKERED FLAG waves to #27 RICE followed by #3 WHELDON, #48 GURNEY, #46 BASSO, and #29 MORAN JR. The margin of victory is 4.033 seconds. Buddy Rice in the #27 DSTP Motorsports Swift completes the weekend sweep by winning the Player’s Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres! Rice won from the pole on the way to his fourth win of the season and his career. Rice led 32 laps on the way to the win earning him the bonus championship point. Rice earned 22 points and opened up his points lead over Daniel Wheldon to 17 points. Race Statistics

Margin of victory: 4.033 seconds Average Speed: 78.937 mph Lap Leaders: Bordin 1-13, Rice 14-45 Fastest Lap: Buddy Rice - 1:01.197 seconds (89.475 mph) (New Race Lap Record) Cautions: 2 for 7 laps

Post Race Quotes:

1st Place – Buddy Rice Buddy Rice (#27 DSTP Motorsports) – “This is so awesome. There’s so much history with Atlantics at Trois Rivieres and it’s great to be a part of it. We really wanted to have a perfect weekend and it doesn’t get any better than this. Andrew had a good start and was able to hold the inside going into the arch. I didn’t want to get caught on the outside with Wheldon and Rutledge right behind, so I tucked in behind Andrew. We also lost first gear, but it really didn’t slow us down much. Our car seemed to be better on the longer runs, so I was able to start reeling in Andrew after several laps. With the exception of Andrew’s problem with a lapped car, it was a pretty clean race. The main goal for us was to build on the championship, and we were able to do just that this weekend. It’s going to be a close race all year.”

2nd Place – Daniel Wheldon Daniel Wheldon (#3 PPI Motorsports/Jayhard/BG Products) – “It was another solid result for PPI Motorsports. This, I have to be honest, was a fantastic race. The French Canadians really put on something special and I feel very privileged to be a part of that. It was one the hardest races I have ever had actually. I had to push so hard every lap. Unfortunately, I just did not have enough to compete with Buddy today.”

3rd Place – Alex Gurney Alex Gurney (#48 All American Racers) – “It feels just great to be here on the podium. I had been hoping for a real good result because I have had what I think was a lot of bad luck this year. The race was tough. It was long, hot, and slippery. I had a good fight with Martin Basso for a while but he never got close enough to me to make a pass. I was working on David Rutledge and we were both making little mistakes along the way and I finally got by him in the fast left hander and I basically held my position until the end.”

4th Place – Martin Basso Martin Basso (#46 Michael Shank Racing/BBB Valve) – “I had a pretty good race car, but I just wasn’t able to get past Gurney on the straight. If we would have been able to qualify a little better, I think we would have been on the podium. But were able to pick up some points on Bordin, so we’re a little closer to third place in the championship.”

6th Place – Bruno St.-Jacques Bruno St-Jacques (#71 Michael Shank Racing/Atelier d-usinage St.-Jacques) – “On the start everyone went to the inside, so there weren’t any positions to be gained there. I took the chance to go outside and I tried to leave enough space for Langhorne, but I also had to be careful not to go off the race line. Unfortunately it was a little too close and we touched and I went into the air. I thought at that time I would end up in the tire barrier, but I was able to regain control. Unfortunately I was 18th at that time, but I knew I could get back to the front and that was my goal. So I worked really, really hard---I gave 110 percent, at least, to get back in front. I was pushing as I hard as I could.”

“I had some pretty good battles along the way with J.F. (Veilleux), Marc-Antoine (Camirand) before that. It was cool and I think it was good for the fans---they want to see a good show. It was also fun in the car. I was pushing and I knew I could go by those guys, and that’s exactly what I did. In the three races before this I was driving good also, but the results weren’t representative of what we were doing. This weekend was my last chance to prove that, and that’s exactly what I did. I wanted so much to finish towards the front today, so I’m real happy with how things turned out.”

7th Place – J.F. Veilleux J.F. Veilluex (#14 World Speed Motorsports/SpeedWerx/Planters/Comptant) – “It would’ve been nice to start further up on the grid, but I was able to move up throughout the race. I raced here in Trois-Rivieres last year with another Atlantic team and finished eighth, so I am happy with seventh. I just want to thank Chuck and Rick (Northwest SpeedWerx) and to my local sponsors, Planters and Comptant for giving me this opportunity. I jumped on board with the team for two races and no testing, so I think we’ve done well together. My main focus now is to work on a deal for next year. I really would like to run a full Atlantic season.”

8th Place – T.J. Bell T.J. Bell (#55 Michael Shank Racing/Bell Trans) – “Once again we got an awesome start. I don’t know where we were, but we were right in the thick of things. Then we just kind of battled for a while, and then we got caught in traffic and stuff like that. After the restart the car was good, it’s just that we didn’t have enough to handle the frontrunners. But once again we were able to come from the back and get a pretty decent finish. It was a good race for us.”

10th Place – Marc-Antoine Camirand Marc-Antoine Camirand (#15 World Speed Motorsports/Temple/Laval VW) – “I am very happy with my 10th place finish for my first Atlantic race. I had a problem with the car halfway through the race, when the car started to misfire on the straight-aways. I want to thank Chuck for giving me this opportunity. The guys did a great job and I appreciate all of their hard work. I was aiming for top ten, and that is where we finished.”

20th Place – William Langhorne William Langhorne (#23 Active Motorsports/findthe.com) – “Tough day at the races, we started out and Rocky put a wheel into me in turn one, I tried to avoid getting flipped and ended up launching somebody off of my left front wheel. We bent the steering a bit, kept going the car wasn’t too bad. We were able to keep pretty good pace. I was up behind Rocky and got up on the curbing the car got upset and I spun off and stripped the gears. We were unable to finish, so definitely a tough day. But I am definitely happy about the progress we’ve made on the car. I know we are going to be competitive next weekend. So, tough weekend but I know we will be back and strong at Road America.”

-CART-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Alex Gurney , Martin Basso , Marc-Antoine Camirand , David Rutledge , T.J. Bell , Bruno St-Jacques , Buddy Rice , Michael Shank
Teams Michael Shank Racing