Montreal: Ward Imrie race notes

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Imrie eleventh at Montreal August 25, 2003 (Toronto, Canada): Ward Imrie of Winnipeg, Manitoba, finished eleventh yesterday in the final round of the 2003 Barber Dodge Pro series at the Molson Indy Montreal. The mid-field finish came after a ...

Imrie eleventh at Montreal

August 25, 2003 (Toronto, Canada): Ward Imrie of Winnipeg, Manitoba, finished eleventh yesterday in the final round of the 2003 Barber Dodge Pro series at the Molson Indy Montreal. The mid-field finish came after a first-lap spin dropped him to last place, a lap down on the nineteen-car field.

Twenty-year-old Imrie competed in three rounds of the open-wheel series, the Canadian stops on a ten-race North American tour. At Toronto and Vancouver, he finished sixth and seventh respectively and was looking for a top-five finish in Montreal.

In a pair of qualifying sessions held Friday and Saturday, Imrie was sixth-fastest both times out. Starting the race from the third row, he was in a good position to score a podium finish, however, trouble began when he went for a pass at the chicane that leads on to the start-finish straight. After taking the position, Imrie's car spun and ended up against the wall. Although the contact was light and the car incurred only minor damage to the front wing, Imrie was nose to the wall and unable to engage reverse gear. A full-course caution was issued and he lost a lap while waiting for the safety team to pull him clear.

Racing soon resumed and Imrie pushed as hard as he could. Despite a bent front wing dragging on the track, he was among the fastest drivers on the course and eventually climbed back to eleventh place.

"I was very disappointed in myself for the spin," Imrie commented, "But when I watched it later on TV, it looked like I was hit from behind. Whatever happened, I lost out most of all because I could not get reverse gear and was stuck until the safety team could move me. The car felt good and I was driving well, so I can't help but think where I might have finished."

Despite the disappointment in Montreal, Imrie has gained valuable experience in his three outings. The competition was close and pushed him to work hard and dig deep.

Now Imrie faces an even bigger challenge, the task of finding sponsorship. For the past two seasons, he has been able to race thanks to winning performance scholarships from the Skip Barber organization. Next year, however, he needs sponsorship.

"It's tough finding sponsors, but there's a lot of work going on behind the scenes and I'm optimistic," said Imrie. "Next season is a long way away, but I'll be busy, so the time should go pretty quickly."

-mj-

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Series BARBER-PRO

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