Toronto, Ont. (July 13, 2003) - Mexican Memo Rojas won an eventful Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the Molson Indy Toronto in which 7 of the 16 cars retired due to contact. It was Rojas's first win of the 2003 season, as well as his first career...
Toronto, Ont. (July 13, 2003) - Mexican Memo Rojas won an eventful Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the Molson Indy Toronto in which 7 of the 16 cars retired due to contact. It was Rojas's first win of the 2003 season, as well as his first career win in the series.
Rojas, who started 4th on the grid, had to pass a number of cars to get to the front, as well as deal with a bent front wing that caused his car to not handle quite as he liked. He passed Leo Maia, Dan Di Leo and David Martinez on successive laps (10 through 12). One lap after taking the lead from Martinez, Martinez retook the lead, but Rojas was able to pass him again a lap later. From there he lead to the end.
"Nobody was giving an inch," Rojas recalled. "I had a good car and I was driving well. The opportunities were there."
Colin Fleming, who also had to deal with a bent front wing, finished 2nd, only 0.185 seconds behind Rojas. He was 9th after the first lap, and like Rojas, made his way through the field, but unlike many others, kept out of further trouble.
"At the third turn," he said, speaking of the first lap, "there were cars everywhere. This track really suits my style. The car was absolutely amazing."
Martinez was third, almost two seconds behind the winner. He felt with a bit of running in traffic through the weekend, he could have been quicker in the race.
"I spent most of the weekend running alone," he explained. "So I was not hitting enough curbs. After Memo passed me I saw him taking more curb and I tried it, but I did not have enough practice at it."
Pole sitter and championship leader Leonardo Maia finished 9th, the last of the runners. His only consolation was to score the fastest lap on lap 20, posting a 1:11.509 lap at an average speed of 88.353 mph, faster than his qualifying speed. He was also fortunate that Dan di Leo, who was sitting behind him in second in the championship, retired from the race and was classified only 13th. Maia now leads the championship by 36 points over Rojas.
Finishing 4th was Canadian Antoine Bessette, followed by Burt Frisselle, Ward Imrie, Greg Long, Mike Richardson, then Maia. Luis Pelayo rounded out the top 10.