Toronto preview

WHAT: Round 7 of 12 of the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series in support of the Molson Indy Toronto WHEN: Qualifying Friday, July 13 at 4:45 p.m. (30 Minutes) Final Qualifying, Saturday, July 14 at 12:15 p.m. (30 Minutes) RACE START Sunday July 15...

WHAT: Round 7 of 12 of the 2001 Barber Dodge Pro Series in support of the Molson Indy Toronto

WHEN:
Qualifying Friday, July 13 at 4:45 p.m. (30 Minutes)
Final Qualifying, Saturday, July 14 at 12:15 p.m. (30 Minutes)
RACE START Sunday July 15 at 3:30 p.m. (40 Minutes)

WHERE: Exhibition Place Circuit, Toronto Ontario, Canada

WHO: 20 drivers from six different countries [entry list available at barberdodge.com]

TELEVISION: ESPN 2 on Aug 15 at 6:00 - 6:30 p.m. EDT; rebroadcast on Aug 17 at 5:30-6:00 a.m. EDT

Drivers who have used the Barber Pro Series as a steppingstone into the world of top level auto racing include: 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner and current CART driver Kenny Brack; 2000 Indy 500 winner and current driver for the BMW-WilliamsF1 team, Juan Pablo Montoya

All drivers compete in identically prepared single-seat, open-wheel race cars which are owned, maintained and transported by the Barber Dodge Pro Series.

In 1998, world famous racecar manufacturer Reynard Motorsport, was called upon to design an all new carbon-fiber monocoque chassis exclusively for the series. That chassis is mated to an all aluminum 3.5 liter V6 Dodge engine tuned to deliver 265 peak horsepower driven through a six-speed sequential Hewland gearbox. The Reynard Dodge 98E is shod with Michelin Pilot SX racing slicks.

Races are 40 minutes in duration with points allocated to the top-15 finishers (20 to the winner, then 16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1). A driver's ten best results count toward the championship total. An additional point is awarded to the fastest qualifier. $1 million in prize money is awarded over the course of the year.

All 12 rounds of the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series will again be televised on ESPN2 as well as ESPN International.

Title Race Opens Up; Dileo To Make Professional Debut

The Barber Dodge Pro Series will make its Molson Indy Toronto debut supporting the CART FedEx Series when it rolls into town this weekend. Native son Daniel Dileo of Markham, Ont. will make his professional racing debut as well. The 19 year-old Canadian currently lies third in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER, the Official Amateur National Championship of CART. The series is the steppingstone to the Barber Dodge Pro Series and a National Championship title would automatically garner Dileo a Barber-CART Scholarship to the 2002 Pro Series. While Dileo concentrates on his professional race debut, drivers like Nicolas Rondet, Roger Yasukawa, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Matt Plumb, Sepp Koster and the balance of the Top-10 will continue to wrestle for the coveted $300,000 Career Enhancement Award that goes to the Series champion.

A slim 15 points separate those five drivers and as Plumb and Koster have demonstrated in the last three rounds, a good swing of fortune for any of the 22 drivers who have accrued points this year could put them right into contention. Plumb, third overall after the last round in Cleveland less than fortnight ago had nary a point to his name after the first two rounds. But a point streak that included a win, a pole, a fastest race lap and two second-place finishes has seen him leap through the standings. Similarly, Koster, the only two-time race winner in 2001(Lime Rock Park, Cleveland) has seen his season go from the doldrums to title contention as he resides fifth overall.

While Plumb and Koster have seen a season of highs and lows, points leader Rondet and current runner-up Yasukawa have been steadily garnering points. Rondet has one win to his credit while Yasukawa has a pair of podium finishes. Both are among only a handful of drivers that have scored points in every round this year. The others include Marc Breuers, who is coming off a career best third place, Peter Boss and rookie Akihira Okamoto.

The 1.775-mile, 11-turn temporary road circuit may be the great equalizer this weekend in a series where parity of equipment requiring driver talent to be the determiner is already the name of the game. As an added incentive, Toronto represents the first leg in the Conseco Triple Crown along with round 8 supporting the Target Grand Prix of Chicago and the final round in support of the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey. If one driver can capture the win at all three events, a check from Conseco Risk Management to the tune of $20,000 will be cut in their name.

-BDPS-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Barber Pro
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams