Gomes takes Barber win BIRMINGHAM, AL (9 October 04)--Marcos Gomes of Brazil led from lights-out to checkered flag at Barber Motorsports Park to take his second North American Formula Renault victory of the season on Saturday. Gomes led fellow...
Gomes takes Barber win
BIRMINGHAM, AL (9 October 04)--Marcos Gomes of Brazil led from lights-out to checkered flag at Barber Motorsports Park to take his second North American Formula Renault victory of the season on Saturday. Gomes led fellow front-row starter Mark Wilkins of Canada across the finish line, with Wilkins' AIM Autosport teammate Antoine Bessette taking third in the twenty-two lap race, which ran the entire distance under green flag conditions.
Championship points leader Juan Ponte took forth at the finish, as Gelles Racing teammate Brandon Thomas scored another top-five finish in his Western Union machine ahead of Colin Braun, who took a strong sixth place finish in his series debut. Fellow series newcomer Luca DiCienzo finished seventh in his Atlantic Racing Team entry, with Ricardo Imery coming home eighth. Bob Siska finished ninth, with Adam Dodds netting the final spot in the top ten.
Gomes got a good start in his GTI/Roshfrans Renault, but Wilkins did as well as the two raced to the first corner. Gomes had the inside line, and Wilkins slotted in behind as the rest of the field got through cleanly. Wilkins took the fight to Gomes, getting several good looks at a pass, but Gomes had the speed and held him off to cross the line by 3.025 seconds at the finish.
"I had a good start, and Mark was right next to me, but I was able to hold onto the lead and from there, I just kept my head down," said Gomes. "It's really the teams win-they prepared an excellent car for me, and it was just my job to get it to the finish, so I am really happy."
Gomes is currently second in the championship battle behind Juan Martin Ponte of Argentina who finished fourth in the race to hold onto his lead in the championship. Gomes did his best to reduce the gap, taking the pole, winning the race, and setting the fastest lap of the race to take the maximum points for the round.
Mark Wilkins, who was tied for second in the points with Gomes before the race, tried to make the most of the start, but just didn't have the pace that Gomes had as the race developed.
"I knew if I was going to pass him, I would have to do it early in the race," said Wilkins. "We were a couple of tenths off his pace today, but its still fantastic to be on the podium and to get these points in the bank for the championship battle, and we still have another race we can win tomorrow!"
Antoine Bessette had a quiet run to third from third on the grid, but he is relishing his chance to get his maiden win in Formula Renault competition on Sunday as he is starting from the pole.
"The car was really great, but I just didn't push hard enough in the middle stages of the race to make an impression on the leaders, but this is still a strong result," said Bessette. "Hopefully it will rain tomorrow like they are predicting, and we can do even better!"
Round eight of the North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship is scheduled to get underway on Sunday at 3:30 PM.
<pre> North American Formula Renault Round Seven Barber Motorsports Park
Top Ten: 1 Gomes 22 Laps 2 Wilkins -3.025 seconds 3 Bessette 4 Ponte 5 Thomas 6 Braun 7 DiCienzo 8 Imery 9 Siska 10 Dodds