KUNO WITTMER WINS HIS SECOND RACE OF 2005 AT THE MOLSON INDY MONTREAL Montreal, August 28, 2005 - Under wet conditions, Kuno Wittmer of Hudson (QC) won his second race of the 2005 season, leading home Steven Laporte by a margin of 12.786...
KUNO WITTMER WINS HIS SECOND RACE OF 2005 AT THE MOLSON INDY MONTREAL
Montreal, August 28, 2005 - Under wet conditions, Kuno Wittmer of Hudson (QC) won his second race of the 2005 season, leading home Steven Laporte by a margin of 12.786 seconds at the conclusion of the 13-lap Round Six race of the Honda/Michelin Challenge Series held Sunday at the Molson Indy Montreal. Starting second, the Honda de Sigi driver passed his brother Nick on the first lap when the latter traveled through the gravel trap falling to 13th place. Kuno extended his lead when Frederick Lelièvre of Mont-Joli (QC), who had taken over second place from Nick, moved a tire barrier onto the track, forcing all those behind to reduce their speed in order to avoid the tire bundle. Lelièvre received a Stop & Go penalty, taking him out of contention. He finished eighth.
''It was a real ice rink out there,'' said winner Kuno Wittmer. ''At the start of the race, the track was just wet but when the rain started to fall halfway through the race, it was very slippery. Track conditions kept changing on each lap. You had to be careful out there and keep your mind focused. When you're alone in front, you have no markers when nobody is following you. It. fun to win at home.''
''When Fred (Frederick Lelièvre) moved the tire bundle onto the track, it was all Kuno (Wittmer) needed to run away with the win as we all had to slow down in order to avoid it,'' said Steven Laporte of Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs. ''It was quite a race. I had a great battle with Robert (his Lombardi Racing teammate Robert Boyer) all the way to the finish and won it. It's unfortunate for Robert that an incident at the start of the race that resulted in a penalty prevented him from finishing on the podium. But, that's racing.''
Third place went to Alex Penfold who drove an excellent race from 12th place on the grid. The Georgetown (ON) driver inherited third place when Robert Boyer of Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs was penalized 30 seconds for avoidable contact on Montrealer Denis Baillargeon on lap 1.
''It's been a long time coming,'' said Alex Penfold. ''It has been a crazy year for the Pfaff Leasing Honda team, but rain is the great equalizer. Coming from 12th to finish fourth under these conditions is just what we needed. It was quite a battle and it's a happy ending to an otherwise frustrating weekend.'' Polesitter Nick Wittmer charged back from 13th place to finish fourth but not before another off track excursion and a few long slides on a very wet track. Didier Schraenen of Mont-Saint-Hilaire (QC) finished fifth while Ryan Kelly of London (ON), who also went off-track a few times, managed to come back for a sixth place finish. Next was Robert Boyer. The 30-second penalty he received cost him four positions at the finish. Frederick Lelièvre, Denis Baillargeon and Kris Rams round out the top ten.
In the provisional points standings after six races, Nick Wittmer is still first with 178 points, but his lead has been cut down to 3 over Laporte. The win moved Kuno Wittmer one position up into third place with 172 points, followed by Schraenen with 166. Alex Penfold is fifth with 157, ahead of Lelièvre with 149 and Boyer with 134 points.
Drivers will be back in action next week at Mosport International Raceway for Round 7 of the 2005 schedule.