AIM Autosport returns to defend at Montreal 2008 race winners hoping for another victory on home turf (2009.09.27) This weekend, AIM Autosport is back at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the The Grand Am Rolex Montreal 200 where they hope to defend...
AIM Autosport returns to defend at Montreal
2008 race winners hoping for another victory on home turf
(2009.09.27) This weekend, AIM Autosport is back at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for the The Grand Am Rolex Montreal 200 where they hope to defend their 2008 race win. Not only was this the first Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No 16 victory for the Woodbridge, Ontario based team, it is on record as the closest finish in series history. It is also the race where the AIM Autosport No. 61 Ford Riley went from first, to last, to first making it a very exciting race overall. AIM is also welcoming additional support for the Montreal 200 from long-time partners Motorola and MIKE Direct Connect with the assistance of service provider TELUS.
Last year, Brian Frisselle started the race and made a fantastic move to the lead in turn two only to be turned around when he was hit in the rear. The car fell to the back of the pack as the rest of the field streamed by. Brian would go on a charge and was soon up to sixth place before handing the car off to Mark Wilkins. It all unfolded from there as Mark moved within striking distance and when the cars ahead succumbed to fuel issues, he was there to take advantage. Now, after leading all of fifty feet in the first lap, the No. 61 Ford Riley would lead the most important final one hundred yards of the race. The maiden victory was made all the more sweet in that it happened at the Canadian team's home race, and the only race in the series to be run north of the border. The team went on to score two straight podiums after that including the race win - from pole, at Watkins Glen.
This year with another Frisselle -- Burt, in the co-drivers seat, AIM Autosport is looking for a little bit of that homegrown magic to bring them to the podium for the first time in 2009. The season has been up and down so far but the team is ahead of last year in the points and a strong run in the Montreal 200 would go a long way to improving their overall position in the championship. Of course a victory would be event better.
"To get the win here last year and in such competitive conditions was just so exciting for everyone on the team" commented Wilkins. "To win is fantastic. To win in front of a huge home crowd made it even more so. It was so close that I was halfway around the circuit on the cool-down lap before the team radioed to me that we had won. Then I knew why the crowds were cheering for me as I cam around the track."
Wilkins continued, "Now we are back with the Motorola / MIKE Direct Connect No. 61 Ford Riley and Burt and I are really looking forward to putting M. Wilkins and B. Frisselle back in victory lane."
There will be some additional support on and off the track in 2009 as AIM will also be fielding a second car, the Tower Events No. 51 Ford Riley. The No. 51 is a truly all-Canadian entry for the team with drivers John Farano (Toronto) and Jean-Francois Dumoulin (Trois Rivieres) at the wheel.
Practice for the Montreal 200 gets underway on Friday with the race at 2:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. It will be broadcast live on SPEED TV starting at 2:00 p.m.