Mario Dom?nguez Road Atlanta race report

Originally-From: Jack Durbin <jackd@motorsport.com> Mario Domínguez, mexican driver of car ...

Originally-From: Jack Durbin <jackd@motorsport.com>

Mario Domínguez, mexican driver of car #17 Del Valle-Corona-Televisa, PacWest Lights team, finished fifth in the tenth round of the Dayton Indy Lights series today at Road Atlanta, USA, a permanent circuit. Mario, started seventh in the grid but right at the start he was pushed off-course by none other than his teammate Dan Wheldon when Mario had the inner line in a turn. This lost him a lot of time and sent him to the back of the pack and with dirty tires it took him a while to recover racing pace. Still, he started gaining on the others and 10 laps from the end he was already seventh when the skies opened. Mario chose not to stop for rain tires and in the remaining laps he passed two more competitors to finish fifth and with a few more laps he could have made it to the podium. The mexican showed good hands in the rain, always a sign of the good drivers, and when others slowed down, he kept the pace.

At the end of the race, Mario declared: "At the start, Dan sent me off and I ended up last and I had to recover from there. It was a weird race because when we were about 10 laps from the end it started raining and I didn't want to change to slicks. I passed two more drivers and ended fifth but the track was slippery to the max. This isn't the result we'd hoped for, but we got some points which keep me in the chase. Now comes Laguna Seca and that's going to be different because team PacWest Lights is really good right now, besides being my favorite track. In the warm up this morning I didn't try a lot of changes since the car didn't feel too bad but what hurt us was the engine. It lacked power and in the straights they left me back easily. For Laguna Seca we're going to change it because you cant' fight like that. Overall I felt good but it took a lot from me having to run from the back from the very beginning and I could have won because Dan ended winning and I had him when he sent me off track. I am very sorry I couldn't give a podium to the kids in the "Race for Kids' Nutrition" in Mexico, but I'll make it up to them at Laguna Seca, I promise".

Besides Wheldon, who finished first, series leader Townsend Bell was second and teammate Damien Faulkner third, with Derek Higgins fourth. Mario was the best mexican once again and with this result he adds 10 points to his previous total and now has 105 in the 2001 championship, when there are only two races left in it. Mario stands fourth in the series, being the best mexican driver too. For Mario this is the twenty second time in the points in his last 23 starts, including the 10 races of the 2001 season.

-SHARC-

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Series INDYLIGHTS