Canadians stake claim on podium. Drivers come from three continents for Fran-Am 2000 rush. Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada (August 18, 2002) - Bruno Spengler, from St. Hippolyte, Quebec, became the second Canadian in two races to win a Fran-Am 2000...
Canadians stake claim on podium.
Drivers come from three continents for Fran-Am 2000 rush.
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada (August 18, 2002) - Bruno Spengler, from St. Hippolyte, Quebec, became the second Canadian in two races to win a Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship race. Spengler drove the #17 TCS Racing/Team Basi car to victory at Mosport International Raceway with a .816 second margin over fellow Canadians Dan McMullen, and Fran-Am 2000 point leader Sean McIntosh.
Spengler began the race from the pole and never looked back, leading the charge from start to finish on the 2.5 mile, 10-turn road course. "The car began the race slow but as the race went on it began to improve. The beginning laps were quite hard," Spengler said.
The grinning Spengler said, "the competition is great here," referring to the 13-car field that included international drivers from the USA, France, Uruguay, and Canada.
Second place driver Dan McMullen from nearby Gormely, Ontario created the most excitement of the day when on lap eight passed Scott Jenkins for second. McMullen and Jenkins would later exchange positions two additional times before Jenkins spun in turn three, allowing McMullen a clear run for second place on lap 16.
The result of Jenkins' contact with the wall, who is driving this weekend for TCS Racing/EFI Inc./ACG Inc. from Nogaro, France, caused a full course yellow, ending the 30-minute race under caution.
McMullen said, "I almost lost it in turn three when Jenkins passed me. There was a lot of debris in the turn and not a lot of traction. I was able to get back into second place but then when he (Jenkins) passed me later, he didn't make it out of turn three that time."
McMullen, who also drives a Formula-Renault car (cousin of Fran-Am 2000) in France said, "This was a difficult race, as tough as racing in France! It was also nice to run with Bruno (Spengler). We have never had an opportunity to race against each other, he is a good competitor and I congratulate him and his team."
Most the drivers had trouble in turns two and five. McMullen said, "Everyone was banging on it," referring to all the difficulties in turn five. He continued, " I backed off the throttle and got a better line and began to gain on everyone each time I went into turn five."
Sean McIntosh, from Coquitlam, B.C. finished third and leads the Fran-Am 2000 Professional Championship points chase. "I guess we need to get some more rear traction for next week's race. A third place and a first place in our last two races still isn't too bad," McIntosh said.
After the race, Jenkins, from Portland, OR was transported to a local hospital suffering from neck pain but was released with only a serious whiplash. He plans on racing next weekend.
Following the Canadian podium winners: 4th place, Pedro Larrera #22 Gelles Racing; 5th place, Lucas Strackerjan #7 Kartbahn/bothfeetin.com; 6th place, Aaron Ellis #43 Ellis Motorsports; 7th place, Trent Lewis #5 Phillips Motorsports; 8th place John Puccini #3 Team Reset; 9th Galen Puccini Team Reset;10th Scott Jenkins #11 TCS Racing/EFI Inc./ACG Inc.; 11th Michael Brooks #4 Gelles Racing; 12th Tom Nastasi #23 Gelles Racing; 13th Jack Levy #13 Condor Motorsports.
The third round in the Fran-Am 2000 Pro Championship series is scheduled next weekend, August 23-24, at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve as part of the Molson Indy Montreal CART FedEx Championship weekend.
The Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship is a cousin of Formula Renault in Europe, South America and China. Each Fran-Am 2000 race features a $25,000 Michelin International support cash prize fund, with overall series champion winning a ride with a leading Formula Renault team for the 2003 European series. Formula Renault is recognized worldwide as a primary feeder for the Formula One stars of tomorrow. Recent graduates include McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen (who went straight to Formula One from Formula Renault) as well as Sauber's Felipe Massa.
The Fran-Am 2000 race car features a spec-Tatuus carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, sealed 2.0-liter/186-horsepower motor (capable of running an entire season without a rebuild), 6-speed sequential gearbox, and spec-Michelin Sport racing tires.
Further information on the Fran-Am series is available at www.fran-am.com.