Imrie takes a pair of sixths in Carolina.
Toronto, Ontario (August 27, 2002): Ward Imrie of Winnipeg, Manitoba, took a pair of sixth-place finishes last weekend as the 'Formula Dodge National Championship presented by Racer' visited Carolina Motorsport Park in Kershaw, South Carolina. With only one event left this season, Imrie has moved up to fourth in the championship, just two points adrift of third.
Imrie qualified fifth for the first race, setting a time of 1-minute, 46.086-seconds for a lap around the 3.597-km, fourteen-turn course. The field of twenty cars was very evenly matched and Imrie felt very lucky to qualify so well as his car proved difficult throughout the weekend. For the second race, his qualifying time of 1:47.127 placed him twelfth.
"Everyone slowed down in the second session because it was later in the day and much hotter," the nineteen-year-old former kart racer reported, "However, I seemed to suffer more than everyone else. I don't know why, but the handling of my car went way off when it got hot. When we practiced, early in the morning, the car was pretty good."
In race one, Imrie was eighth to cross the finish line after losing ground throughout the fourteen-lap battle. In the afternoon heat, his car had become unruly and all he could do was try to limit the damage. After the checkered flag, however, Imrie recouped some of his loss when officials issued penalties to two drivers. Colin Fleming and Scott Speed, who had finished first and second respectively, each received fifteen-second penalties for racing infractions that resulted in advantages. Imrie was boosted to sixth place.
In race two, Imrie started eleventh, one position ahead of his qualifying place, as Luis Pelayo was unable to start due to a mild concussion resulting from a crash in race one. When the green flag waved, Imrie found himself the benefactor when mayhem broke out at corner one. As the cars around him slid out of control, Imrie found an opening and shot through the chaos to emerge sixth. After advancing to fifth, Imrie was quickly demoted back to sixth were he continued on to the finish.
"It was a real cool track and a lot of fun," said Imrie. "I wish my car had been a little better in the afternoon sun, but the weekend turned out well because I moved up a place in the points standings. I have a thirteen-point gap back to fifth and I'm only two points out of third so I'm very excited about the possibilities for the last race."
The Formula dodge National Championship winds up with a pair of races at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, October 11-13.