Podium and Fast Lap for World Speed at Fontana 13 July 2003 the World Speed Motorsports team with the Fran Am West Series competed on the infield road course at Fontana's California Speedway. The team drivers, Brad Coleman and Jason...
Podium and Fast Lap for World Speed at Fontana
13 July 2003 the World Speed Motorsports team with the Fran Am West Series competed on the infield road course at Fontana's California Speedway. The team drivers, Brad Coleman and Jason Kritikos, both had a strong and challenging weekend.
Coleman and Kritikos were both fast out of the box, Kritikos posting the fastest practice times Saturday with Coleman just tenths off. "We were looking very good on Saturday," commented World Speed Motorsports team owner Telo Stewart, "both drivers were fast and we continued to make the cars better every session." Qualifying proved as competitive as it ever has been and with the top three drivers within one tenth of a second and the top seven within eight tenths. When qualifying was over the World Speed Team only new it was close and had to wait for the official times to know where they stood. In the end Kritikos qualified third and Coleman fifth.
Neither driver was satisfied with their starting position, as they seldom are when starting anywhere but pole. They were, however, confident of their ability to move to the front. Both drivers had good starts, Kritikos moving into second and Coleman holding onto his position. The teammates looked to be on their way up and the team was optimistic. "In the first ten minutes of the race I thought we were going to have both drivers on the podium, probably one on top," stated World Speed Motorsports' driver coach Michael McDowell.
The race started to unravel a bit for the team when the Fran Am 2000 cars, which started in a "split start" well in front of the 1600s, began working their way through the field. They passed both World Speed drivers in inopportune places.
When they passed Coleman it caused series veteran Daryl O'Young to have to make a move to the inside of a corner which Coleman was attempting a pass into. O'Young and Coleman made contact and Coleman's front suspension was bent. Coleman hung on and finished the race but well back of his starting position. "This was one of the hardest races I have driven in a car, but I was going to do everything I could to finish it," said Coleman after the race.
When the 2000 cars caught Kritikos he was in second and catching first. After they had passed, he was well back of third. "The 2000 cars caught me mid-corner in the technical section and when the first one passed me John (series veteran John Knudsen) got by me, and when the second one passed me he slowed me down in a key corner," commented Kritikos. By setting fast lap of the race and regaining contact with the leaders Kritikos impressed all. However, he needed another few laps to be able to capitalize on his speed and so had to settle for a strong third place finish.