A familiar face will make his comeback to the Champ Car Atlantic ranks in Portland. Canadian Antoine Bessette, who won two races last year as a rookie, will drive the Western Union No. 14 car for Gelles Racing, in place of South African Stephen...
A familiar face will make his comeback to the Champ Car Atlantic ranks in Portland. Canadian Antoine Bessette, who won two races last year as a rookie, will drive the Western Union No. 14 car for Gelles Racing, in place of South African Stephen Simpson. Considering Katherine Legge's emergence into the series in 2005, Bessette was often overlooked as her teammate at Polestar Racing Group. The two tied for 3rd in the standings behind Champ Car graduates Charles Zwolsman and Tonis Kasemets. Bessette's driving this year had been mainly in the Rolex Series, in the Mike Shank Racing Lexus Riley. The move means Bessette will be one of a few veterans in a freshmen- laden field.
"When I tested with Bob (Gelles) last winter in the Renault V6, the new Swift car was not available," Bessette said. "In Portland, I will now benefit from a full test day to gel with my new engineer. Portland is a track where I enjoyed two top-five finishes last year." Besides last year's Atlantic double header, Bessette also has experience from a 2003 Barber Dodge Pro Series event at the track.
Gelles did not state whether the move was for just this race or for the remainder of the season. Highly touted rookie Simpson, who previously raced for South Africa in A1GP, had difficulty the opening rounds of the championship before finishing fifth in Monterrey last race. He is currently 21st in the championship. Bessette joins Ryan Lewis, at Mi-Jack Conquest Racing, in making their season debuts on Portland's picturesque road course.