Jonathan Bomarito's favorite race track: Laguna Seca, the home track for the 27 year old Monterey, CA native. Bomarito's second favorite race track must be Road America. He won his first Atlantics race here in 2006, bringing home an emotional ...
Jonathan Bomarito's favorite race track: Laguna Seca, the home track for the 27 year old Monterey, CA native. Bomarito's second favorite race track must be Road America. He won his first Atlantics race here in 2006, bringing home an emotional victory as Simon Pagenaud claimed that year's championship, and on Saturday morning, he won his first pole here, with a lap marginally quicker than yesterday's qualifying time for race one, a 1:59.564. But, as the only driver to run a lap in under 2 minutes on this 4+ mile circuit, the times on Saturday proved slower overall than those run on Friday.
Bomarito commented, " It was a great qualifying. I think we got pole by half a second or so. I had a little bit of a tow on my last lap to better my time. My hat's off to the Mathiasen Motorsports team. We played the tire situation perfectly. We have two great sets of tires with low miles for the race. I couldn't be more happy with the car. We didn't touch it the whole session. It's amazing!"
Joining Jonathan on row 1 will be veteran Atlantics race winner Tonis Kasemets, who, as an Estonian from Illinois, considers Road America to be his home track. Kasemets, driving the #17 TKM car, rejoins the series for a one-off after a nearly 1 year absence. There is no doubt whatsoever that Elkhart Lake is his favorite place to race.
"It was like old times", said Kasemets, "I felt yesterday it was like 2004, when I first drove Atlantic here. We had to just stay calm and not beat ourselves. In '054, we were really strong, because we had experience. I feel very like we're in '05 again. The car is good. The team gave us a good chance. It's good to be back".
Row two features third place qualifier Markus Niemela, driver of the #8 car, joins American Carl Skerlong, who pilots the #14 King Taco car for PCM. On row three, a surprising 5th place qualification by Tom Sutherland in the #88 car, replacing the popular German driver, Andreas Wirth, who ran out of funding, runs alongside the ever articulate James Hinchcliffe, driver of the #3 Forsythe/Petit car.
The field for Sunday's second race is significantly re-shuffled from the Saturday grid, with Saturday pole sitter Dane Cameron starting 8th, and 4th on Saturday's Simona De Silvestro qualifying 18th. If all the cars emerge from today's race in good shape, look for significant passing and even more reshuffling in both the running order and points in Sunday's race.