Edmonton I: Carl Skerlong race report

Skerlong Suffers Early Edmonton Exit Edmonton, Canada -- Carl Skerlong made an early exit from Round 9 of the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda on Saturday as he was collected and tipped into the...

Skerlong Suffers Early Edmonton Exit

Edmonton, Canada -- Carl Skerlong made an early exit from Round 9 of the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda on Saturday as he was collected and tipped into the tire barriers on the temporary Edmonton street circuit just ten laps into the 45-minute race meeting -- the first of a double-header event to wrap July's four-race Canadian tour.

The 18-year-old rookie from Seattle had just steered his #24 King Taco/US RaceTronics Swift Mazda-Cosworth up into fifth place on lap 10 after a sluggish start when the car he passed through Turn 11, Jonathan Bomarito's #23 PR1 Motorsports entry, tried ambitiously to regain the spot into Turn 12. Skerlong held the advantage but was unceremoniously barged out of the corner and into the tire barriers -- his rear wing flying off violently upon impact.

Emerging unscathed from the incident, Carl was left to rue what might have been after yet another promising run was cut short, albeit under slightly different circumstances from his retirement in Toronto a couple of weeks earlier. Bomarito was subsequently black-flagged for his part in the incident, the American racer deemed to have been responsible for 'avoidable contact' with Skerlong which in turn brought out the second full-course caution of the race. Series leader Raphael Matos scored his fifth win of the season, the Brazilian leading home France's Franck Perera and Canada's James Hinchcliffe at the checkered.

The weekend had initially started well for Skerlong -- the reigning Formula TR Pro Series 2000 Champion. Powering his way to a top-five grid slot around the 1.973-mile Edmonton City Centre Airport layout, the Washington racer was looking for a strong points scoring run having been kept out of the top-five in qualifying since Round 3 in Houston back in April.

"I made a great pass but I guess Jonathan (Bomarito) didn't like it," said Skerlong. "It's a shame things ended the way they did but at least we have another chance to get back out there tomorrow. We definitely have the speed to match the leaders here and thankfully we've got time to get the car back together for tomorrow morning's warm-up!"

Saturday's accident put paid to Carl's chances of improving his standing in the points, the American dropping three spots to 12th after nine rounds. The rookie can take heart from the fact that in qualifying for Sunday's race he delivered his highest starting slot of the year with third on the grid for the tenth round of the 12-race series.

Round 10 starts tomorrow, Sunday 22nd July, at 12:30pm EST.

Both races from Edmonton will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Monday 23rd July starting at 5pm EST.

-credit: www.cskerlong.com

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers James Hinchcliffe , Carl Skerlong , Franck Perera