Dorricott Racing dominates Road America with 1-2-3 finish! Luis Diaz wins his second Toyota Atlantic race. Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney complete the podium. ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 19, 2002) - Dorricott Racing put on a show that was second to...
Dorricott Racing dominates Road America with 1-2-3 finish!
Luis Diaz wins his second Toyota Atlantic race.
Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney complete the podium.
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 19, 2002) - Dorricott Racing put on a show that was second to none at Road America, Sunday, Aug. 18, when it clearly dominated round 10 of the 12-race Toyota Atlantic Championship in scoring its second career first, second, and third place race finish on a track it hadn't raced prior to this event.
It was also a banner day for Atlantic rookie Luis Diaz, of Mexico City, as he led the Dorricott charge to capture his second career Atlantic victory. Diaz corralled his first career Toyota Atlantic victory in June at Portland International Raceway. .Meanwhile, teammates Jon Fogarty, of Portola Valley, Calif., and Alex Gurney, of Newport Beach, Calif., finished second and third place, respectively.
Diaz's decisive play was a late race spectacular on lap 14 re-start. After the fourth caution flag of the 17-lap race, Diaz pulled to the inside of Rocky Moran Jr. heading into the sweeping right hand corner of Turn 1 at the 4.048-mile Road America road course. As the two entered the corner, their wheels touched sending Moran Jr. spinning into a gravel trap. Moran Jr. was uninjured in the incident, but his chances to win evaporated in gravel dust. Diaz was able to continue and power to a 1.910-second margin of victory over Fogarty.
"It was a tight, tough race," said a thrilled Diaz who was competing at Road America for the first time this weekend. "I had an inside line on Rocky (Moran Jr.) and we entered Turn 1 close. Unfortunately, our tires made contact and Rocky ended up off the track, but my car somehow wasn't damaged. I thought I may have had a problem with my front suspension during the next couple of laps, but then my engineer, Gerald Tyler, told me I had run the fastest lap of the race. That was a huge relief. I couldn't be happier for my team, my teammates, and all of my sponsors under the Telmex umbrella."
Diaz's fastest lap of 2:02.881 (118.593 mph), which he turned on lap 12, held up through the final laps of the event earning him the $1,000 WorldCom "Fast Pace" Award. Dorricott took the other big cash bonus award of the weekend as well by Fogarty winning the $1,000 Toyota "Pole Award" with a new track record.
"It was a stop-and-go race," said Fogarty who has eight top-five finishes this year. "There were a lot of drivers tossing their cars off the track. That's really irritating when you're leading within a good car. It's happened a couple of times to me this year."
With Fogarty finishing second and Gurney rounding out the podium in third place, Dorricott Racing established yet another CART record. It is the only CART-sanctioned team that has twice placed three drivers on the podium in a CART-sanctioned event.
Dorricott Racing's first podium sweep was at St. Louis in the 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship. No three-car team in the 16-year history of Indy Lights had ever swept the top three spots in a single race.
Furthermore, Dorricott Racing is the only team in recorded motorsports history to finish a race in first, second, and third place with each respective car number in the sequential order of one, two, and three. At St. Louis, current CART FedEx driver Townsend Bell won the Indy Lights race in the No. 1 DirecPC Lola. Current Busch star Casey Mears piloted the No. 2 Dorricott Racing/Sooner Trailer Lola, while Australian and present V-8 Supercar sensation Jason Bright drove No. 3 car for Dorricott Racing.
The Dorricott trio along with Moran Jr. battled with current points leader, Michael Valiante, of Canada, at the front of the pack throughout the race. Valiante placed fourth behind the Dorricott cars to hold onto the Championship lead with two races remaining. Valiante entered the weekend with a 19 point lead on Fogarty, but left with only a 14-point margin heading into next weekend's Molson Indy Montreal. Gurney and Diaz are 30 and 32 points behind, respectively.
"It was pretty eventful," said Gurney. "First of all, it was an awesome weekend for Dorricott Racing. I got a little dodgy. I may have touched Michael (Valiante) once and Luis (Diaz) a little later. The re-starts were tough and they usually went to whoever came out the cleanest. I guess we managed to get the better of it so it worked out to be a good weekend."
Fogarty continues to lead all newcomers for Rookie-of-the-Year honors with an 18-point cushion of teammate Diaz, 122-104. However, Fogarty' closest rookie challenger coming into Road America was Ryan Hunter-Reay. That dramatically changed on lap 5 when Hunter-Reay became embroiled in the race's biggest incident.
Hunter-Reay and Waldemar Coronas were battling side-by-side when contact occurred in Turn 5 sending both cars off course. Coronas was able to continue, but Hunter-Reay was eliminated from the race and perhaps the 2002 Atlantic Championship and Rookie-of-the-Year. Hunter-Reay entered the weekend 21 points behind Valiante, but now is 34 points back with 102 points.
Dorricott Racing's drivers compose the majority of the top-five prize money winners this season (excluding mid-season bonus winnings). After Road America, Fogarty is third on the earnings board with $102,500. Diaz is fourth with $89,600 while Gurney is in fifth place with $71,500.
Round 11 of the 2002 Toyota Atlantic Championship will be next Saturday, Aug. 24, at the world renowned road course of Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. One week after that, the 2002 season concludes with the running of the Shell Grand Prix of Denver.