THE KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP Round 10, Molson Indy Vancouver Weekend, Concord Pacific Place Sept. 3-5, 1999, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada EVENT: Round 10 of the 12-event KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, held on the Vancouver...
THE KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP
Round 10, Molson Indy Vancouver Weekend, Concord Pacific Place Sept. 3-5, 1999, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
EVENT: Round 10 of the 12-event KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, held on the Vancouver street circuit, as the preliminary race to the Molson Indy Vancouver. Sunday's Atlantic race will be the third and final race held in Canada on the 1999 schedule.
THE SERIES: The CART-sanctioned KOOL /Toyota Atlantic Championship is a key rung on CART's "Ladder System" and is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into CART competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from the Atlantic series are CART Champ Car stars Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Richie Hearn, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron, and Memo Gidley, former Champ Car stars Bobby Rahal and Danny Sullivan, as well as 1997 FIA Formula One Champion, Jacques Villeneuve.
ATLANTIC SCHEDULE AT VANCOUVER: Friday, Sept. 3: Practice 9:35 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. Qualifying 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4: Practice 8:00 a.m. - 8:40 a.m. Qualifying 11:55 a.m. - 12:25 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5: Warm-up 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. RACE 10:30 a.m. 38 laps
LAZZARO COULD CLINCH: Anthony Lazzaro (PPI-MCI WorldCom) has led the drivers' championship since his victory at Nazareth in the second round, and can clinch his first Atlantic title if he can drive away from this weekend's race with a 45-point lead heading into the final two races (Laguna Seca, Houston). With a 150-110 points lead over second-place Kenny Wilden (Shank Racing-Newcourt/Trizec-Hahn), Lazzaro needs to gain five points on the rest of the field after the Vancouver race. A "clean sweep" (pole, victory, most laps led) would secure the title for Lazzaro, who already has three victories and seven podium finishes. Wilden, at 110 points, Alex Tagliani (Player's-Forsythe), at 105 points, and Buddy Rice (Lynx Racing), at 84, all are within mathematical reach of the title with three races to go.
VANCOUVER DRIVER: David Rutledge, of W. Vancouver, B.C., is one of just a few drivers entered this weekend from British Columbia. Rutledge, who drives the #78 Forsythe Racing-The Keg Steakhouse & Bar/Fleming Financial Swift, scored a second-place finish at Gateway in round three, and also has a fourth-place finish to his credit at Nazareth.
SHANK RACING GOING FOR THREE STRAIGHT: Michael Shank Racing will be looking for three straight Atlantic victories, after Kenny Wilden (at Mid-Ohio) and teammate Sam Hornish, Jr., (Chicago) scored back-to-back victories in rounds 8 and 9.
THIRD RACE IN CANADA: Sunday's KOOL /Toyota Atlantic Championship race in Vancouver will be the third race held this year in Canada, following the round 5 race in Montreal and the round 7 race in Trois-Rivieres, Que.
CANADIAN DRIVERS: Eleven Atlantic drivers entered in this weekend's race are Canadian, including two from British Columbia. Canadian drivers planning to participate in Sunday's Atlantic race are David Rutledge (W. Vancouver, B.C.), Brian Westerlund (Surrey, B.C.), Eric Jensen (New Castle, Ont.), Cam Binder (Calgary, Alta.), Christophe Beauvais (Montreal, Que.), Andrew Bordin (Woodbridge, Ont.), Jean-Francois Dumoulin (Trois-Rivieres, Que.), Lee Bentham (Newmarket, Ont.), Kenny Wilden (Burlington, Ont.), Alex Tagliani (Lachenaie, Que.), and Jean-Francois Veilleux (Boucherville, Que.).
1999 ATLANTIC RACE WINNERS: Rnd 1, Long Beach: Alex Tagliani Rnd 6, Road America: Andrew Bordin Rnd 2, Nazareth: Anthon Lazzaro Rnd 7, Trois-Rivieres: Anthony Lazzaro Rnd 3, Gateway: Anthony Lazzaro Rnd 8, Mid-Ohio: Kenny Wilden Rnd 4, Milwaukee: Lee Bentham Rnd 9, Chicago: Sam Hornish, Jr. Rnd 5, Montreal: Alex Tagliani
1999 TOYOTA POLE WINNERS: Rnd 1, Long Beach: Kenny Wilden Rnd 6, Road America: Alex Tagliani Rnd 2, Nazareth: Anthony Lazzaro Rnd 7, Trois-Rivieres: Anthony Lazzaro Rnd 3, Gateway: Anthony Lazzaro Rnd 8, Mid-Ohio: Kenny Wilden Rnd 4, Milwaukee: Anthony Lazzaro Rnd 9, Chicago: Andrew Bordin Rnd 5, Montreal: Alex Tagliani
LAST YEAR AT VANCOUVER: Andrew Bordin recorded his first Atlantic victory here last year when leader Matt Sielsky spun with two laps left. Bordin held off Rino Mastronardi to win the wild contest. Sielsky appeared headed to his first victory, leading by as many as six seconds late in the contest before a momentary lapse allowed Bordin to slip by. Bordin held off Mastronardi to win by 1.708 seconds. Sielsky took over the lead on lap seven of the 38-lap race when oil dropped by local driver Frank Allers led to a five-car pileup involving the top-five drivers, changing the face of the race.
ATLANTIC HISTORY AT VANCOUVER: The KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship has raced at Vancouver nine times, dating back to 1990. Previous race winners at Vancouver were: Claude Bourbonnais (1990), Stephane Proulx (1991), Patrick Carpentier (1992), Claude Bourbonnais (1993), David Empringham (1994), David Empringham (1995), Patrick Carpentier (1996), Memo Gidley (1997), and Andrew Bordin (1998).
TELEVISION BROADCASTS: ESPN2 will televise Sunday's KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship race at Vancouver on Sunday, Sept. 12, at 10 p.m., with repeat broadcasts on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 5 a.m., and on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 2 a.m. The French-speaking RDS Canadian network will broadcast the race on Saturday, Sept. 11. Check local listing for the RDS time. ESPN International will televise the Vancouver race on Sunday, Sept. 12, at 10 p.m. All times are Eastern. Canadian broadcaster CTV SportsNet is airing the race on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. in all local markets.
NEXT ATLANTIC RACE: Round 11 of the 12-race 1999 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship will be held Saturday, Sept. 11, at Laguna Seca Raceway, in Monterey, Calif.