Laguna Seca: Dorricott Racing race report

Luis Diaz finishes sixth at Laguna Seca; Kyle Krisiloff overcomes early obstacles for seventh place. MONTEREY, Calif. (June 15, 2003) - - What started as a disappointing weekend turned into one with pretty good results for Dorricott Racing at...

Luis Diaz finishes sixth at Laguna Seca; Kyle Krisiloff overcomes early obstacles for seventh place.

MONTEREY, Calif. (June 15, 2003) - - What started as a disappointing weekend turned into one with pretty good results for Dorricott Racing at the Mazda Raceway Laguna in round four of the 12-race Toyota Atlantic Championship on Saturday, June 14.

Dorricott Racing's Luis Diaz and Kyle Krisiloff improved their starting positions in Saturday morning's final qualifying by Diaz moving to seventh on the grid while Krisiloff sneaked into 10th. When the 30-lap race was complete, Dorricott Racing's driver duo finished the race and kept within the championship hunt.

The race start was amicable as polesitter and eventual race winner A.J. Allmendinger cleanly led the field through the first five turns of the 11-corner, 2.238-mile circuit. However, mid-pack chaos soon followed. Joey Hand was running in fourth place at the time but placed a wheel off-track while exiting turn five. His car spun across the track before it struck rear-first against a tire barrier. The car then ricocheted across the track and off course. Everyone falling Hand had to dodge flying and scattered debris. During the melee, rookie Danica Patrick rode over the right rear wheel of Bryan Sellers, who was essentially stopped on course. The nose of Patrick's car went airborne before crashing against an outside tire barrier. Meanwhile, Canadian Stephan C. Roy suffered a damaged suspension on his car but continued to pit lane. Nobody was injured but Patrick and Roy were done for the day. Sellers lasted to lap 22 before a mechanical failure ended his race.

Krisiloff took an outside line on the race start and passed three cars before he exited turn three. His U.S. Grand Prix Formula One Swift was running fast and tight before it had to drive through the middle of the crash albeit avoiding contact with other cars. What he couldn't evade was a sliver of debris left by Hand's car. Krisiloff drove over a chassis part and punctured his left rear tire. He returned to pit lane under a yellow flag for a tire change that was adeptly handled by his crew. He returned in ninth place but had the time to overtake two cars before the checkered flag and finish in seventh place.

"I missed the wreck so that moved me up a couple of positions, but we cut a tire on some debris so I also had to pit," said Krisiloff. "The tire that replaced my left rear tire had about a hundred miles on it so the car had trouble turning in certain directions. We got the car better but it went away late in the race. If we could have run our good laps for the entire race we probably had a top-five car. We missed a bit on the set-up but overall it was a good day because we finished the race and made it through what turned out to be a tough weekend."

Diaz, who finished sixth in the Telmex Swift, essentially ran uncontested most of the race. He improved from seventh at the start to sixth place after the crash and held his position the entire race. Nobody could catch him but he also had fallen far enough behind while maneuvering through the crash that he couldn't make up the lost ground. He also cited a concern that his motor was somewhat under powered exiting corners.

"When Joey Hand lost his car and hit the wall, I was thinking how could I slow down and miss hitting anything or anybody," reflected Diaz after the race. "I hoped everybody behind me saw the crash and wouldn't hit the rear of my car so I tried to take an inside line. I was fortunate to miss parts of Hand's car that were on the track. Otherwise, it was a clean race. My engine was a question mark. I couldn't seem to get the same power out of certain corners that the fastest cars had. We weren't that far off in the set-up. It's time to learn what we can from this race and prepare for Portland."

Allmendinger collected 23 total points for the weekend to improve his series lead to 11 points over his next closest challenger, Jonathon Macri, 67-56. Krisiloff, however, improved to 32 points and seventh place. Diaz moved to eighth place in the TAC with 30 points.

Speed Channel will provide a delayed telecast of the Toyota Atlantic Championship at Laguna Seca on Monday, June 16, 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT). Encore telecasts are scheduled for Saturday, June 21, at 8:00 p.m. ET (5:00 p.m. PT) and Sunday, June 22, at 1:00 a.m. ET (10:00 p.m. PT).

Detailed race results, team, and sponsor information are available on Dorricott Racing's official web site, www.dorricottracing.com.

Round five of the 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship will be this Saturday, June 21, at Portland International Raceway in Portland, Ore.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Joey Hand , Stephan C. Roy , Kyle Krisiloff , Luis Diaz , A.J. Allmendinger , Bryan Sellers , Danica Patrick