Simona De Silvestro and her Team Stargate Worlds teammate Frankie Muniz entered this weekend's race, Round ...
Simona De Silvestro and her Team Stargate Worlds teammate Frankie Muniz entered this weekend's race, Round #5 of the 2009 Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship Powered By Mazda season, at Lime Rock Park with visions of a pair of successful finishes and incident free racing. For one driver it was a perfect weekend and for the other it was tainted by bad luck. But not all was lost. At the end of the weekend the strength, resolve and talent of the team was tested and left unscathed.
After leading the practice session on Friday and topping that off with the race pole position, Team Stargate Worlds driver, and current Championship points leader, De Silvestro took the start and rocketed into first place and never looked back. Her only challenger at the beginning of the race was Borja Garcia whom was passed by the eventual second place finisher John Edwards. Edwards would not get the chance to challenge De Silvestro as she executed every race lap in stellar form and never relented in her charge. De Silvestro took the checkered flag with an impressive lead of 10.004 seconds. The youngster from Thun, Switzerland capped off a perfect weekend with this win and extends her Championship points lead by seventeen points heading to the next round at Autobahn Grand Prix.
While De Silvestro had an incident free race the same couldn't be said about her teammate. After a qualifying session that was marred by traffic and his subsequent inability to get in a fast lap, the third year racer returned on Saturday looking to rebound from his bout with bad luck only to get another dose on the opening lap. Going into the turn-4 turn at the start of the race, Muniz and fellow Atlantic racer Matt Lee got together. The collision forced Muniz and his #77 entry to limp back into the pits. The Team Stargate Worlds crew sprang into action and quickly replaced the front wing, but Muniz's fate was sealed and he reentered the track 3 laps down. Maintaining his composure, Muniz drove the rest of the race hoping to preserve a top-10 finish. Muniz crossed the start/finish line in the tenth spot and kept his top-10 race finish streak alive.
Frankie Muniz, Driver No. 77 - "The weekend was a little bit of a disappointment. We showed a lot of promise during our practice sessions when we finished in fifth but had a setback during our qualifying session. During the race, on the very first lap, Matt Lee and I got into it at turn-4 and that put me back three laps. After that though we began running very fast race laps so the speed was there all along unfortunately we were already three laps behind. I'm taking the weekend as a very valuable racing experience. Credit to the the team for getting me back on the track and we'll regroup for our next race and move on from here. A big thank you to everyone from the sponsors, the team and our fans. Congrats to Simona for her win."
Simona De Silvestro, Driver No. 78 - "It was a great weekend especially with taking the pole position in the rain, which gave us the advantage of starting the race from the front. Burke, my engineer, and the Team Stargate Worlds crew gave me a very fast car for the race. It was exciting taking the lead and stretching it throughout the race. It was a great win and allows me to go to our next race this upcoming weekend with a seventeen point lead and hopefully we can extend it by a bigger margin. Many thanks to our fans, the team, and our sponsors for their continuing support."
Imran Safiulla and Shane Seneviratne, Principals Of Team Stargate Worlds- "We are proud of the drivers and the progress they continue to display. Simona had a great win and we are delighted that she still retains the points lead and we are equally proud of Frankie who, despite the disappointment of the first lap incident, still showed his talents and made the best of a bad situation. The whole Team Stargate Worlds crew met all of the expectations and we're looking forward to our next race."