Lynx Racing Trois Rivieres preview

Going For Four At Trois Rivieres Canadian driver David Rutledge has won three races from the pole with Lynx Racing so far this season, and he'll be going for four at this weekend's Grand Prix du Trois Rivieres. He won the season-opener at ...

Going For Four At Trois Rivieres

Canadian driver David Rutledge has won three races from the pole with Lynx Racing so far this season, and he'll be going for four at this weekend's Grand Prix du Trois Rivieres. He won the season-opener at Long Beach, repeated his 2000 win from the pole at Montreal, and dominated through the streets of Toronto.

"Trois Rivieres is the very heart of Atlantic racing, and I'm glad to be back here with a team capable of winning the race," says Rutledge, 23, of Vancouver, B.C. "This is a highly technical race track that provides a major challenge for both drivers and engineers. And every hot young Canadian driver will be here this weekend, so if you do well in this race, you know you've achieved something."

Rutledge will be joined on the grid by rookie Michael Valiante, his Atlantic teammate and fellow Canadian. Valiante's record so far this season is quite impressive, with a 4th-place finish in his first-ever Atlantic race at Long Beach, and a front-row start and second-place finish at Montreal. His Toronto race was derailed when he was punted off course while challenging for third, but he managed to keep going and, even with a badly damaged car, finished 7th.

"I haven't raced here before, but I've studied the track so much through videos of past races that I can see it in my sleep," says Valiante, also of Vancouver, who will be driving the #95 Lynx Racing / Italian Motors / Newlife Development / Copart Auto Auctions Swift 008.a. "It's generally quite a handicap not to have raced at a track before, but the Lynx team has given me such consistently excellent cars that I'm confident I can contribute to David's battle for the Atlantic championship."

Lynx Racing's history at this track includes a pair of victories from the pole in 1996 with Patrick Carpentier, now driving for Player's/Forsythe in CART. In 1998, Memo Gidley, now driving for Target Chip Ganassi, started and finished fourth. And in 1999, Buddy Rice, now under contract to Team Rahal, was leading the race when he slid wide in a turn and contacted the barrier.

Rutledge was on the way to a podium finish in this event last year when a braking problem forced him to go down the escape road and by the time he got turned around and back on track he finished 13th. This will be Valiante's first race at Trois Rivieres.

On-track activities begin on Friday, August 3, at 9:40 am with an Atlantic practice session. Final qualifying takes place at 1:00 pm on Saturday, August 4, with the 45 lap / 68.43 mile Atlantic race scheduled to take the green flag at 1:40 pm Sunday, August 5.

2001 marks the 11th anniversary of Lynx Racing, one of the most unique organizations in auto racing today. Created and owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx is both a championship-winning racing team and a uniquely successful driver development program that focuses on a driver's mental, psychological and spiritual in addition to their on-track skills.

The Lynx mission is to seek out young drivers with the desire and potential to become champions at the highest levels of the sport and provide them with the funding, equipment and training to take the last step toward realizing that potential, a process the team calls 'Destiny by Design.' Lynx alumni include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley.

On-track activities for both the CART Toyota Atlantic and Barber Dodge Pro Series begin with a test day on Thursday, July 26. The 45-minute BDPS race takes the green flag at 3:15 pm on Saturday, July 28, while the 65-lap Atlantic race is scheduled to start at 12 noon on Sunday, July 29.

The Atlantic race will air on ESPN2 Saturday, August 4 at 5:30 pm EST. The Barber Dodge Pro Series event broadcast on ESPN2 is at 5:30 pm EST, Monday, August 20.

For more information about the CART Toyota Atlantic series, visit www.ToyotaAtlantic.com, and the Barber Dodge Pro Series web site is located at www.BarberDodge.com

David Rutledge has a personal sponsorship from The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, a group of 82 casual, contemporary steakhouses spanning from Victoria across to Halifax in Canada, and into the United States in Washington, Oregon and Texas. Further information can be found at www.kegsteakhouse.com.

- www.LynxRacing.com.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Memo Gidley , Patrick Carpentier , Michael Valiante , David Rutledge , Alex Barron , Buddy Rice , Chip Ganassi