Lynx Racing drivers Buddy Rice and Mike Conte are looking for the lightning at Vancouver -- that special combination of skill, equipment, teamwork and luck that lights the way to victory lane in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic support race at the Molson...
Lynx Racing drivers Buddy Rice and Mike Conte are looking for the lightning at Vancouver -- that special combination of skill, equipment, teamwork and luck that lights the way to victory lane in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic support race at the Molson Indy Vancouver, September 4 - 5. Skill, equipment and teamwork are qualities constantly on hand at Lynx, the most unique combination of championship-winning race team and driver development program in auto racing today, as demonstrated by the fact that Lynx drivers won this race in 1996 (Patrick Carpentier) and 1997 (Memo Gidley). Luck however -- for Lynx and every team -- is the least reliable participant in the equation. Rice, currently fourth in the championship points battle, has run at or near the front in most of the nine races so far in the 1999 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic season, and scored three podium finishes in a row... that's the skill, equipment and teamwork part. His last-lap DNF at Mid-Ohio while leading the race... well, that's the luck part -- that and the inexplicable, unpredictable failure of a brand-new alternator. In this event last year, he qualified 7th, tangled with another car on the opening lap, pitted for repairs, re-joined the race at the back of the field and slashed his way back up to fifth in a brilliant drive overshadowed by the late-race drama of the top three cars all crashing simultaneously in the same turn. Rice's 1998 teammate, Memo Gidley, was running fourth at the time and didn't hit, but found himself blocked by the wreckage. He too re-joined at the back of the field and worked his way back up to 7th. "Luck and lightning are funny things; once you've been hit, you're more likely to get hit again," says Rice. "You need luck in a race, but you can't count on it or wait for it. Sometimes you have to make your own, and it takes a great team like Lynx to do it. Last year here was definitely the weirdest race of the season, and this year could be interesting, but we're prepared, we're pumped and we're ready to win." Rice's 1999 Lynx teammate, Mike Conte, who drove for another team in 1998, had an interesting race as well, moving up from his 20th qualifying position to finish 10th in an attrition-filled race. "Vancouver is a track where anything can happen, and usually does," says Conte. "It was one of my best races last season, and we gained the most places of any car in the race. It's one of those races where you really need to qualify as well as possible and move up as quickly as you can because they typically run a lot of yellow flag laps. Of course, it's the need to do these things quickly that produces the yellow flags, so it's kind of a Catch-22 situation. You need a good car here, and a good qualifying run, then you need equal measures of skill and luck." Conte, in addition to his Atlantic racing, also competes in the American Le Mans Series with a GT-class Porsche where he scored a podium finish in the 12 Hours of Sebring earlier this year.
Friday, September 3 9:35 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. Atlantic practice 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Atlantic preliminary qualifying
Saturday, September 4 8:00 a.m. - 8:40 a.m. Atlantic practice 11:55 a.m. - 12:25 p.m. Atlantic final qualifying
Sunday, September 5 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. Atlantic warm-up 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Atlantic race / 38 laps
Television Schedule (ESPN2 - all times Eastern):
Sunday, Sept. 12 10:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. First broadcast Tuesday, Sept. 14 5:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. Repeat broadcast Wednesday, Sept. 15 2:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. Repeat broadcast