Markus Niemela receives 2009 Villeneuve award

Markus Niemelä received the Gilles Villeneuve Award 2008 Atlantic Champion Markus Niemelä crossed the finish line third in the last event of the Cooper Tires presents the Atlantic series Powered by Mazda season. 3rd place is the second podium...

Markus Niemelä received the Gilles Villeneuve Award

2008 Atlantic Champion Markus Niemelä crossed the finish line third in the last event of the Cooper Tires presents the Atlantic series Powered by Mazda season. 3rd place is the second podium for Jensen Motorsport Team in the Atlantic Series. Niemelä, who started fourth, was later penalized two positions due to an incident with Simona De Silvestro in the first lap.

Markus Niemelä: "Simona tried to pass me in the first lap going into Corkscrew chicane, we went side by side through the first part of the corner and I ran off the track in the exit. When I came back on track our cars touched and she hit the wall. This is very unfortunate as Simona was fighting for the title and my apologies for her and the Stargate team. Nevertheless I will not take the whole blame of the incident. We were both driving aggressively and this time it just didn't pay off and this is part of racing."

In the Price Giving Banquet Niemelä received a significant American motorsports award -The Gilles Villeneuve Award, named after the legendary Canadian Formula One star and 1976 Toyota Atlantic Champion, is traditionally awarded to the driver in the series who posses extraordinary ability, star quality and who has distinguished himself through sportsmanship, dedication and perseverance in the face of disappointment.

John Edwards was crowned as the 2009 Atlantic Champion ahead of Jonathan Summerton and Simona De Silvestro. Niemelä dropped down from 5th to 6th in overall points due to time penalty that followed the incident with De Silvestro in the opening lap of the last race.

-credit: mnr

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Gilles Villeneuve , John Edwards , Markus Niemela