Michael Valiante wins at Long Beach

Michael Valiante won the Formula Atlantic race at the Grand Prix of Long Beach with a great move to pass Alex Gurney after a mid-race restart in a crash-filled event. Once by Gurney, Valiante pulled away in the Lynx Racing Swift to a 2.812...

Michael Valiante won the Formula Atlantic race at the Grand Prix of Long Beach with a great move to pass Alex Gurney after a mid-race restart in a crash-filled event. Once by Gurney, Valiante pulled away in the Lynx Racing Swift to a 2.812 -second victory. Gurney held of a late challenge from his Dorricott Racing teammate, Jon Fogarty to finish second.

The race got of to a spectacular start with a turn 1 pile-up. Fourth-starting Jon Fogarty got away quickly, getting a run on the front row starters Joey Hand and Ryan Hunter-Reay. As they approached turn 1 three-across, Hunter-Reay, on the outside, turned in and contacted Hand, then slid into the tire barrier. The other drivers stopped, completely blocking the track, and Ryan Dalziel's Swift launched over the rear tire of Luis Diaz. Gurney slipped through to take the lead, followed by Valiente and all the other cars were restarted and sent on their way, except for Dalziel's, which suffered rear suspension damage from its flight. Hunter-Reay lost a lap while his car was extricated from the tires, and Diaz required multiple pit stops to have his rear wing replaced. Frank Dancs' car had a broken front wing, which folded under his front suspension before the restart and ended his race.

After a long yellow-flag period to clean up debris from the crash, the race restarted with Gurney leading Valiente, Fogarty, Roger Yasukawa and Grant Ryley. Behind these leaders, Hand and Rocky Moran Jr. were having a battle for sixth place that ended on lap 10 when Hand slid unassisted into the tires outside of turn 1. After a caution period to remove Hand's machine, the race restarted with the leaders in the same order.

On lap 16, Victor Gonzalez Jr. became the next victim of the turn 1 tire wall and at nearly the same time Alex Figge's car turned abruptly left into the wall on the straight between turns 7 and 8, due to a suspension failure. Gonzalez continued after his car was freed from the tires but a final caution period was required to remove Figge's Swift.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Alex Gurney , Ryan Dalziel , Jon Fogarty , Michael Valiante , Joey Hand , Rocky Moran Jr. , Luis Diaz , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Roger Yasukawa , Victor Gonzalez Jr. , Alex Figge , Frank Dancs