Lee's First Visit to Mont-Tremblant Ends With Solid Top-10 Finish In Sunday's Atlantic Action MONT TREMBLANT, Quebec, July 1 - Matt Lee of Syosset, N.Y., who at 17 is one of the youngest drivers in the Champ Car Atlantic Series, duplicated his...
Lee's First Visit to Mont-Tremblant Ends With Solid Top-10 Finish In Sunday's Atlantic Action
MONT TREMBLANT, Quebec, July 1 - Matt Lee of Syosset, N.Y., who at 17 is one of the youngest drivers in the Champ Car Atlantic Series, duplicated his best series results to date on Sunday when he finished tenth in his first visit to Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant here.
Lee, who also finished tenth in the season opener in Long Beach, Calif., started 12th but was 11th by the end of lap one. He vaulted to ninth on lap three when Carl Skerlong fell back and Junior Strous fell out, right after a quick caution due to Tom Sutherland going off course behind him.
Lee ran in ninth place for 10 laps of the 34-lap race, which marked the series' first visit to this 2.621-mile road course since 1976. Lee was pushed back to tenth when J.R. Hildebrand, who started 13th, got around Lee's Conquest Racing/Integrated Structures No. 44 on lap 13.
Hildebrand was able to walk away from him, so from then on Lee concentrated on keeping David Garza at bay, successfully holding him off lap after lap. Garza had started right beside Lee in 11th place. On the very last lap Garza fell back to give 11th to John Edwards, who finished 2.642 seconds behind Lee in the 24-car field, but Lee's top-10 finish was already in the books.
"The track was really cool; it was fast and crazy," Lee said afterwards. "I qualified 12th in the second qualifying session; there was some rain and I only had about two flying laps or I think I would have qualified about sixth.
"I didn't have any incidents in the race," he continued. "There were some problems at the start but I stayed clear of it. I had a good start and a good restart, and then I was pretty much in my own pack the rest of the race."
Franck Perera led the whole race, winning easily from the pole over Raphael Matos and James Hinchcliffe.
Lee's fastest lap was his 24th of the 34-lap race when he was timed in 1:27.934 for an average speed of 107.303 miles per hour. His qualifying time was a 1:27.533 (107.795 mph).
This race marked the start of the series' Canadian swing. The next event is coming right up next weekend at Canadian National Exhibition Place in Toronto. A doubleheader at City Centre Airport in Edmonton, Alberta on July 21-22 follows before the series is back in the States July 29 for a street race in San Jose, Calif. The season finale is Aug. 12 at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Sunday's race will be shown on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. ET this Friday, July 6, but before that the Cleveland race will be shown on the same network on Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET.