Another Top Five for Wickens in Mont-Tremblant Atlantic MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec -- Sunday, July 01, 2007 -- The rolling 2.621-mile Mont-Tremblant road course in the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal is historic, beautiful and challenging...
Another Top Five for Wickens in Mont-Tremblant Atlantic
MONT-TREMBLANT, Quebec -- Sunday, July 01, 2007 -- The rolling 2.621-mile Mont-Tremblant road course in the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal is historic, beautiful and challenging but passing proved difficult today for the large grid of up-and-coming contenders in Round Seven of the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic Championship.
18-year old Toronto native Robert Wickens (#3 Red Bull/INDECK Cooper/Mazda-Cosworth/Swift) saw his hard-earned second row starting spot evaporate when the standing-start lights went out as a momentary engine bog saw two competitors move ahead of the Red Bull Junior Team standout. Circulating in sixth place following a train of cars for most of the race, on the final lap Wickens aggressively carved out an opportunity to move up as two cars immediately ahead of him battled for position with just a few corners remaining. As the cars ahead lost momentum, the affable Canadian high school student found an opening to squeeze past Giacomo Ricci and come across the finish line in fifth place, his sixth top-five finish in seven events.
16-year old John Edwards of Little Rock, Arkansas started in 15th spot after gambling on a wet setup in rapidly drying conditions during Saturday's qualifying and then lost a position at the start of the race and fell to 16th. But the youngest driver in the Atlantic field kept his composure and began chipping away at cars ahead, moving to 14th by the fourth lap. On Lap 31 he claimed 13th spot and passed two more cars on the final lap, ending up with a hard-earned 11th as the checkered flag waved.
"I kind of blew it at the start. I got a good initial jump but released the clutch a little too quickly and the engine bogged down for a second. It was just enough for Hinch (James Hinchcliffe) and Giacomo (Ricci) to get around me and that was it. I had a lot of understeer every time I got close behind somebody so there was no way I could pass unless somebody made a big mistake. Luckily there at the end Giacomo had some kind of problem and I was able to follow Hinchcliffe past him and get some decent points. Now we're headed to my home town of Toronto so I'm looking forward to a big weekend there!"
"I lost a spot at the start, but I was quite a bit quicker than the car in front of me. Every time I'd get close the front end would just push out so it was hard to pass, and then twice I was alongside on the back straight but hit the rev limiter just as I was about to pass so we could have used a higher top gear. We were a little unlucky with the rain in qualifying yesterday but we've found some things with the car that made the rear a lot more compliant so I'm looking forward to Toronto!"
The Champ Car Mont-Tremblant Atlantic race can be seen on espn2 on Thursday, July 6th at 6pm ET (check local listings). Up next is the Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto, July 6-8.