Monterey: Dorricott Racing preview

Dorricott Racing returns to its home track at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. MONTEREY, Calif. (June 6, 2002) - Dorricott Racing's championship momentum is growing but with each race comes new challenges and round four of 12-race Toyota Atlantic...

Dorricott Racing returns to its home track at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

MONTEREY, Calif. (June 6, 2002) - Dorricott Racing's championship momentum is growing but with each race comes new challenges and round four of 12-race Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Saturday, June 8, won't likely be an exception.

The 30 lap/67.140 mile Atlantic sprint around the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course will be the 26th running of an Atlantic race at Laguna Seca since 1976. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 3:30 p.m. (PT), and is the featured support race in the CART FedEx Championship Grand Prix of Monterey, featuring the Shell 300, to be run on Sunday.

Dorricott Racing's preface for Laguna Seca is simple. Its driver trio of Jon Fogarty, Alex Gurney, and Luis Diaz are first, fourth, and sixth place, respectively, in the Toyota Atlantic Championship. The weekend's objectives are to continue a championship direction as a team, and leave the famed Monterey circuit leading the series while improving in all positions.

Fogarty, of Portola Valley, Calif., personally calls the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca his home track. Years of countless hours of testing and training at Laguna Seca paid handsome dividends last season when he finished second place in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship race.

Fogarty opened 2002 with a victory at Monterrey, Mexico. He then piloted the Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Swift 014.a Atlantic car to its second consecutive podium with third place at Long Beach in round two. Fogarty's solid fifth place showing at Milwaukee last weekend improved his lead in the Toyota Atlantic Championship to five points over Canadian Michael Valiante, 46-41.

Gurney, of Newport Beach, Calif., made up ground at Milwaukee with a fourth place finish last weekend. Combined with his second round runner-up finish at Long Beach in the Behr-Castrol Swift 014.a., Gurney is tied with Roger Yasukawa for fourth place in the Atlantic championship with 29 points. His last Atlantic race at Laguna Seca was in 2000 and produced a sixth place finish.

Diaz, of Mexico City, had a tough weekend at Milwaukee where he finished ninth place but is looking forward to returning to a track where he finished third place last year in Indy Lights. Diaz impressively started 2002 by winning the pole at Monterrey in a blistering track record time of 1:27.089 (86.973 mph) around the 12-turn, 2.104-mile Fundidora Park. It was his first career pole position in a major international racing series.

Long Beach proved tougher when he was caught in an opening lap crash in turn one. Diaz, who started sixth, attempted to avoid contact by driving a cautious line into turn one. Unfortunately, he was struck from the side, spun, and then was literally struck on his helmet by the tires of Scottish driver Ryan Danziel's car when it went airborne after being struck by Jonathon Macri.

Diaz was uninjured but required two separate pit stops during the caution period to replace a severely damaged rear wing. He fell to 23rd by lap nine before powering past 13 cars in his Telmex Swift 014.a to finish 10th place. Despite ill-fortune, Diaz is in the thick of the Atlantic title bout with 26 points and sixth place.

Laguna Seca was also the home race track for beloved team owner, Bob Dorricott. Dorricott passed away Friday, April 26, at his family home in Los Altos Hills, Calif., of cancer. He was 65. Besides being one of most respected names in North American formula-style, open-wheel racing, Dorricott was directly responsible for his team winning two Dayton Indy Lights Championships in 1999 and 2001, and Indy Lights runner-up honors in 2000.

Speed Channel will provide a same day delayed telecast of the Toyota Atlantic Championship from the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at 10:00 p.m. ET (7:00 p.m. PT), Saturday, June 8.

Dorricott Racing is a year-round professional motorsports organization with its race shop located in Bakersfield, Calif. Detailed race results, team, and sponsor information are available on Dorricott Racing's official web site, www.dorricottracing.com.

-dr-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Alex Gurney , Jon Fogarty , Michael Valiante , Luis Diaz , Roger Yasukawa