Luis Diaz Wins Provisional Pole At Monterrey Alex Gurney On Outside Pole MONTERREY, Mexico (March 8) - - Dorricott Racing's Luis Diaz, of Mexico City, captured the provisional pole for Saturday's opening round of the 12-race Toyota Atlantic ...
Luis Diaz Wins Provisional Pole At Monterrey
Alex Gurney On Outside Pole
MONTERREY, Mexico (March 8) - - Dorricott Racing's Luis Diaz, of Mexico City, captured the provisional pole for Saturday's opening round of the 12-race Toyota Atlantic Championship at Monterrey, Mexico. Diaz cruised through the 12-turn, 2.104-mile Fundidora Park road course in a track record time of 1:28.568 (85.521 mph).
It was Diaz's first pole position in a major racing series. He last started a race from the pole in the 1999 Indy Lights Panamerican Championship at Mexico City. Diaz also won that race. Because of new qualifying regulations from CART, Diaz earned one bonus point for his efforts and is quaranteed a front row start.
"I'm dedicating this first pole position to our team owner Bob Dorricott," said Diaz. "He's not here this weekend but without him I wouldn't be here either. Dorricott Racing is the edge I'd been seeking in my career. Bob Dorricott has provided me with a competitive car, professional crew, and other great drivers like Alex Gurney."
Teammate Alex Gurney, of Newport Beach, Calif., was Diaz's closest challenger and earned the provisional outside pole with a time of 1:28.771 (85.325 mph). Gurney had been in the hunt for the pole the entire session but Diaz was able to take the most advantage of his cleanest lap.
"First, I have to congratulate Luis on winning the pole," said Gurney. "He certainly earned it. I wanted it badly but he's been too quick all week. The good news is Dorricott Racing is on the front row, at least for now. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if that stands."
Jon Fogarty, of Portola Valley, Calif., entered qualifying with arguably the fastest car among the Dorricott stable, but mechanical gremlins bit him for a second time on Friday. Fogarty's practice session was hampered by a broken gearbox with a little less than 10 minutes remaining in the practice. The gearbox was replaced between sessions but the problem resurfaced soon after Fogarty had broken into the top-three qualifiers near the mid-qualifying point. He was forced to retire for the day and ended seventh place overall at 1:29.194 (84.921 mph).
"The gearbox broke again," said Fogarty. "It appears to be the same problem we had in practice. I don't know exactly what happened. We'll have to study the data, but I do know it happened in the same place. Otherwise, the car was running well. I wasn't able to take advantage of fresh ties. I needed a little more grip but it could have been worse. Let's just leave it with it wasn't a good session for the most part."
A forty-minute final qualifying session is scheduled to begin on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. (CT). The 32 lap/67.2 mile opening round of the 2002 Toyota Atlantic Championship is set to drop the green flag at 3:00 p.m. (CT). It is the featured support race to the CART FedEx Championship Series Tecate Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix the following day.
Speed Channel will provide a same-day delayed telecast of the Monterrey Toyota Atlantic Championship race from 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. PT), Saturday, March 9.
Dorricott Racing is a year-round professional motorsports organization with its race shop located in Bakersfield, Calif.