Hunt Secures Second Top 10 Finish Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt secured his second top ten finish in as many rounds of the Toyota Atlantic Championship overnight steering his Wright Patten Shakespeare supported entry to 10th in Monterrey, ...
Hunt Secures Second Top 10 Finish
Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt secured his second top ten finish in as many rounds of the Toyota Atlantic Championship overnight steering his Wright Patten Shakespeare supported entry to 10th in Monterrey, Mexico.
After qualifying eighth 19-year-old Hunt made steady progress towards the front of the pack in the early laps to be holding down fifth within a handful of laps.
"There was a bit of a disturbance at the start that I was able to steer clear of and make up a couple of spots," said Hunt.
"After the safety car came out to retrieve a couple of the cars I was able to get into a rhythm to put in some very quick laps and be a serious contender."
While on route for a certain top five finish Hunt ran over a particularly high section of curbing on the track while engaged in a battle for fourth position. This knocked his rear anti-sway bar into the 'full hard' position and caused him to spin in the next turn.
"I got caught out wide but didn't feel any huge bump or grind until I went to turn into the next corner," said Hunt.
"The car was understeering a little so to have the anti-sway bar get knocked completely the opposite way to where it needed to be unsettled the car enormously."
When he returned to the circuit Hunt had dropped to 12th spot.
After resetting his anti-sway bar Hunt put his head down and set about regaining the lost positions to climb back inside the top 10.
At the end of the 32-lap journey Hunt had elevated himself back inside the top 10 crossing the line 10th.
Such was the pace that Hunt had shown during the event that he had set the fastest lap of the race only being toppled from the top of the timesheets in the final few laps.
"It was really the one that got away as we had the pace to be on the podium here today," said Hunt.
"The pleasing aspect is the fact that my confidence is good. I know we have the pace on board and can be confident of matching it with the front runners throughout the next few rounds."
Hunt is the first Australian to compete in the Toyota Atlantic Series since fellow Queenslander David Besnard in 1999 and has received major support from Wright Patten Shakespeare Financial Group, which is owned by Gold Coast Business man Craig Gore and Champ Car World Series Co-Owner and Aussie Kevin Kalkhoven.
Run in conjunction with the Champ Car World Series this is the 31st year of competition for the Toyota Atlantic Championship and is regarded as the premier training ground for the future stars of the sport.
Toyota Atlantic cars are 'spec' race cars, placing a premium on driver skill and team preparation. The 1260-pound, single seat race cars are powered by 1.6-litre, 250 horsepower Toyota engines.
The next round of the Championship will be held at Milwaukee on June 5.
The Toyota Atlantic race at the Tecate Telmex Grand Prix in Monterrey, Mexico was the second of 12 rounds in the Championship. All 12 scheduled races this year will be run in conjunction with Champ Car World Series events on tracks that include road courses and ovals, as well as street and airport circuits. All Atlantic races will be run in the NAFTA market, with eight events in the US, three in Canada, and one in Mexico.