The Same River Twice "All things are in motion and nothing is at rest... You cannot go into the same river twice." - Greek philosopher Heraclitus / 499 B.C. - The Race - Lynx Racing drivers ...
The Same River Twice
"All things are in motion and nothing is at rest... You cannot go
into the same river twice."
- Greek philosopher Heraclitus / 499 B.C. -
The Race - Lynx Racing drivers Bryan Sellers and Josh Hunt qualify 2nd and 8th, and finish 12th and 10th, respectively, in Sunday's Toyota Atlantic support race at the Tecate Telemex Grand Prix of Monterrey.
OK, so apparently the old saying is true; you can't step into the same river twice. Lynx Racing tried, and very nearly succeeded this weekend in Monterrey, Mexico - a race the team won last year with Canadian driver Michael Valiante.
It was one of those wild races that typically happen at least a couple of times during the course of a season; starting alongside pole-sitter and points leader Scotsman Ryan Dalziel (a 3-year Atlantic veteran who has raced at this track several times), Lynx Racing's American rising star, Bryan Sellers (in only his 5th Atlantic race and his first visit to this track), was rammed into first by Dalziel, and then by 4th-place qualifier Andrew Ranger. Dalziel spun off and collected 5th-place qualifier Jon Fogarty, and Ranger left the race with a broken left rear suspension. Dalziel, despite a second spin several laps later, was able to continue and finish the race.
In the midst of all this, Sellers did the driving job of a lifetime to keep the car on track and pointed - more or less - in the direction he wanted to go. His car, however, was sufficiently damaged that he had to come into the pits on the next lap to change a broken front wing. Unable to complete the repair in time, the team sent Sellers out without a nose on his car for one lap to make sure he didn't go a lap down on the field, and then brought him in again to complete the repairs.
His car once again functioning adequately - with a few irreplaceable bits here and there knocked askew, the handling was a bit problematic to say the least - Sellers showed the form that has made him one of the hottest young open wheel drivers in the world today and slashed his way from last place back up through the field and into 4th place. In the process of trying to pass the 3rd-place car, driven by Danish F3 star Ronnie Bremer, Sellers was hit in the right rear by Bremer as part of a series of blocking moves that, if not blatantly illegal were at least highly questionable. This contact further damaged Sellers' car and required another visit to the pits. Sellers re-joined the race two laps down with just a few laps left until the finish, and was ultimately credited with 12th place.
The race was won by series veteran Alex Figge (his first-ever Atlantic victory), followed by Rocky Moran Jr. in 2nd and the lone female driver in the series, Danica Patrick, in 3rd.
"It was probably both the worst and best race of my career so far," said the 21 year-old from Centerville, Ohio who won the 2002 Formula Ford Zetec championship with 7 poles and 8 victories. "We were fast enough to win the race, but what happened in the first turn ruined all that. So, I went with that old saying, 'If you can't win, put on a show.' I think, despite the ultimate result, that we proved pretty conclusively Lynx Racing will be a force to be reckoned with throughout the season. My only regret is my decision to try and pass Bremer, given the tactics he was using to keep me behind him. It was the correct decision at the time, but the way it worked out, it would have been better for me to cruise around in 4th and just finish. Ah, well, that's racing. The season is young and we'll get 'em in two weeks at Milwaukee."
Sellers' teammate, Josh Hunt, a 19 year-old karting champion who has lived and raced in Europe, had an equally promising - if somewhat less exciting - race. In only his second-ever Atlantic race, he survived the first-turn carnage and moved up to 5th, running laps as fast as the leaders. In the process of Sellers' charge back up through the field, Hunt moved over a few inches to let his teammate by and in the process was forced to run over a particularly high section of curbing on the track. This knocked his rear anti-sway bar into the 'full hard' position and caused him to spin in the next turn. Keeping the car away from the walls, Hunt gathered himself up, got his #15 Lynx Racing / Wright Patton Shakespeare / Atkinson Gore Group Swift 014.a turned back around and drove the rest of the race flawlessly to finish 10th.
"I was having a pretty good race until that little incident, but you live and learn, and I got a textbook's worth of education this weekend," said Hunt, a native of Australia's Gold Coast who is working toward making his Champ Car debut with the PKV Racing team of fellow Aussie Kevin Kalkhoven (the co-owner of the Champ Car World Series) at the Lexmark Indy 300 this October. "I kept ahead of Bryan for a couple of laps, but I could see that he was a man on a mission and was a bit faster than me, so I decided to let him have a go at it. Looking back, I might have chosen a better place to let him by, and hopefully pretty soon I won't have to let him by at all. He and I work together quite well, and a few races down the road, once I get to the point of being as consistently quick as he is, it should be interesting for us and tough for the competition."
With the team's results in Monterrey, Sellers is currently in 8th-place in the championship with 34 points, and Hunt is 12th with 24. Ryan Dalziel, who won the Atlantic season-opener in Long Beach, held on to finish 8th and collected enough points to retain the championship lead with 52 points as the series heads to the Milwaukee Mile oval in two weeks. The Atlantic series awards 31 points to the winner, and there are 10 races left in the 2004 season, so the championship is still wide open.
The race will be televised on the Speed Channel on Sunday, May 30 at 1:00 pm Eastern time. A schedule of re-broadcasts of the race can be found at www.speedtv.com.
Monterrey is the second of 12 races on the 2004 Atlantic schedule, which also includes eight races in the U.S. and three in Canada. The next event on the Atlantic schedule is on the Milwaukee Mile oval, June 3 - 5.