Alex Figge Earns First Toyota Atlantic Championship Victory at Monterrey Grand Prix MONTERREY, Mexico (May 23, 2003) -- Alex Figge dominated Round 2 of the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama at the Monterrey Grand Prix Sunday, ...
Alex Figge Earns First Toyota Atlantic Championship Victory at Monterrey Grand Prix
MONTERREY, Mexico (May 23, 2003) -- Alex Figge dominated Round 2 of the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama at the Monterrey Grand Prix Sunday, earning his first career Toyota Atlantic victory. Figge (No. 69 Pacific Coast Motorsports), who started sixth, avoided a first-lap tangle in turn one, led every lap and beat Rocky Moran, Jr. by 2.050 seconds. Danica Patrick, Ronnie Bremer (No. 10 Port-A-Cool) and Jonathan Bomarito (No. 8 Dixien/Omnisource) completed the top five.
"We had a pretty rough start and I got banged around a little bit," said Figge. "We had a little bit of damage, but my engineer did an awesome job. Rocky did put a little pressure on me and I had to dig a little deeper at the end, but we held on at the finish."
"This is a great place," said Moran, driver of the No. 9 Healthcare Privileges car. "We put something together in the warm up. The start was pretty crazy. Smoke was everywhere. From then on out, it was just Figge for the rest of the race. We tried to keep the pressure on early on. I think we got a little bit of a run on him. We had an awesome race. It was a good battle."
Patrick recovered from damage suffered in the first-lap accident and made up seven positions to finish third, recording her third career podium. Patrick moves to second in points, six markers behind championship leader Ryan Dalziel, who finished eighth after spinning off course on the first lap. Bremer is third in the championship chase.
"I am still not sure what happened on the start," said Patrick, who pitted just after the incident to replace the nose on her No. 24 Argent Mortgage Company mount. "I just think everyone underestimated the grip level on the outside and they just went off. This is a slippery track.
"So much of racing is confidence and being assertive," added Patrick. "I had to yell at myself a few times, but I was simply determined to make up for what we had lost. We have worked too hard this weekend to let a solid result slip away. I feel that first win coming. We are making progress, but we just aren't there yet. Everyone has been working so hard and I know it is only a matter of time until we win."
The race ran in 49 minutes, 58.717 seconds at an average speed of 80.828 miles per hour. The race was slowed twice by the caution flag for six laps. The race will air on a tape-delayed basis on SPEED, Sunday, May 30 at 1 p.m. EDT.
The next race for the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama is scheduled for Saturday, June 5 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis.
* Danica Patrick (No. 24 Argent Mortgage Company) continued a dominant tradition for Team Rahal by earning her third-career and second Monterrey podium finish here during Sunday's Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama race. Team Rahal has never finished out of the top five in four years of competition here. Kenny Brack was fifth in the Champ Car World Series race in 2001, while Michel Jourdain finished fourth and second in the 2002 and 2003 Champ Car races, respectively. Patrick finished third last year, as well as this year.
* Patrick equaled her best qualifying position of third during second-round qualifying on Saturday. Patrick's previous best qualifying position was a fourth last year at Trois-Rivières.
* Ryan Dalziel (No. 28 Pro-Works) won his fourth career pole Saturday, tying him for 41st on the all-time pole list with active driver and 2002 champion Jon Fogarty (No. 96 Pacific Coast Motorsports), as well as 2001 titleholder Hoover Orsi, and several other notable veterans of Toyota Atlantic competition. It was also Dalziel's second-straight pole, as he was the fast qualifier in Round 1 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
* Jonathan Bomarito (No. 8 Dixien/Omnisource) suffered terrible luck in Saturday's first-round qualifying session. At the start of the session, the car was diagnosed with gearbox problems and crew spent much of the session fixing it. Then, once Bomarito got on course late in the session, his luck only got worse.
"We got the problems fixed on pit road and I finally got on track," said Bomarito, who was sixth fastest in second-round practice today. "Then, as I was going around, I noticed one of the wheels was loose. We never got a chance at a good lap, but we're hopeful for today."
Bomarito won the Formula Ford Zetec championship last year.
* Beginning with this weekend's race, Ronnie Bremer's No. 10 Port-A-Cool car was adorned with a silver-and-blue livery. He also switched his car number to No. 10 after running the No. 12 in Long Beach. Bremer finished fourth Sunday.
"Silver and Blue were my colors last season," said Bremer, who ran in the British Formula 3 Championship the last two seasons, finishing sixth in the series in 2003. "(Team owner) John (Brooks) was amenable to changing the team colors to accommodate my lucky colors. We're also using my old number 10 for the rest of the year."
* Jon Fogarty (No. 96 Pacific Coast Motorsports) celebrated his 29th birthday Sunday.