Stellar victory for Bessette in hometown Molson Indy Montreal, August 27th. -- Antoine Bessette will go down in the record book as the last winner in the Toyota Atlantic 32-year running championship. And like a few famous French Canadian like...
Stellar victory for Bessette in hometown
Molson Indy Montreal, August 27th. -- Antoine Bessette will go down in the record book as the last winner in the Toyota Atlantic 32-year running championship. And like a few famous French Canadian like Jacques Villeneuve Sr and Jr, Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani, the 23 year-old Quebec native won in front of friends, family and home crowd. Starting from third, Bessette took advantage of mistakes from pole sitter David Martinez and Tonis Kasemets to take the lead on the third lap and nurse a few second lead until the checkered flag. He finishes the season tied for points with teammate Katherine Legge in third place, but will go down as fourth as the Brit lady earned one more victory.
"It will take a while to sink in, cheered AB as he got out of the car. I knew I had a very good car and was hoping for rain. But in the end, the track was drying quickly and the lead came to me very early. David braked too early at the end of the back straight and I just drove inside of him. Than it was Tonis' turn to slip in a water puddle under one of the bridges and go wide: again it was easy passing. I took the lead and was very careful in passing the back markers. Winning an Atlantic race in my hometown has to be the highlight in my career and a big boost before we start looking into 2006."
The writing was on the wall
In the press conference after the second qualifying session, AB said: "I don't mind starting from behind and making my way through the field. With David and Tonis in front of me, I will see how they behave on the track and try to make the best of any error they make. I like to peak on Sunday!"
After the race, he added:"Even if the morning warm-up was on a wet track, it gave me a lot of confidence because I was ahead of the pack by a full second. My car was perfect and I knew I was capable of winning. Getting on top on third lap was nerve wrecking because I had to manage 22 laps in front and pass slow cars with Tonis on my tail. That trophy will have a very special place at home."
Looking to 2006
The ultimate North American ladder series for the last 20 years, the Toyota Atlantic Championship is now history. Antoine Bessette will now consider opportunities for the coming season. "We're considering many possibilities for Antoine, said his father and manager Clement. And the new Atlantic package is one of them. In retrospect, Polestar Racing Group did an outstanding job and the #3 UNIK Auto Design was always competitive, with Antoine second in most laps completed this season. For the last event, we thank the efforts of new supporters like Gouin-Leblanc Accountants and Courtage Lessard. Count on AB to be in a competitive single seater in 2006."