Montreal: Dorricott Racing preview

Dorricott Racing looking to Montreal for an encore all-podium performance. MONTREAL, Que., Canada (Aug. 22, 2002) - There is only one way Dorricott Racing's Jon Fogarty, Alex Gurney, and Luis Diaz can better a near perfect performance and ...

Dorricott Racing looking to Montreal for an encore all-podium performance.

MONTREAL, Que., Canada (Aug. 22, 2002) - There is only one way Dorricott Racing's Jon Fogarty, Alex Gurney, and Luis Diaz can better a near perfect performance and All-Dorricott podium last Sunday at Road America. It is to do it again but this time at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal in round 11 of the 12-race Toyota Atlantic Championship.

The 27-lap (74.16 mile) Atlantic sprint around the 13-turn, 2.747-mile world-class road course is the featured support event at the Molson Indy Montreal and is scheduled to drop the green flag at 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Aug. 24. It will mark the 21st time since 1978 the Atlantic series has competed in Montreal.

In what has become a near grudge match between Dorricott Racing and Canadian opponent and series leader Michael Valiante, Dorricott Racing makes it first career Atlantic visit to Montreal heavily underestimated in what it could achieve. Simply stated but not readily accepted by opponents, Dorricott Racing could leave Montreal leading the Toyota Atlantic Championship.

With two races remaining including Montreal, Fogarty has closed the gap on Valiante to 14 points, 136-122. Third and fourth place belong to Gurney and Diaz with 106 and 104 points, respectively. Furthermore, Fogarty continues to lead in his secondary Atlantic quest for Atlantic Rookie of the Year honors over Diaz and fifth place Ryan Hunter-Reay (102 points).

Fogarty, of Portola Valley, Calif., has posted eight top-five finishes including his second place finish at Road America. Excluding three bonus points that are up for grabs this weekend, Fogarty must finish fourth or higher to guarantee himself a shot at a Championship face-off with Valiante in the season finale through the streets of Denver. Much will depend on whom wins the two points for pole and provisional pole along with bonus point for leading the most laps on race day.

Narrow vision suggests that Dorricott Racing will be disadvantaged at Montreal due to no prior team familiarity with the track other than two previous Gurney appearances. Valiante's team, Lynx Racing, has been dominant at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve the past two years taking poles and wins with Canadian driver, David Rutledge. Valiante was runner-up last year to Rutledge running a very close second in his first race at the track.

However, Valiante has only qualified well in one event in 2002 when he won the pole at Trois-Rivieres. Dorricott Racing, meanwhile, has ruled Atlantic qualifying by capturing five of 10 pole positions. Diaz earned poles at Monterrey, Mexico, and Portland, while Fogarty led qualifying at Chicago, Toronto, and last weekend at Road America.

Fogarty has started nine of 10 races in the first two rows. Outside poles at Portland and Cleveland were complemented by second row grid spots at Monterrey, Long Beach, Laguna Seca, and Trois-Rivieres (4th). His worst starting position has been sixth at Milwaukee.

Moreover, Fogarty's powerful showing at Road America offers support that his Atlantic stretch drive is all "upside." When considering his Atlantic track record pole at Road America, qualifying fourth at Laguna Seca in round four, and finishing third place at Portland in round five, Fogarty is a proven product on permanent road courses. Besides seeking to win the Atlantic Championship in his rookie Atlantic season, he is also attempting to become the first driver to win the season opening race (Monterrey, Mexico) and continue to win a Championship since Mark Dismore did it in 1990.

Diaz, of Mexico City, comes to Montreal for his first time as the "hot ticket" in Atlantic Racing. His overwhelming display of skill and speed at Road America in winning his second event of the year re-established him as an Atlantic title contender. His first Atlantic win also came on a permanent road course at Portland where he won flag-to-flag. Diaz's third place finish at Cleveland in round eight began his late-season championship rally.

Gurney, of Newport Beach, Calif., isn't exactly "cool" either. After starting his Behr/Castrol Swift 014a on the outside pole at Trois-Rivieres in round nine, he finished second place with a masterful performance and equally strong car. Gurney then qualified fourth at Road America and finished third place.

He is the only Dorricott driver to have ever raced at Montreal. In 1999, Gurney started 11th and finished fifth place. He followed this up in 2000 with starting and finishing in seventh place.

Gurney has been a consistent high qualifier and finisher all season. He was fifth place in his first Canadian visit of this season at Toronto. He finished second place at Long Beach, and has qualified seven times in the first two rows as well as being a leading contender in nearly every race. Gurney earned championship bonus points at Toronto and Trois-Rivieres for winning the provisional poles, and has started in row two in five races.

Dorricott Racing's top-three finish at Road America was a new record for Atlantic and CART-sanctioned programs. It is the first time in CART history that a CART-sanctioned team has earned two all-podium finishes in a CART-sanctioned event. Dorricott Racing also captured the top-three spots at St. Louis in the 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship.

In regard to the Toyota Atlantic Championship, Road America marked the first time in the series 29-year history that an Atlantic team has finished a race first, second, and third place.

Speed Channel will broadcast Saturday's Round 11 race from Montreal LIVE on Saturday, August 24, at 3:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. PT).

Dorricott Racing is a year-round professional motorsports organization with its race shop located in Bakersfield, Calif. Detailed race results, team, and sponsor information are available on Dorricott Racing's official web site: www.dorricottracing.com.

-dr-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Alex Gurney , Mark Dismore , Jon Fogarty , Michael Valiante , David Rutledge , Luis Diaz , Gilles Villeneuve , Ryan Hunter-Reay