Joey Hand ...
Joey Hand #27 DSTP Motorsports Toyota Swift 014.a
The mechanical gremlins that have plagued the DSTP Motorsports team for much of the season so far, showed up again during opening qualifying at the 2.709-mile Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Despite the problems, Joey Hand was still able to turn the sixth fastest time on Friday with a lap of 1:34.231 seconds (103.495 mph).
The opening of afternoon qualifying began with a 20-minute practice session where Hand discovered a problem with the steering of the DSTP Swift 014.a. Shortly after taking the green flag, Hand pitted and the DSTP crew went to work to discover the problem. The investigation and repairs sidelined Hand for the remainder of the practice, the 10-minute break, and for 18 of the 30-minutes allotted for qualifying. Although the problem with the steering could not be fixed in the pits, it was not critical and Hand finished out the final 12 minutes of qualifying as best he could.
The DSTP team will dig in and fix the problem overnight hoping to be ready to run for the pole tomorrow which is currently held my Michael Valiante. The final qualifying session begins early on Saturday morning 8:45 a.m. EST. and will be followed by the 27-lap race at 3:15 p.m. EST.
Hand on Friday Qualifying:
"We had a problem with the steering early in the session. We took the steering shaft out and found out that it was OK and put it back in. We discovered something was broken and had to just run the session as is. It was very tough to drive like that because the steering wheel was moving from side to side. We just had to take what we could get and make sure we were in the show in case in rains or something like that tomorrow morning. We'll work on it tonight and see what we can do in qualifying tomorrow."
Through DSTP Motorsports, Dede Rogers has established herself as a true believer in promoting talented young American drivers into professional racing. Formed in 1994, DSTP first campaigned a team in the Dodge Shelby Pro Series before moving into the U.S. F2000 National Championship in 1995. Such notable drivers as Memo Gidley, Alex Barron, Sam Hornish, Jr. and Jerry Nadeau competed in cars fielded by DSTP before Buddy Rice swept to the Atlantic title during DSTP Motorsports first season in the series in 2000.