FACT SHEET THE CART TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP Round 5, Grand Prix Air Canada June 16 - 18, 2000, Montreal, Quebec (Canada) Round 5 of the 12-event CART Toyota Atlantic Championship will be held on the 2.747 mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in...
THE CART TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP
Round 5, Grand Prix Air Canada
June 16 - 18, 2000, Montreal, Quebec (Canada)
Round 5 of the 12-event CART Toyota Atlantic Championship will be held on the 2.747 mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec. Saturday's race will mark the 20th time since 1978 the Atlantic series has competed in Montreal. The CART-sanctioned Toyota Atlantic Championship is a key rung on CART's "Ladder System" and is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into CART competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from the Atlantic series are CART Champ Car stars Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Richie Hearn, Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani, former Champ Car stars Bobby Rahal and Danny Sullivan, as well as 1997 FIA Formula One Champion, Jacques Villeneuve.
Friday, June 14: Practice 8:20 a.m. - 9:20 a.m. Qualifying 2:50 p.m. - 3:35 p.m. Saturday, June 15: RACE 4:20 p.m. - (27 laps/ 74.16 miles) DSTP Racing's Buddy Rice still maintains a 10-point lead over PPI Motorsports' rookie Dan Wheldon, following the season-opening double-header at Homestead, Florida, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the Miller Lite 255 at the Milwaukee Mile. Rice started on the pole for the first of the two Homestead races, but it was Wheldon who took the victory in the opener, his first ever Atlantic competition. In the second race, Wheldon started on the pole but Rice earned the win.
Wheldon captured the pole for Round 3 at Long Beach, and repeated the performance two weeks ago in Milwaukee, setting a new track qualifying record of 25.150 seconds on the 1.032 mile oval track. But it was Michael Shank Racing's rookie Martin Basso, of Argentina, who scored the win, his first ever victory on his first ever oval. Basso, who qualified second, assumed the lead for good on lap 36 of the 60-lap race when frontrunners Rice and Wheldon made contact exiting of turn four. PPI Motorsports Andrew Bordin, of Woodbridge, Ontario, finished in second place, 3.036 seconds behind Basso, while Hylton Motorsports Hoover Orsi, of Brazil, was third.
Rice, who earned a bonus point for leading the most race laps, maintains his championship lead with 61 points. Wheldon is 10 points behind with 51, while Andrew Bordin is third with 50 points. Basso earned 20 championship points for the win and is now seventh in the points standings.
Canadians will represent eight of the 29 drivers scheduled to compete at Montreal including two drivers in the top-10 points standings. Canadian drivers entered are led by Andrew Bordin of Woodbridge, Ontario (3rd in points), David Rutledge of West Vancouver, B.C.(4th in points), Christophe Beauvais of Montreal, Quebec (16th), Kuno II Wittmer (18th), Stephan C. Roy of Trois Rivieres, Quebec (19th), Bruno St-Jacques of Boucherville, Quebec (21st), Cam Binder of Calgary, Alberta (24th) and Eric Jensen of Toronto, Ontario (28th).
Previous race winners at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve are Jeff Wood (1978), Howdy Holmes (1979), Jacques Villeneuve (1980), Kevin Cogan (1981), Tim Coconis (1982), Roberto Moreno (1983), Scott Goodyear (1986), Scott Harrington (1988), Scott Goodyear (1989), JO Cunningham (1990), Jimmy Vasser (1991), Chris Smith (1992), Jacques Villeneuve (1993), Richie Hearn (1994), David Empringham (1995), Patrick Carpentier (1996), Bertrand Godin (1997), Lee Bentham (1998) and Alexandre Tagliani (1999)
Alexandre Tagliani of Lachenaie, Quebec led wire to wire, staving off intense closing lap pressure from Buddy Rice to win the race. Tagliani led all 27 laps but was nearly passed by Rice on the final time around. Anthony Lazarro finished third and extended his championship lead.
ESPN2 will carry the Montreal race on Saturday, June 24 at 14:30. ET and repeated on Saturday, July 1 at 04:00 ET. Canada's East region and Ontario viewers can watch all the action on CTV SportsNet on Monday, June 26 at 19:00 local time, while those in the Pacific and West can tune in on Tuesday, June 27 at 19:00 and 20:00 respectively. French language RDS will air the Montreal race in Canada on Saturday, June 17 at 11:30 a.m ET.
The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship continues with Round 6 on Sunday, July 2, at the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland.