Hunt on The Pace in Montreal Queensland driver Josh Hunt was one of the pace setters aboard his Wright Patton Shakespeare supported entry during opening practice for round eleven of the Toyota Atlantic Championship in Montreal Canada ...
Hunt on The Pace in Montreal
Queensland driver Josh Hunt was one of the pace setters aboard his Wright Patton Shakespeare supported entry during opening practice for round eleven of the Toyota Atlantic Championship in Montreal Canada yesterday.
In his first outing on the 2.709 mile (4.3344 km) Gilles Villeneuve circuit 19-year-old Hunt showed signs of his true talent climbing up the order to be on top of the time sheets mid session.
After rain had dampened the circuit prior to the session the track continually dried throughout the session. As Hunt pitted to change for slicks near the end of the session but a red flag halted his chance of a flying lap and he finished the session sixth.
"Despite the wet conditions I felt right at home in the car and I wasn't pushing too hard, so to show such good times is great," said Hunt.
"Now the aim is to transform this pace into a dry set so we can be just as competitive in drier conditions.
In the drier afternoon qualifying session Hunt was unable to maintain the pace that he had shown in the practice session and was 10th fastest at the end of the session.
"We missed the set in the afternoon which was a bit disappointing considering our pace during practice," said Hunt.
"On the positive side we know where we can improve the car and look forward to moving up the order during tomorrow's final qualifying session.
"The circuit itself is a very enjoyable but also challenging one, very fast and smooth, it is a real drivers track, just like Road America where I recorded my best result of the year last month."
Hunt will compete in a further practice and qualifying session tomorrow before the 25-lap race on the 2.709 mile (4.3344 km) Gilles Villeneuve circuit at 10:45am on Sunday.
The time in Montreal is 14 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time.
Hunt is the first Australian to compete in the Toyota Atlantic Series since fellow Queenslander David Besnard in 1999 and has received major support from Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group, which is owned by Gold Coast businessman Craig Gore, and Champ Car World Series Co-Owner and Aussie Kevin Kalkhoven.
All Toyota Atlantic cars are manufactured by Swift Engineering and powered by a 1600cc Toyota engine 240 horsepower producing speeds in excess of 160 mph (260 kmh) while using a 15-inch diameter lightweight aluminium wheels mounted with Yokohama tyres.
Run in conjunction with the tenth round of the Champ Car World Series, this is the 31st year of competition for the Toyota Atlantic Championship and is regarded as the premier training ground for the future stars of the sport.
The Toyota Atlantic race at Montreal is the eleventh of 12 rounds in the Championship. All 12 scheduled races this year will be run in conjunction with Champ Car World Series events on tracks that include road courses and ovals, as well as street and airport circuits with eight rounds in America, one in Mexico and three in Canada.