Montreal: Lynx race notes

A new oair of Canadian hotshoes. Fast Facts -- Part 3: Race Results -- Lynx Racing drivers Michael Valiante and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin qualify 2nd and 13th, finish 4th and 12th in Saturday's Toyota Atlantic race at the Molson Indy ...

A new oair of Canadian hotshoes.

Fast Facts -- Part 3: Race Results -- Lynx Racing drivers Michael Valiante and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin qualify 2nd and 13th, finish 4th and 12th in Saturday's Toyota Atlantic race at the Molson Indy Montreal

Lynx Racing drivers Michael Valiante, 23, of Vancouver, B.C. and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, 24, of Trois-Rivières, Quebec qualified 2nd and 13th for today's CART Toyota Atlantic race at the Molson Indy Montreal, and finished 4th and 12th in an extremely close and competitive event. After the first attempt to start the race was waved off, the field took the green on the second pass with Valiante slotting into second place. Two laps later, 3rd-place qualifier Ryan Dalziel slipped past to drop Valiante to third. On the re-start after a full-course yellow, Aaron Justus was able to get past Valiante, dropping him to 4th, where he finished. He has won twice so far this season, and finished in the top four six times. His results this weekend are sufficient to move him from 4th to 3rd in the championship points battle, but have also mathematically eliminated him from any possibility of winning the championship in the remaining two races. Valiante has 124 points, while 2nd-place driver Ryan Dalziel has 146 and points leader and Montreal winner A.J. Allmendinger has 172 points. In Atlantic, 20 points are awarded for a win.

"We had a great-handling race car, but we just didn't have the speed off the corners," says Valiante, who has already signed a deal to drive Champ Cars for Walker Racing next season. "We were faster than anyone into the turns and carried more speed across the apex, but they just had so much more horsepower than us that they literally jumped ahead of us on the exit of every turn. Under those conditions, the intelligent thing to do was bring the car home and score as many points as possible and move up in the championship, which is what we did. Hopefully the tight street course layout of the next race will minimize their horsepower advantage and allow us to fight for the win."

Dumoulin meanwhile, in just his second-ever Atlantic race, gave a good account of himself to finish just outside the top-10. With little testing and a limited budget, the 2002 Canadian Formula Ford champion impressed the Lynx team with his steady progress, technical feedback and overall team spirit.

"This is an intensely competitive series full of great drivers, and I kind of feel like I jumped in the deep end of the pool," says Dumoulin. "But the Lynx team has been great, and I have learned as much in these two races with the team as in a full season with any other team. I hope to be back full-time with them in 2004, and the team and my sponsors are working together to make that happen. I'd like to thank everyone who helped give me this great opportunity, and Michael Valiante for being a generous teammate."

Next week's Centrix Financial Grand Prix of Denver will be the penultimate race of the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship, with on-track action taking place on all three days of the event. Qualifying will run on Friday and Saturday with the 37-lap event on the downtown street course taking place Sunday morning. The final race of the 12-event CART Toyota Atlantic series will take place at the Miami Grand Prix Americas on September 28th.

-lynx-

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Michael Valiante , A.J. Allmendinger , Louis-Philippe Dumoulin