Franck Perera survived a rain-drenched race around the treacherous streets of Toronto for his second consecutive win in Canada. Perera is the first non-American or Canadian to win on this street course since the inception of this race on the ...
Franck Perera survived a rain-drenched race around the treacherous streets of Toronto for his second consecutive win in Canada. Perera is the first non-American or Canadian to win on this street course since the inception of this race on the Atlantic series calendar in 1991.
"It was a tough race, because we didn't drive in the rain (before) and the track was really slippery," Perera commented. "I was really careful, because it's a very dangerous track here. There are many spots and it's different every corner, so it's really difficult."
There was a slight downpour as the lights went out, with Mike Forest the first to meet the barriers. Several other cars were involved in what was the first of many accidents on the day. The rain only intensified from that point and under a red flag for the multi-car incident, the remainder of the field changed to rain tires. Jonathan Bomarito took the lead, briefly, before he too fell victim to the conditions crashing out at turn six.
Perera's teammate at Condor Motorsports, Dutchman Junior Strous, moved into the lead on the restart. Perera retook the position on the same lap and led from there without much of a challenge. From laps 7-11 the conditions were at their worst and cars fell off the road left and right. J.R. Hildebrand crashed out, and the full course caution was displayed when Simona De Silvestro made contact with the wall on the final turn.
Under that yellow flag period, Adrian Carrio wiped out at turn three with the accident also involving Carl Skerlong, Matt Lee and Adrien Herberts. The latter two were also in a contretemps at Cleveland that resulted in Herberts flipping out of the race in spectacular fashion.
The carnage wasn't done. Toronto native James Hinchcliffe's race ended when the Safety Car headed for the pits from from the prior incident. Kevin Lacroix rammed into the back of Hinchcliffe, ending the popular Canadian's race.
"Well we were running under caution and Kevin decided to come in a little hot," Hinch said. "I was catching up to the pace car and all of a sudden I got nailed in the back and he bounced off me and took out Junior Strous too. It was a bit of a rookie mistake but that's racing - what can you do!"
With Perera all but gone and using his European expertise to master the awful conditions, second was left to the Red Bull Forsythe teammates, John Edwards and Robert Wickens to battle amongst themselves. Wickens got around Edwards twice but neither time held the position.
Mercifully the race ended after an hour and five minutes, Perera one of few drivers to keep his car on the road as his win advanced him to 2nd in the standings. Sixteen-year-old Edwards posted his best result in 2nd ahead of points leader Raphael Matos, driving a controlled race. Giacomo Ricci and Ryan Lewis completed the top five; actor-turned-racer Frankie Muniz scored his first top ten in 9th place.
Following three races in three weeks, the Atlantic series has a week off before a double-header at Edmonton, races 10 and 11 of the 12-round championship.