Still third in the championship Bessette : two strong fifth places Long Beach, April 10th. -- Antoine Bessette gave everything he had at the helm of the ...
Still third in the championship
Bessette : two strong fifth places
Long Beach, April 10th. -- Antoine Bessette gave everything he had at the helm of the #3 UNIK Auto Design and came away with two strong fifth places in both rounds of the Toyota Formula Atlantic championship in Portland, Oregon this weekend. He earned valuable points towards the championship even if he had to deal with trouble with competitors with contacts in both races. Nevertheless, he flies out of Portland holding third place in the standings.
"I don't know what happens when I passed another car, said Bessette after Sunday's race, but I seem to get my share of trouble. Yesterday, in the first race, I was third when I came up to a back marker who was two laps down. When I got by him (Glover), he just pushed me in the grass: I had to drive around the bend, lost considerable time and two positions. Today. I got behind Charles (Zwolsman) who had a damaged car. It took many laps to get by him and, after I did, he hit me in the rear tire. I lost positions and the cars in front got away. There were no caution flags and I just motored to the end. With the disqualification of a competitor, I was awarded fifth again. I know it's hard to pass in this series, slow and fast cars, but I just hope they don't hit me in the process! But I'm still happy with my position in the championship. I just want to focus on Cleveland from now on."
Dealing with understeering
In the qualifying session, Antoine had to fight with delicate handling. "I would have liked to start inside the two first rows, he adds. You can get a better start and stay among the leaders. But I like the way I passed for positions this weekend, around ten times in total.
Saturday, Antoine started from seventh place and second place was in sight when his mishap with a slower car occurred. That took him down to 9th place, but he reeled in a few cars and ended in fifth at the checkered flag.
Sunday, he started from fifth and the contact with Zwolsman sent him back to ninth. "I went back to work and passed Dyson, Unser and Charles again to regain fifth place but way too far to close the gap on Katherine (Legge). I know I can race with the fastest as long as we stay clean."
Third in the championship
Bessette holds on to third place with 96 points behind Kasemets (109) and Zwolsman (103). Polestar Racing Group will travel across America to Cleveland, Ohio for another double header next weekend.
Next rounds of the 32nd season of the Toyota Formula Atlantic will take place next week at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, a 2,106 mile 8-turn temporary facility. Antoine Bessette will drive the Polestar Racing Group #3 UNIK Auto Design car.
You may visit Antoine Bessette's web site at www.bessetteracing.com and the series at www.toyotaatlantic.com .