Crazy weather combines with bad timing to foil Diaz And Krisiloff at Portland PORTLAND, Ore. (June 22, 2003) - - Deciding whether the race track was totally dry following a pre-race rain shower became the biggest decision Dorricott Racing faced...
Crazy weather combines with bad timing to foil Diaz And Krisiloff at Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. (June 22, 2003) - - Deciding whether the race track was totally dry following a pre-race rain shower became the biggest decision Dorricott Racing faced in running Round Five of the 12-race Toyota Atlantic Championship on Saturday, June 21, at Portland International Raceway. When the checkered flag waved, Luis Diaz and Kyle Krisiloff were unfortunately on the short end of the finish and the unpredictable weather of the Pacific Northwest.
Saturday morning was highlighted by final qualifying. Diaz improved two positions from provisional qualifying to fourth from sixth. Krisiloff, who provisionally qualified 10th, ended up starting 12th on the grid.
The Dorricott quandary was shared among many teams. A heavy rain storm pummeled the track less than one hour from the scheduled race start. Questions prevailed as to the suitability of the circuit with "dry" tires. Nearly one half of the 15-car field lined up in the pre-grid with "rain tires." The other half decided it would prepare for a dry track using racing "slicks." Atlantic officials officially announced a "dry start" minutes before the actual race start. Dorricott Racing decided to stick with rain tires for the race start. Series leader A.J. Allmendinger concurred with the Dorricott decision.
As the race began its parade lap, it became clear to Diaz, Krisiloff, and Allmendinger that they needed to change to "slicks." Allmendinger and Krisiloff pitted during the parade lap for a four-tire change before rejoining the back of the field. Diaz came in during the pace lap for a four-tire change.
The first lap of the 35-lap race met a "yellow" flag for improper field alignment. This gave Diaz time to catch the field before the race went "green" on lap two. Polesitter Ryan Dalziel led into the first set of corners. However, light contact between Jonathan Macri and Alex Figge put both cars into spins. The field scattered wide to avoid contact. Allmendinger miraculously escaped the carnage and improved to fourth. Krisiloff also made it through he crash scene and improved nearly six positions.
Krisiloff was advancing to the front before a wet spot on the backstretch caught his tires while braking. He was able to recover after briefly spinning off course but the U.S. Grand Prix Formula One Swift was essentially out of podium contention. Krisiloff finished 12th place.
Diaz, who had to start from the rear due to the tire change, chased the field in the Telmex Swift with laps that were third fastest. Skillful driving helped him regain positions and finish ninth place. Dalziel won the race flag-to-flag in defeating race runner-up Joey Hand by 14.420-seconds.
Allmendinger leads the Atlantic Championship over Dalziel, 79-73. Diaz dropped to ninth place with 37 points. Krisiloff is 10th with 36 points.
Round six of the 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship will be Saturday, July 5, at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio.