Tonis Kasemets Cleveland recap, Toronto preview

Kasemets' Cleveland Thoughts; Toronto Hopes July 1, 2005 -- Mundelein, IL / Indianapolis, IN USA -- In auto racing, 'hype' is a good thing. Living up to it, is another. Estonian born racer, Tonis Kasemets, lives for it. It's everything ...

Kasemets' Cleveland Thoughts; Toronto Hopes

July 1, 2005 -- Mundelein, IL / Indianapolis, IN USA -- In auto racing, 'hype' is a good thing. Living up to it, is another. Estonian born racer, Tonis Kasemets, lives for it. It's everything he's dreamed of, immigrating to the USA between the years of 1992 and 1994. Mundelein, Illinois has been his home for 11 years. And during those years, he has been patient; waiting for this moment when his star would shine. The 'if onlys' are behind him. Kasemets has the right car. The right crew. Finally, the right people surrounding him, including the hardest part to cultivate: the sponsors. Not quite banking a lifestyle many equate to Formula car racing yet, but that's one thing to continue working towards. Until then, he needs results. Tonis has poured his heart and soul into every minute he's earned, on every outing. Rounds 2 through 6 have proven; this kid IS the 'Total Package'. Smart driving skills, natural talent, engineering savvy, personality and a wicked sense of humor. His #1 trait: Perseverance. Nothing gets in his way. As he often says, "No excuses."

Going into rounds 5 and 6 at Cleveland, Kasemets is finally living his American dream with the TAC points lead as well; since round 2 at Monterrey, the #6 Flexovit Abrasive Products/MK Industries/TMI/Red Line Oil Swift .014.a of Dan Cobb Racing/Team Tonis, has qualified 4th or better and has been on the podium nonstop. "When you are hot, you are hot." "Magical." "On a roll." "Unstoppable." Just some of the headlines Tonis has grabbed, especially after the twin wins at Portland (PIR) in rounds 3 and 4, his first TAC career 1st place finish topped with another win the next day. And his first career TAC career pole for PIR race 2, where he was off like a rocket from the start and no one came close to touching him throughout the entire 35 laps.

Next stop was the second double within one week: the TAC Grand Prix of Cleveland, rounds 5 and 6. A fan and driver favorite on the annual TAC presented by Yokohama circuit, this year, race 2 of the weekend was a new addition; 10 exciting turns on the 2.106-mile temporary road course at Burke Lakefront Airport.

Tonis visits the podium for the fourth consecutive time; in Race 1 at Cleveland, he finishes 2nd. He takes a 4th place finish in Race 2 after qualifying on pole for the second time, another first of his TAC career-2 poles in one week. He's now second in TAC points with 162, trailing Charles Zwolsman who leads with 169. Third is Antoine Bessette with 137 points.

Overall this season is going extremely well, as Tonis explains: "I had good feelings coming from Portland but I knew it would be hard to repeat that. I'm very happy with the Pole and finishing 2nd and 4th place at Cleveland. Things didn't go bad, they went okay. I'm personally quite happy with the result. Team did a fantastic job because of driver error in warm-up (for race 2). We tried something in the car. couldn't get a good read on it, so I erred. Only 2 hours to fix the car before the race, so everybody involved, including me, had to work fast. I couldn't relax myself before the race, as all rushed-up trying to do a car-fix. I finally got myself back into rhythm again at about roughly ten laps in. At the time, I'd made two mistakes. Luckily they were small ones and you get back in the groove. They almost felt like a slap in the face. But I got back rhythm although I fell to 7th place. The leaders had quite a lead but I was able to match (Charles) Zwolsman's lead times. I was able to match his speeds, so I pulled back to 4th from 7th in the end."

About Toronto, the next stop of the Toyota Atlantic Championship trail: "Obviously between Cleveland and the next event, there's a lot of work on the car. We used it up quite a lot, rough on it mechanically. So I'm fixing the car and refreshing my brain after the double-double.

I'm looking forward to the Canadian races. All the guys are talking about Canada and the nightlife. Obviously, if we have our brains screwed on straight, we'll have a good Toronto and Edmonton.

I must say thank you again to all of our sponsors for sticking with me for the first half of the season and now for the next half. And thanks to the people who have helped me behind the scenes, as we call them, 'Secret People'. And thanks everybody for checking into my website and for watching Portland and Cleveland races. I hope to make more 'news' in Toronto!"

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Antoine Bessette , Charles Zwolsman , Tonis Kasemets , Dan Cobb