FACT SHEET PLAYER'S CHALLENGE FOR THE KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP MOLSON INDY TORONTO - July 17-19, 1998 The Event The second of four Player's Challenge events held in Canada, and Round 7of the 13-event KOOL/Toyota Atlantic...
PLAYER'S CHALLENGE FOR THE KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP
MOLSON INDY TORONTO - July 17-19, 1998
The Event The second of four Player's Challenge events held in Canada, and Round 7of the 13-event KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, held at the 1.721-mile temporary circuit at Exhibition Place, as part of the Molson Indy Toronto weekend.
Schedule Friday, July 17: Practice 8:45 a.m.-9:15 a.m.
Qualifying 1:45 p.m.-2:15 p.m.
Saturday, July 18: Qualifying 12 p.m.-12:30 p.m.
RACE 3 p.m.
42 laps, 72.282 miles
The Series The $1.34 million KOOL /Toyota Atlantic Championship is the richest open-wheel development series in North America, noted for its long history of graduating its stars directly into CART competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from the Atlantic series are CART stars Michael Andretti, Bobby Rahal,
Danny Sullivan, Jimmy Vasser, Richie Hearn, Patrick Carpentier and Alex Barron, as well as 1997 FIA Formula One Champion, Jacques Villeneuve.
Points Despite finishing out of the points at the last two races, Lynx Racing's Memo Gidley continues to lead the drivers' championship with 76 points. Gidley's teammate Buddy Rice has moved into a second-place tie with Woodbridge's Andrew Bordin, driving for B.D.J.S. - Millennium Data Systems, at 70 points. Lee Bentham of Richmond Hill is fourth with 69 points while Player's-Forsythe teammate Alex Tagliani of Lachenaie, Que., is fifth with 55.
Player's Lee Bentham leads the Player's Challenge championship following his Challenge victory in Montreal in the opening round of the four-event Player's Challenge "championship within a championship" for Canadian-based Atlantic races. Bentham's 21 points and victory at Montreal has put him into the Player's Challenge lead after one round. Tagliani is second in this championship with 17 points. Rice is third with 14, D&L Racing's Matt Sielsky is fourth with 12, and Bordin is fifth with 11.
Local Kenny Wilden's surprising victory at Cleveland moved the Burlington, Ont., Drivers driver into eighth in the overall points with 38. Wilden is one of several Atlantic drivers from the Toronto area. Andrew Bordin, tied for second in the points, is from Woodbridge. Bentham, fourth in the points, is from Richmond Hill, and Rob MacDonald is from Keswick. Other Canadian drivers scheduled to compete in Toronto are Alex Tagliani from Lachenaie, Que., Luc Lesage from Trois-Rivieres, Que., Cam Binder of Calgary, Alta., Stephane Roy of Saint-Sauveur, Que., and David Rutledge from West Vancouver, B.C.
Last Year Lynx Racing's Memo Gidley started sixth in the 1997 version of the Player's Challenge race at the Molson Indy Toronto, but worked his way into contention early, then passed Alex Tagliani on lap 26 of the 35-lap race and held on to win by 2.404 seconds. Tagliani finished second with Case Montgomery, running for Binder Racing, finishing third.
The KOOL /Toyota Atlantic Championship has run at the Molson Indy Toronto every year since 1990. Previous winners were Freddy Rhemrev (1990), Stuart Crow (1991), David Empringham (1992), Claude Bourbonnais (1993), Richie Hearn (1994), David Empringham (1995), Patrick Carpentier (1996), and Memo Gidley (1997).
Track Qualifying: Patrick Carpentier, Ralt RT-41, July - 1996
1:06.886/96.020 mph, Lynx Racing
Race lap: Case Montgomery, Ralt RT-41, July - 1996
1:07.372/95.327 mph, Sandy Dells Racing
Television ESPN2 and ESPN International will televise Saturday's Round 7 at Toronto on Sunday, July 26, at 1 p.m., with repeat broadcasts on ESPN2 on Monday, July 27, at 4:30 a.m., on Thursday, July 30, at 3 a.m., and on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 4 a.m. CTV will carry the race on Saturday, July 25, at 4 p.m., while RDS will broadcast the race on Friday, July 24, at 7:30 p.m. All times are Eastern.
Next Race Round 8 of the KOOL /Toyota Atlantic Championship will be held Sunday, Aug. 2, at the Grand Prix Player's de Trois-Rivieres in Trois-Rivieres, Que.