Toronto Lynx Racing preview

Tarzan In Toronto "Even monkeys fall out of trees" -- Zen saying Fast Facts: Lynx Racing in the CART Toyota Atlantic Support Race At the Molson Indy Toronto, July 14 - 16 - Lynx Racing drivers won this event in 1996...

Tarzan In Toronto "Even monkeys fall out of trees" -- Zen saying

Fast Facts: Lynx Racing in the CART Toyota Atlantic Support Race At the Molson Indy Toronto, July 14 - 16

- Lynx Racing drivers won this event in 1996 when Patrick Carpentier won from the pole and 1997 when Alex Barron won the pole and Memo Gidley won the race

- Lynx broke a 2-year drought with a dramatic last-lap, last-turn victory by current Lynx driver David Rutledge at Toronto, followed by a DNF in Cleveland when he got caught up in a first turn melee. Lynx driver Mike Conte extended his string of top-10 finishes by finishing 8th in both events. The duo are 6th and 8th in the points, respectively

- Lynx, now in its 10th year, is the only championship-winning racing team /driver development program owned by women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty


Following up a dramatic last lap, last turn victory in Montreal, Lynx Racing fell out of its tree with a DNF in Cleveland, but is now rested, tested and ready to do its Tarzan act in the CART Toyota Atlantic support race at the 15th annual Molson Indy Toronto, July 14 - 16. Lynx drivers David Rutledge, 22, of Vanvouver BC and Mike Conte 31, of Seattle Washington, come to Toronto 6th and 8th, respectively, in the points battle -- but their record is much better than the bare-bones overview makes it sound and the duo are prime contenders to run at the front in the 35-lap Atlantic race scheduled to take the green flag at 12 noon on Sunday, July 16. Rutledge has finally made good on the promise he displayed in two previous, underfunded, seasons in Atlantic by finishing second on the street circuit at Long Beach earlier this year, and then following it up with the victory at Montreal, the team's first win since Memo Gidley won at Milwaukee in 1998. Previous to that, Lynx won back-to-back championships with Patrick Carpentier in 1996 and Alex Barron in 1997. Every former Lynx driver, including Richie Hearn and Jeret Schroeder, has achieved the team's prime mission of making the jump to the top levels of auto racing. "I always look forward to racing in Canada, and since the Atlantics don't get to race in Vancouver this year I feel like Toronto is my adopted home town," says Rutledge. "The whole team is working hard and smart to try and duplicate in Toronto the success we had in Montreal. The last time I raced here was in 1998 and it wasn't a great weekend. I crashed on Friday, and again in final qualifying on Saturday, and as a result, in the race I had a car that turned right just great but turned left horribly. About halfway through the race I figured out how to drive it and I think I finished 11th or so, but this weekend, driving for a top-caliber, championship-winning team like Lynx I'm confident we'll be a force to be reckoned with." Rutledge's teammate, Mike Conte, now in his third year of Atlantic and his second season with Lynx Racing, has put together an unbroken string of top-10 finishes, and also has an optimistic view of the upcoming weekend. "Among street circuits, Toronto is one of the best from a driver's perspective," says Conte. "The Molson Indy track is very technical, but there are two good passing zones and rather than the usual series of 90-degree turns you get on a street circuit, Toronto is more like a natural road course that just happens to be lined with concrete. It will be very important to roll off the trailer and be fast here, and to qualify well but the testing we've done leading up to this has given us a very high level of confidence and we're ready to go racing." Lynx has a history of both victory and brilliant (if unnoticed) drives at Toronto, starting with a win by Patrick Carpentier in 1996. In 1997, Lynx driver Alex Barron was on the pole, but the race was won by his teammate, Memo Gidley. In 1998, Lynx drivers Gidley and Buddy Rice came to Toronto 1 - 2 in the points, and in early practice were atop the time sheets. But the weekend go tougher with Rice qualifying fifth and suffering a DNF after contact with the wall on lap 24. Gidley, who's car suffered a fuel pump problem during the 'reconnaissance' laps (that was back in the days when Atlantic used standing starts), started the race from the back and dissected the field with surgical precision to work his way back up to sixth at the end.


<pre> On Track Schedule

Friday, July 14 9:30 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. KOOL Toyota Atlantic Practice 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. KOOL Toyota Atlantic Qualifying

Saturday, July 15 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. KOOL Toyota Atlantic Practice 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. KOOL Toyota Atlantic Qualifying

Sunday, July 16 8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. KOOL Toyota Atlantic Warm-Up 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. KOOL Toyota Atlantic - RACE

CART Toyota Atlantic Television Coverage (EDT) 10:00 am to 11:00 am Sunday July 23 ESPN2 & ESPN International 4:00 am to 5:00 am Thursday July 27 ESPN2 (repeat) 8:30 am to 9:30 am Saturday July 29 RDS (Canada) 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm Monday July 24 CTV (East, Ontario, Pacific) 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm Tuesday July 25 CTV (West Region)

Track & Event Info

Date: July 14, 15 & 16, 2000 Location: Exhibition Place, Toronto Track: A 1.721 mile street course with 11 left and right-hand corners. The course includes Exhibition Place roads and a section of Lakeshore Boulevard. Distance: 35 laps or 60.23 miles) Direction: Clockwise No. of turns: 11

Estimated top speed: CART Toyota Atlantic cars could reach 140 mph on Lakeshore Boulevard. Paving: 5,000 metric tons of asphalt (approximately 340 truckloads); track was completed in May, 1996. Barriers: 2,000 steel-reinforced concrete barriers, 12-feet long, 30-inches high, 20 to 24 inches wide, 7,000 pounds each Debris fence: 11,000 feet, 10 feet high, chain-link with three strand half inch steel cable Spectator fence: 19,000 feet of 6-foot high chain-link Tire walls: 1,600 feet, five tires high Start/Finish: Between National Trade Center and Pit Area

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Memo Gidley , Jeret Schroeder , Patrick Carpentier , Richie Hearn , David Rutledge , Alex Barron , Buddy Rice