Dorricott Racing seeks to regain Atlantic Championship lead at Trois-Rivieres. TROIS-RIVIERES, Que., Canada (July 31, 2002) - It's still undecided who has a clear championship advantage in the 2002 Toyota Atlantic Championship but it may become...
Dorricott Racing seeks to regain Atlantic Championship lead at Trois-Rivieres.
TROIS-RIVIERES, Que., Canada (July 31, 2002) - It's still undecided who has a clear championship advantage in the 2002 Toyota Atlantic Championship but it may become more clear after this weekend's ninth round of the 12-race series from the streets of Trois-Rivieres, Que., Canada. Regardless, Dorricott Racing's Jon Fogarty, Alex Gurney, and Luis Diaz all figure to be well postured for a down-to-the-wire, end-of-the-year championship battle.
The 45-lap (68.445 mile) Atlantic sprint around the 1.521-mile, 10-turn temporary street circuit is scheduled to drop the green flag at 1:05 a.m. ET, Sunday, Aug. 4. It is the featured race for the La Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres.
The Atlantic Championship is engaged in one its tightest championship battles in recent memory. It's top seven drivers are only separated by 31 points. Dorricott Racing holds positions three through five with Fogarty, of Portola Valley, Calif., in third place and trailing series leader Michael Valiante, of Canada, by only nine points, 101-92.
Fogarty makes his first career visit to Trois-Rivieres behind the momentum of his street circuit success at Cleveland in round eight with a second place finish. Fogarty is attempting to become the first driver to win the season opening race (Monterrey, Mexico) and proceed to win a Championship since Mark Dismore did it in 1990. As an aside, Fogarty trails Ryan Hunter-Reay, who is second place in the series, by one point for Rookie-of-the-Year honors, 93-92.
Teammates Alex Gurney, of Newport Beach, Calif., and Luis Diaz, of Mexico, are fourth and fifth place, respectively, and clearly stalking the top-three. Gurney is only 26 points out of first place with 75 points. Diaz is one point shy of Gurney with 74.
Gurney has kept in the title hunt through consistent high finishes including a fifth place showing in his first Canadian visit of this season at Toronto. He has a season-best second place finish at Long Beach, but has qualified five times this year in the first two rows as well as being a front-runner in nearly every race.
"I'm very much looking forward to Trois-Rivieres," said Gurney. "I've had success there in the past and I hope I can break in to the win column this weekend. We had a rough race in Cleveland and we didn't convert on our front row in Toronto so I'm looking for a bit of luck this time around. The championship battle is still wide open."
Gurney last raced at Trois-Rivieres in the 2000 Atlantic Championship where he qualified fifth and finished on the podium in third place. This will be his third visit to central Quebec for racing as he started 11th and finished seventh in 1999 Toyota Atlantic competition.
Bonus points are impacting the Atlantic Championship and Dorricott Racing has a clear advantage to date. It has ruled Atlantic qualifying this season in capturing four of the eight pole positions. Diaz earned poles at Monterrey, Mexico, and Portland, while Fogarty led qualifying at Chicago and Toronto. Fogarty's outside pole at Cleveland was his third front row start of the season along with seven of eight starts in the first two rows.
Dorricott Racing last visited Trois-Rivieres in 1998 in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship with drivers Philipp Peter and current CART FedEx star Oriol Servia. Peter qualified sixth and finished 11th. Servia, meanwhile, smoothly qualified on the outside pole and then finished second place.
Speed Channel will provide a LIVE telecast of the Toyota Atlantic Championship race from Trois-Rivieres beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT), Sunday, Aug. 4.
Dorricott Racing is a year-round professional motorsports organization with its race shop located in Bakersfield, Calif. Detailed race results, team, and sponsor information are available on Dorricott Racing's official web site, http://www.dorricottracing.com.