DSTP's Joey Hand qualifies 5th in return to Atlantic competition at Trois-Rivieres. Cracked oil filter ends charge for pole position Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada (August 3, 2002) - Joey Hand today qualified 5th in his return to CART Toyota ...
DSTP's Joey Hand qualifies 5th in return to Atlantic competition at
Cracked oil filter ends charge for pole position
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada (August 3, 2002) - Joey Hand today qualified 5th in his return to CART Toyota Atlantic competition at Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres after a near three month hiatus while recovering from injuries sustained in a testing accident at Milwaukee in May. Hand led the qualifying charts early in this afternoon's 30-minute session until a cracked oil filter ended his charge for pole position at the halfway mark. His time of 1:01.254, set just six laps into today's final session, averages to a speed of 89.392 miles per hour around Trois-Rivieres 1.521-mile temporary street course.
"The DSTP boys gave me an excellent car today," said Hand, who had the fourth fastest time in this morning's second round of practice. "The guys worked hard last night on putting on a good set-up and we were fast right out of the box. We had a lot in store today, but qualifying just didn't go our way. We cracked an oil filter about halfway into the session and we never had a chance to put the hammer down. But, we know our car is good. Starting fifth tomorrow is okay, but it's going to be a dogfight. It is very hard to pass here, so we're going to have to be sure to get a good start. I told myself coming back and into this race that I'd be happy with a top five. Things are going well, but as a racer I want to be at the front."
This weekend marks Hand's return to Atlantic competition since this year's second round at Long Beach in April. He finished third in the season opener in Monterrey, Mexico, and followed up with a pole position in Long Beach only to be taken out of the race in an on-track altercation. Former DSTP driver and 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic champion Buddy Rice filled-in for Hand for rounds four through eight. Rice most recently finished second in his Indy Racing League debut last weekend at Michigan International Raceway with the Red Bull Cheever Racing team.
Last year at Trois-Rivieres, Hand finished sixth after starting seventh. In 2000, the DSTP team won the race at Trois-Rivieres from the pole with Rice, who won a total of five races in his championship season. Michael Valiante captured the pole for tomorrow's race with a time of 1:00.762. He is followed by Alex Gurney, Grant Ryley and Jon Fogarty.
Tomorrow's CART Toyota Atlantic activities begin with a morning warm-up at 8:00 am. The 45-lap race is scheduled for 1:05 pm ET and will be televised live on Speed Channel.
Further information is available on the team's web site at www.dstpmotorsports.com, or the official Atlantic series site at www.toyotaatlantic.com.