Vancouver Battle Begins For Hunt Queensland teenager Josh Hunt has qualified seventh for the eighth round of the Toyota Atlantic Championship in Vancouver. Hunt, 19, is having his first taste of the Canadian street circuit aboard his Wright...
Vancouver Battle Begins For Hunt
Queensland teenager Josh Hunt has qualified seventh for the eighth round of the Toyota Atlantic Championship in Vancouver.
Hunt, 19, is having his first taste of the Canadian street circuit aboard his Wright Patton Shakespeare entry.
After setting the eighth fastest time in the opening practice session while bedding in a new gearbox, Hunt improved his time in the 30-minute qualifying session to hold down sixth for almost the entire session.
As the chequered flag was waved to complete the session, Hunt was still on sixth only to be pipped for the spot by a driver who put in his fastest lap of the session on his final flying lap.
"All throughout the session I was continually learning the track, I was very happy to be holding down sixth given that I was still learning the braking points and apexes." said Hunt.
"The track is very narrow and one that you have to be very confident with its characteristics, when you are surrounded by concrete walls it can be hair raising at times.
"At the moment we have got a bit of oversteer in the car and I can't get the most amount of power to the ground exiting the turns.
"We will try and dial some more grip into the car overnight and looking at moving up inside the top five in tomorrow's final qualifying session."
Determined to overcome the disappointment of the brake problems that plagued him during the previous round in Toronto, Hunt and the Lynx Racing outfit underwent two intensive days of testing leading up to the weekend.
"The testing was mainly focusing on overcoming our brake problems of Toronto , which we successfully achieved in addition to improving our suspension package," said hunt.
A further practice and qualifying session will be held tomorrow before the 38-lap race on Sunday.
The time in Vancouver is 17 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time.
All Toyota Atlantic cars are manufactured by Swift Engineering and powered by a 1600cc Toyota engine 240 horsepower producing speeds in excess of 160 mph (260 kmh) while using a 15-inch diameter lightweight aluminium wheels mounted with Yokohama tyres.
Run in conjunction with the opening round of the Champ Car World Series, this is the 31st year of competition for the Toyota Atlantic Championship and is regarded as the premier training ground for the future stars of the sport.
Hunt is the first Australian to compete in the Toyota Atlantic Series since fellow Queenslander David Besnard in 1999 and has received major support from Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group, which is owned by Gold Coast businessman Craig Gore and Champ Car World Series Co-Owner and Aussie Kevin Kalkhoven.
A successful year in the Toyota Atlantic Championship will see Hunt make his Champ Car debut in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of the Gold Coast on October 21-24.
The Toyota Atlantic race at Vancouver is the eighth of 12 rounds in the Championship. All 12 scheduled races this year will be run in conjunction with Champ Car World Series events on tracks that include road courses and ovals, as well as street and airport circuits with eight rounds in America, one in Mexico and three in Canada.