Beaulieu leads opening stages in Cleveland, forced to retire early. Cleveland, OH -- July 13, 2002: British Columbian racer Josh Beaulieu led the opening stages of Round 6 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series held in Cleveland on Saturday, before an...
Beaulieu leads opening stages in Cleveland, forced to retire early.
Cleveland, OH -- July 13, 2002: British Columbian racer Josh Beaulieu led the opening stages of Round 6 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series held in Cleveland on Saturday, before an incident with a lapped car eventually forced him to retire from the 29-lap event.
Beaulieu was 2nd fastest in the final qualifying session on Saturday, but started the race 3rd since there is a guaranteed front-row position for the quickest Friday qualifier. At the start of the race, he outbraked both Davy Cook and Marc Breuers into the first turn, and was in command of the lead as the full-course caution came out at the end of the lap.
On the restart, Cook tried to take back the position but Beaulieu defended successfully. On lap 7 however, Cook did manage to pass Beaulieu into turn 1, going side-by-side for several corners. After suffering front wing damage from tire contact several laps later, Beaulieu's #27 Reynard-Dodge also sustained suspension damage as a lapped car aggressively turned in and initiated a collision in turn 6.
"Today started out so well, and I was sure that this was going to be a great day for us," said Beaulieu. "My coaches Barry Waddell and Oswaldo Negri really helped me get both the car setup and my mental approach sorted out before final qualifying. This was the first time I had a setup that I was really comfortable with in this car. I wasn't pushing to the maximum in qualifying and we were still 2nd quickest.
"I am sure there will be more consistent finishes ahead. It's tempting to get discouraged when you're having bad luck as well as making a couple of small mistakes, but you have to keep pushing and stay positive, and that's what I intend to do for Vancouver. I am still working on acquiring one or two more sponsorship deals before the Vancouver Molson Indy, and running at the front this weekend will only help."
Round 7 of the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series will be at the Vancouver Molson Indy weekend, July 26-28. This will mark Beaulieu's first ever home race.
The Laguna Seca and Portland races (Rounds 3 and 4) will air of the will air across North America on SpeedChannel on July 20 and 27, respectively. For schedule details visit www.speedtv.com.
Josh Beaulieu, in only his second year of professional auto racing, has established himself among the next generation of Canada's racing stars. You can find out more about Josh's career by visiting his website www.joshbeaulieu.com.