Beaulieu quickest in Montreal practice; race ends early with contact. Montreal, BC -- August 25, 2002: Barber Dodge Pro Series racer Josh Beaulieu had his race cut short Sunday in Montreal, with contact on the ninth lap. Following several ...
Beaulieu quickest in Montreal practice; race ends early with contact.
Montreal, BC -- August 25, 2002: Barber Dodge Pro Series racer Josh Beaulieu had his race cut short Sunday in Montreal, with contact on the ninth lap. Following several ever-improving performances including setting the quickest time in Saturday practice and 2nd quickest in warm-up, Beaulieu was extremely disappointed with the race result.
"It is very frustrating, needless to say," said the Canadian, a rookie in the series. "After practice, we never really put a lap together in qualifying. I didn't know how much time was left in the qualifying session, and dropped from 3rd to 6th on the last lap.
"In the race, around lap 5 the car setup we were running was starting to work really well, and I was pushing very hard and running quicker than the leaders. I looked for an opening on Breuers in the Senna hairpin, but I don't think he even saw me and came across, damaging my front wing. I continued on and didn't lose any positions until Maia made a late pass going into the east hairpin, locking up and hitting my right side. Two corners later I looked in my mirror and my right rear was bent pretty badly. So unfortunately a promising weekend went up in smoke."
Beaulieu winds up his rookie Barber Dodge season with 53 points and 9th overall in the championship, a season marked by consistent improvement up through the field. Four of ten of Beaulieu's races were non-finishes - a statistic which doubtlessly affected his run toward the top-5 in the points table. On the other hand - Beaulieu recorded five finishes in the top-8, led the opening stages in Cleveland, and had a podium finish on the ultra-fast Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake.
Beaulieu is looking forward to a Toyota Atlantic testing programme this fall, and has a potential to move up to the category full-time next season. "Right now I am pursuing all possibilities," commented Beaulieu, "and our team is working very hard on securing our 2003 sponsorship budget. I think next year is going to be very exciting, whether in Toyota Atlantic or returning for a second season in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and fighting for the title."
The final 3 rounds of the 2002 Barber Dodge Pro Series will air across North America on SpeedChannel, beginning with Mid-Ohio on Saturday, August 31. For schedule details visit www.speedtv.com or www.barberdodge.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.