Wilkins Wins in Mont Tremblant! Mont Tremblant, Quebec. May 22, 2004 - AIM Autosport's Mark Wilkins of Toronto took his first win in North American Formula Renault competition at Mont Tremblant today after he patiently watched the battle for ...
Wilkins Wins in Mont Tremblant!
Mont Tremblant, Quebec. May 22, 2004 - AIM Autosport's Mark Wilkins of Toronto took his first win in North American Formula Renault competition at Mont Tremblant today after he patiently watched the battle for the lead from third position, and took advantage when front row starters Marcos Gomes and Juan Martin Ponte went off after making contact trying to go through the daunting turn one side by side as they battled for the lead late in the race. Gustavo Sondermann finished in second, with Rento Jader David taking third.
The battle for the lead saw Gomes take the point at the start with Ponte and Wilkins following closely for the first twelve laps of the race, when Ponte made a bold move to pass Gomes on the outside of the ultra-fast turn one, but the effort was nullified when the two ran out of racing room at the exit of the corner and made contact, damaging Ponte's suspension and ending his day early.
Mark Wilkins (AIM Autosport/Trizec Canada/ #34)
Quaified: third Finished: First
"I was right behind them as they went into one, and I couldn't believe that they were both going to make it through, and I was right!" said Wilkins, who was elated to take the win in his home country with several friends and family, including has father Greg who is also racing this weekend in Grand American competition, on hand for the celebrations.
"I was just trying to be patient as we three ran nose to tail for the better part of the race. It's very difficult to pass here, so I didn't want to force the issue, and it really paid off today," enthused Wilkins. "Its been so long since I have won in anything, that it feels great to get back to the top step on the podium, and I can't wait to get to the Glen now that I got this monkey off my back!"
Sondermann started alongside of Wilkins in the second row, but didn't have the pace in the early stages to run with the lead three, but his car continued to improve throughout as he was able to score five bonus points for scoring the fastest lap of the race.
Ricardo Imery finished in fourth, with Antoine Bessette and Aurelio Lopez taking fifth and sixth. Polesitter and early race leader Gomes returning to the track to take tenth.
The win vaults Wilkins into the North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship lead, with Sondermann moving to second and Renato Jader David in third.