Bessette breaks through at Barber BIRMINGHAM, AL (10 October 04)--Canadian Antoine Bessette kept his cool in treacherous conditions at Barber Motorsports Park to convert pole position into his maiden North American Formula Renault win in ...
Bessette breaks through at Barber
BIRMINGHAM, AL (10 October 04)--Canadian Antoine Bessette kept his cool in treacherous conditions at Barber Motorsports Park to convert pole position into his maiden North American Formula Renault win in round eight on Sunday. Marcos Gomes made the most of the rainy conditions to storm from eleventh on the grid up to take second at the finish ahead of remarkable series newcomer Luca DiCienzo in third.
Bessette had the measure of the field, and was able to hold on to his position despite twice having his considerable gap to the field eliminated during safety car periods.
"I think it's the first time I have ever been nervous inside a race car-sure sometimes you get nervous before a race, but I have never once I got in, but today-every time I got a big lead on everyone, I'd lose it to the safety car," said a beaming Bessette. "Aim Autosport did a great job-the car was just perfect, and I love racing in these kind of conditions, so its very, very satisfying to take the win."
Gomes made big moves through the field, but knew that he didn't want to risk it all in the conditions late in the race.
"The car was great, so I could really make some passes anywhere on the track but on the final restart, I just didn't think I had anything for Antoine," said Gomes. "It was very difficult conditions, though, so I had to be thinking about the championship so another podium for me and GTI/Roshfrans is a good result."
The field got off to a clean start in the steadily raining conditions, with Bessette leading Ricardo Imery into the first corner. Imery stayed on Bessettes tail and hassled him for the lead for several laps, before getting caught out by the conditions and going off track under braking, bringing out the safety car.
The caution period was good news for Gomes, who had been picking off competitors nearly every lap, but was nearly thirty seconds behind Bessette before the yellow flew. On the restart, Gomes continued his charge forward through the field, but Bessette was also on the move, setting a series of fastest laps of the race to rebuild his gap to the field. A second caution period to move the car of Gelles Racing's Michael Yager into a safe position forced Bessette to give up his gap again and defend his lead ahead of Gomes and Brandon Thomas once again.
Gomes' presence was making Bessette nervous, but on the restart, it was Brandon Thomas making the move, passing Gomes in the first corner to take second place, before Gomes retook the spot as DiCienzo moved up to the final podium position.
Rounds nine and ten of the 2004 North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship will take place at California Speedway in Fontana, California October 29-31