Toronto, Ontario. -- Western Union drivers, Brazilian Renato Jader and Canadian Brandon Thomas ran a perfect race and finished in first and third position at the Toronto North American Formula Renault Indy race this Sunday afternoon, giving the...
Toronto, Ontario. -- Western Union drivers, Brazilian Renato Jader and Canadian Brandon Thomas ran a perfect race and finished in first and third position at the Toronto North American Formula Renault Indy race this Sunday afternoon, giving the Money Transfer People and Gelles Racing two steps of the coveted podium. However, Jader was disqualified after the race because the Brazilian was found guilty of an early restart after the race was slowed for security reasons. When the incident happened, Jader was leading the 18-lap race. Other Gelles drivers finished in 8th place ( Michael Yager) and 10th (Chris Souliotis).
"This is wonderful for Western Union of Canada at the very first race they join our team, said team owner Bob Gelles. Renato (Jader) ran an intelligent race, getting out of trouble when other competitors tried impossible moves on this street and concrete circuit. He took the lead and was going to earn his first victory with just a few laps to the checkered flag but he was apparently disqualified for an early restart, while he was in the lead ! Gelles will definitely protest the decision that takes away the victory and champagne from this young man."
Brandon Thomas: a dream come true
Brandon Thomas from London, Ontario will long remember this hometown maiden race: after a sound qualifying session where he earned a strong sixth place overall, Brandon was fifth in the morning warm-up. He had a very good start and fought for position with newcomer Matt Jaskol for many laps. Jader and Thomas ran one-two for a few laps and the native from Etobicoke finally let Jaskol go by and settle for third place. "This is the kind of race you visualize many times, said Thomas. My Western Union car was awesome and I was focusing on my driving: this has to be the highlight in my career." After Jader's disqualification, Brandon Thomas was classified in second place.
Yager in 8th with Mid-America car
Michael Yager came in 8th overall with his Mid-America #3 car and keeps the lead for best rookie in the season standings. Yager admitted he was hoping for a better position but could not get to speed all weekend with his car.
Dentist Souliotis and Trident gum
A GT Canadian champion, Chris Souliotis made his first official Formula Renault start in Toronto. He finished 10th overall in the Trident gum car. "I'm very happy with these results, said the Vancouver Island resident. Formula Renault is a tremendous learning curve for me since I had to get familiar with the car and the race track. I'm satisfied with the results and want to take the opportunity to thank my Gelles crew and the people at Trident. I already look forward to the race in my hometown, Vancouver."
Next, the North American Formula Renault series will race at the Molson Indy weekend in Vancouver on July 24-25. The 2004 North America Formula Renault Pro series is sanctioned by Grand American Road Racing and organized by Race Team Promotions. Gelles Racing is sponsored by Mid-America Motorworks, Western Union, Tenfore, Trident and USA Today. You can visit the Gelles web site at: www.gellesracing.com