NA 2000: Mont-Tremblant qualiyfing notes

Gomes scores Mont Tremblant Pole Marcos Gomes of Sau Paulo, Brazil scored his first pole position in just his second series start with a 1:33.458-second lap at Mont Tremblant today for Saturday's North American Formula Renault 2000 race. Gomes...

Gomes scores Mont Tremblant Pole

Marcos Gomes of Sau Paulo, Brazil scored his first pole position in just his second series start with a 1:33.458-second lap at Mont Tremblant today for Saturday's North American Formula Renault 2000 race. Gomes was shadowed by Juan Martin Ponte in his Eurointernational machine, but Ponte, who took both the pole and the win at the opening round race at Phoenix, came up just short and will line up alongside of Gomes for the standing start. The field is once again closely matched, with the top six drivers within one second of the pole time.

Aim Autosport's Mark Wilkins and Gustavo Sondermann of Gelles Racing traded places on the second row in the closing moments of the session, with Wilkins making the most of his final lap to take third, with Sondermann starting alongside in fourth.

Renato Jader David will start fifth in his Condor Motorsports machine, with Ricardo Imery taking sixth on the grid. Row four will see the Autotecnica teammates line up along side each other, as Mexican Aurelio Lopez and Antoine Bessette of Montreal took seventh and eighth on the grid, respectively. Brandon Thomas scored ninth on the grid, with Nick Bussell lining up his Klein Tools machine in tenth.

Gomes, who raced in Brazilian Formula Renault prior to joining the North American Formula Renault ranks, has put his experience to use, scoring the pole as he aims for victory.

"I want to take the win, but I know Ponte is very strong, so I will have to make the most of the start tomorrow," said Gomes. "He is leading in the championship, so I have to beat him to get myself on top. I have never raced here at Mont Tremblant before, but I really like this track, with the fast corners and the high speeds, so it should be a good battle tomorrow."

Ponte was disappointed to fall short of the pole in qualifying, but knows he has a good shot at the victory with his front row start.

"It is too bad, I really wanted those points!" said Ponte. "But my car is very good, and more importantly, very consistent, so I know we can be competitive tomorrow."

Mark Wilkins, who took third place in the season opening race, continued to improve his times during the session as he saved his best for last.

"I just let the tires cool down about midway through the session, and then had another run at it, and we just kept getting faster each lap. The car is very good, and we have been close to the top in every session this weekend, so we should have a good race tomorrow."

The standing start lights are scheduled to go out at 11:45 a.m. for round two of the 2004 North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship. Full results and story to be posted at www.formularenaultna.com.

The North American Formula Renault Championships are sanctioned by Grand American, and provide a ladder for drivers to develop their talent, with a full in-house open-wheel progression available. The series held its first-ever race weekend in April at Phoenix International Raceway.

The Formula Renault V6 Championship is the top rung on the North American Formula Renault Championship ladder, which also includes the North American Formula Renault 1600 Championship and the North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship. The Formula Renault V6 is expected to make its North American competition debut in the latter stages of the North American Formula Renault 2000 season in advance of the 2005 championship.

-frenault na-

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Antoine Bessette , Juan Martin Ponte , Ricardo Imery , Mark Wilkins , Marcos Gomes