Pole for Ponte at Mid-Ohio Lexington, OH(7 August 04)-- Juan Martin Ponte of Argentina grabbed five bonus points and extended his championship lead by winning the pole position for round six of the North American Formula Renault...
Pole for Ponte at Mid-Ohio
Lexington, OH(7 August 04)-- Juan Martin Ponte of Argentina grabbed five bonus points and extended his championship lead by winning the pole position for round six of the North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship as part of the EMCO Gears Sports Car Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Trois-Rivièries race winner Marcos Gomes will start alongside Ponte in the front row for Sunday's standing start in his GTI/Roshfrans machine, with Aim Autosports' Mark Wilkins starting from the second row in third position and Katherine Legge of Guildford Surry, UK, taking her best starting position to date with fourth on the grid. The half-hour qualifying session was once again a competitive affair, with several drivers trading fast laps and trading the pole position until the closing moments of the session.
Ponte was happy to take his second pole position of the season after shading Gomes on the timing sheets all weekend.
"I just waited for the word from my team to go out, and set two fast laps, cooled the tires for a lap and then went for it again, but there was no more speed in the car, so I just brought the car in to the pits," said Ponte. "I want to keep concentrated on the championship standings, but I know it is going to be a big battle tomorrow."
Gomes was disappointed after the qualifying session, but knows that he is well placed to have a run at a victory from the front row.
"I just didn't get the most out of the car when the tires were at their best, but we have been very fast all weekend, and I know that I have a good chance to take the win tomorrow."
Toronto pole winner Mark Wilkins was satisfied to snag third on the grid after the track conditions had changed dramatically in the afternoon session, robbing him of grip around the 2.258-mile circuit.
"I'd of course rather be starting from the front row, but I fell really confident about the car Aim has prepared, so I think we should stand a good chance tomorrow when it counts. After getting knocked of two races in a row, we had a quiet run to fourth in Trois-Rivières and will be looking to get back on the podium here at Mid-Ohio."
Sundays twenty-lap race is scheduled to get underway at 11:15 AM.
Starting grid, Formula Renault EMCO Gears Mid Ohio Sports Car Classic
Juan Martin Ponte 1:24.240
Marcos Gomes 1:24.463
Mark Wilkins 1:24.530
Katherine Legge 1:25.407
Antoine Bessette 1:25.660
Ricardo Imery 1:25.669
Michael Yager 1:26.714
Brandon Thomas 1:26.717
Tim Hauraney 1:27.522
Blake Yager 1:28.887
Bob Siska 1:29.232