Gomes quickest Jaskol and Legge make Formula Renault Debuts Jourdain visits drivers meeting Toronto, Ontario(9 July 04) Marcos Gomes of Brazil led the opening practice session for North American Formula Renault on Friday at Toronto with a ...
Jaskol and Legge make Formula Renault Debuts
Jourdain visits drivers meeting
Toronto, Ontario(9 July 04) Marcos Gomes of Brazil led the opening practice session for North American Formula Renault on Friday at Toronto with a 1:12.222-second lap of the 1.755-mile temporary street circuit at Exhibition Place. Gomes' rival Juan Ponte was close behind with a 1:12.440-second lap, as the top six drivers were within one second of Gomes' time.
Gomes, a graduate of the Brazilian Formula Renault ranks, knows that the track will continue to change throughout the weekend as the Champ Cars rubber in the track, but he is pleased with his weekend so far.
"My car is good, so we will see how things go this weekend," said Gomes. "The track has a number of different kinds of surfaces, so it's a big challenge to find the best line around here. I have raced on street circuits in Brazil before, so while the track is a new one for me, having walls all around is not a new thing."
Jaskol joins Renault
Matt Jaskol of Las Vegas Nevada is making his first ever Formula Renault start this weekend with Autotecnica, and the young ace adapted immediately to his new surroundings after making the transition from Formula BMW.
"I really like the Formula Renault cars-they are really close to the F3 car I drove in Europe as part of the Red Bull Driver Search," said Jaskol. "This is my first time ever on a street circuit, and the first race in the series, so to be this competitive early in the weekend on older tires is pretty encouraging."
Jaskol ended up fifth quickest during the session after spending the first half of the session atop the sheets.
Jourdain visits Formula Renault Drivers meeting
RuSport Champ Car pilot Michele Jourdain, who earned a career-best third in the 2003 Champ Car Championship, visited the Formula Renault drivers meeting on Thursday to give the drivers some words of advice about the tricky street circuit as the field prepared for the weekend. Jourdain, who raced against Formula Renault Team/Driver Relations Manager Allen Berg in his native Mexico before stepping up to Champ Cars as a 19-year old, emphasized the importance of patience on the temporary circuit.
"There a number of places that are good here to make up time, but some of the corners, like turn six, require that you just be patient through the corner," Jourdain said. "Turn five is also very important--you need to be clean through there, and not try to force anything-if you do it 100%, you can make up less than a tenth, and if you do it 101%, you can lose a whole lot more than that tenth, so be very smart in that corner."
Legge makes North American Formula Renault Debut
Another new driver for the series is Katherine Legge, who is a former pole winner in UK Formula Renault competition. Legge will race with the GTI/Roshfrans operation, and is excited to be back in the cockpit after some time out of the car.
"I am really taking it easy the first part of this weekend," said Legge. "It is my first street course ever, and it's been some time since I have raced, so I am just trying to ease back into it to get into a rythem and be ready to be fast at the end of the weekend when it counts!"
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 the2004 North American Formula Renault 2000 season.