NA 2000: Trois-Rivieres race notes

Gomes outduels David for Trois-Rivières win Trois-Rivieres, Que-- (1 August 04)--Marcos Gomes took his first win in North American Formula Renault 2000 competition after besting fellow Brazilian Renato Jader David in race-long battle for the...

Gomes outduels David for Trois-Rivières win

Trois-Rivieres, Que-- (1 August 04)--Marcos Gomes took his first win in North American Formula Renault 2000 competition after besting fellow Brazilian Renato Jader David in race-long battle for the lead in the Formula Renault Western Union Grand Prix at the 35th running of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières on Sunday. Eurointernational's Juan Martin Ponte took the final podium spot and scored five bonus points for the fastest lap of the race, just .001 of a second faster than David's quickest, to extend his lead in the points championship.

Mark Wilkins took forth in his Aim Autosport Formula Renault, with Briton Katherine Legge impressing again in her GTI/Roshfrans machine, improving one position from the sixth place she scored in her Toronto debut to take fifth at Trois-Rivières.

Brandon Thomas brought his Western Union-liveried Renault across the line in sixth, with Philippe Gelinas scoring seventh at the finish. Antoine Bessette lost his rear wing in the closing laps of the race, but the former rally driver kept firm control of his car and finished in eighth. Ricardo Imery overcame braking problems during to race to finish ninth, with Valerie Limoges of Longueil, Quebec, netting tenth in her debut.

Gomes launched into the lead at the start, and had a three-second gap to the field after just two laps. David moved up quickly from fifth on the grid in his Gelles Racing machine, and shaved time off of Gomes' lead each lap as he brought the gap down to a matter of tenths with over twenty laps remaining. The two raced cleanly, nose-to-tail lap after lap around the 1.5-mile temporary street circuit with David making a move to take the lead with just over ten laps to go.

David's time in the lead was brief, though, as he went off-line while fighting a balky shifter in his car, just long enough to give Gomes the opportunity he needed to retake the lead as he held on to take the checkered flag with a 2.114-second gap to David.

The win catapulted Gomes from fifth in the standings up to second, and the ITUPETRO pilot was glad to take the win after a hard-fought battle.

"The race was very difficult, because David was very fast-faster then me, so I had to push every lap," said Gomes. "He eventually got by me, but then he had that mistake, and I was able to get back out in front and take the win, which is just excellent!"

David enjoyed the battle, and was satisfied with the second place given the problem he had with his car.

"It was a beautiful race," said David. "I was chasing, chasing, and then I got by him for the lead but then I went off line, and he was gone! It was a great battle, though, to race that close to each other all over this track, it was just fantastic and we got good points today."

Ponte was also thinking about the championship, and felt as though he might have played his strategy a little too conservatively in the early stages of the race.

"I just didn't have the pace of David, so I just let him go to chase down Gomes," said Ponte. "Those guys were burning through their tires, so I thought I would be patient, and if there was a yellow, I would have good tires for the end, but unfortunately for me, it was green the whole time. But its still a good result to be on the podium as I am focused on winning the championship.

-renault.na-

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Katherine Legge , Ricardo Imery , Mark Wilkins , Valérie Limoges , Marcos Gomes