Wilkins takes North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship lead (25 May 04)--Mark Wilkins' Mont -Tremblant victory has powered the young Canadian to the top of the North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship standings after round two...
Wilkins takes North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship lead
(25 May 04)--Mark Wilkins' Mont -Tremblant victory has powered the young Canadian to the top of the North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship standings after round two of the 2004 season. Gelles Racing's Gustavo Sondermann emerged from the Tremblant race fifteen points behind Wilkins in the championship after taking his first podium of the season with a second place finish and five bonus points for running the fastest lap of the race. The Tremblant event also marked Brazilian Renato Jader David's first podium appearance of the season in his Condor Motorsports machine, moving him up to third position in the championship.
Wilkins finished third in the opening round but was second in the points thanks to scoring five bonus points for the fastest lap of the race in Phoenix, moving him to second in the order in advance of the Tremblant event. His team owner, Aim Autosport's Ian Willis, was ecstatic with the victory, and hopes it's just the first of many to come.
"This is just so big for Mark," said Willis. "He has been working so hard, and been so fast, but not able to get that win and I think that doing so here this weekend will help him mentally now that that weight is off his shoulder. Its so incredibly competitive in this series, that you have to make the most of every advantage you can get, and I think that now that he has won, it will give him even more confidence, and hopefully more wins will follow!"
Eurointernational's Juan Martin Ponte, who scored the pole and the win in the opening round at Phoenix International Raceway in April, fell from first in the championship to fourth after he finished a disappointed thirteenth at Tremblant. Ponte had been fighting Marcos Gomes for the lead when he made a brave move to pass Gomes on the outside of the tremendously fast turn one at Tremblant when the two made contact at the exit of the corner and damaged Ponte's suspension, ending his day. Gomes, who started the race from the pole position, was able to return to the track to finish in tenth.
Round three of the North American Formula Renault 2000 Championship will take place at the famed Watkins Glen circuit in New York on the weekend of June 18-20 as part of the Sahlen's 6 Hours of The Glen weekend.
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.