Montreal, PQ - There is Monaco for Formula 1, Long Beach for CART, and the Indy 500 for the IRL. Every racing series has a "crown jewel" in its championship calendar. The Canadian Formula Ford Championship is no different. The series has its...
Montreal, PQ - There is Monaco for Formula 1, Long Beach for CART, and the Indy 500 for the IRL. Every racing series has a "crown jewel" in its championship calendar.
The Canadian Formula Ford Championship is no different. The series has its "crown jewel" every June when the Formula 1 circus comes to Montreal. Acting as one the main support races for the Canadian Grand Prix, the drivers and teams gear up for a highly competitive and pressure packed weekend in front of 120,000 spectators, sponsors and their personal dreams of winning the big race.
For Key Motorsport Formula 1600 drivers Fredrick Martel (#13) and James Yott (#28), the pressure is increased, as the race becomes their 'home race' as well. Friends, family and the local media focus intensely on their native sons.
Both Martel and Yott are fully aware of the pressures and the potential glory of the grand prix weekend.
"There is the added pressure of all the fans, media and sponsors," explained Martel. "I try and take the approach as if it is just another race."
The track according to Martel is relatively easy to learn. "I found it quite a simple track to learn compared to Mosport and Tremblant. You need a good engine for this circuit, and that is something we have. The other factor is finding grip which is hard at times because the track is only used once a year."
Martel is cautiously optimistic about his chances for the weekend. " You have to survive the chaos in the first part of the race to win, if you are in the top 5 with five laps to go, anything can happen."
James Yott is excited about his 'home race' after a disappointing late race spin in the opening round at Mosport that cost him valuable points. Yott has declared that this year's Key Motorsport Van Diemen is a very fast car, which is capable of bringing home the desired result.
"I am really happy with the way the team has developed the car over the winter," explained Yott. "The chassis is working very well, and the engine is very powerful."
Yott is taking on the added pressure of the Grand Prix in stride; this will be his fourth appearance at the prestigious event. He has also brought on board a new sponsor, Ritvik Toy Company. Ritvik produces the MegaBlock popular toy brand.
"I am honoured and excited to bring our new partners on board for the Grand Prix," explained Yott, "We are hoping that they will partner with our racing program for the remainder of the season."
Yott feels that a top five finish for him is a very realistic scenario. His best finish was fourth in 1998.
"You have to keep your nose clean for the majority of the race, after that if you are contending, anything can happen."
Practice begins on Friday morning, qualifying in the afternoon. The race is slated for 2:10pm on Saturday and will be broadcast live on RDS. For up to the minute results and information, visit www.keymotorsport.com
<pre> Grand Prix Air Canada Schedule
Friday, June 16, 2000 7:00 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. New Beetle Cup Practice 7:40 a.m. - 8:10 a.m. Formula Ford 1600 Practice 8:20 a.m. - 9:20 a.m. CART Toyota Atlantic Practice 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m. Formula 1 Practice 12:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Formula 1 Practice 2:10 p.m. - 2:40 p.m. New Beetle Cup Qualifying 2:40 p.m. - 3:35 p.m. CART Toyota Atlantic Qualifying 3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Ferrari Challenge Practice 4:45 p.m. - 5:25 p.m. Formula Ford 1600 Qualifying 5:35 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. New Beetle Cup Race (13 laps)
Saturday, June 17, 2000 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Formula 1 Practice 10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Formula 1 Practice 11:10 a.m. - 11:40 a.m. New Beetle Celebrity Cup Practice 11:40 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Formula 1 Qualifying 2:10 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Formula Ford Race (15 laps) 3:25 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. Ferrari Challenge Qualifying 4:20 p.m. - 5:50 p.m. CART Toyota Atlantic Race (27 laps)
Sunday, June 18, 2000 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Formula 1 Warm-up 9:10 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. Ferrari Challenge Race (15 laps) 10:20 a.m. - 11:05 a.m. New Beetle Celebrity Cup Race (13 laps) 12:00 a.m. Formula 1 Grid and nations presentation 12:30 p.m. Formula 1 - Pit Lane Open 12:45 p.m. Formula 1 - Pit Lane Closed 13:00 p.m. - 15:00 p.m. Grand Prix Air Canada Race (69 laps)