18-year old guerrieri shines in Mosport. Toronto, May 24, 2002 - Eighteen-year old rookie driver Chris Guerrieri drove a very solid race to finish second last Sunday when he competed in the opening round of the hotly disputed 2002 Canadian...
18-year old guerrieri shines in Mosport.
Toronto, May 24, 2002 - Eighteen-year old rookie driver Chris Guerrieri drove a very solid race to finish second last Sunday when he competed in the opening round of the hotly disputed 2002 Canadian Formula Ford Championship in Mosport International Raceway, Ontario. The former karting champion from Toronto performed remarkably well all weekend long and adapted extremely quickly to his new mount - a Ford-powered Vector.
Because the deal to compete in the Canadian Formula Ford series was arranged late, Chris Guerrieri enjoyed very little practice time before the first race to get accustomed to the tricky road handling of these light yet powerful single seaters. But under the guidance of vastly experienced Mauro Lanaro, owner of the LM La Scuderia team Guerrieri showed impressive speed from the word go.
Guerrieri, who competed in the La Filière Renault Campus series in France last year, set the second fastest time in both qualifying sessions in Mosport. "It really is a fantastic track, very challenging. Unfortunately, my team mate was a little slower than me so I had to run alone during both qualifying sessions. I could not benefit from his draft which is so crucial here in Mosport."
Guerrieri started the race in second place but fell down to third moments after the start and then to fourth when he had to drive into the grass to avoid a spinning car. He then charged hard, passing Ryan Floer for second place on lap eight. Guerrieri then pressed harder to catch the leader of the race, veteran Louis-Philippe Dumoulin. Guerrieri was gaining rapidly on the leader and the two competitors ran virtually together during the last lap. Only 7/10ths of a second separated the two men at the conclusion of the 15-lap race. "I didn't want to pass him before the last lap because I knew that he would draft me along the straight and pass me just before the flag," said Guerrieri who set the fastest lap of the race in the process.
"My motor was pulling great," said Guerrieri after the race. "I was gaining very quickly on the leader... I think with one more lap I would have taken him for first place in the fast Corner 8."
The rookie driver was delighted with his second-place finish and he now looks forward to claiming his first Formula Ford victory in Round 2 held at the famed Air Canada Grand Prix on June 8. "Montreal is a fast race track and I think the Vector will perform very well there. I also have a very powerful engine which will be a major advantage on the straights. I am extremely motivated and my goal is to win this race, especially since I'll be competing in front of the Formula 1 team owners, drivers and engineers."