Christopher Guerrieri secures Rookie of the Year honours in action-filled race . Toronto, October 2, 2002 - The 2002 season of Pickering, Ontario's race car driver Christopher Guerrieri ended last Saturday when he competed in the eighth and...
Christopher Guerrieri secures Rookie of the Year honours in action-filled race .
Toronto, October 2, 2002 - The 2002 season of Pickering, Ontario's race car driver Christopher Guerrieri ended last Saturday when he competed in the eighth and final round of the Canadian Formula Ford Championship at Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Without any experience on this gruelling race track, Christopher qualified his #11 NGCL Cherry Beach Sound LM La Scuderia Vector on the front row, alongside pole sitter Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.
Guerrieri took a good start and followed Dumoulin during the opening lap of the race. "I felt really good. Louis-Philippe and I were running the same pace and I hoped that we would break away from the rest of the field," Guerrieri explained.
But on lap two, disaster struck at 130 miles per hour at the end of the long back straight. Guerrieri was running inches behind Dumoulin when a component of Dumoulin's rear suspension shattered unexpectedly. "A cross member broke and ripped the suspension apart. I braked very hard to avoid hitting L.P. (Dumoulin). Eventually I managed to clear the chaos and stay in the lead," Guerrieri recalled.
One lap later, the grey Vector spun in Corner 2. "The car was handling great and I took the exact same line in Corners 1 and 2 as I did all weekend long," Guerrieri said. "Then, on top of 2 the car just went off. I think that something had to be on the race track because it was slippery and I saw other cars going sideways there." The nose cone of the Vector was knocked off in a contact with the guardrail and Christopher rejoined the race in second place. "The aerodynamics were all wrong and I had to take the tow from race leader Chris Green to be able to follow him along the straightaways."
On lap 10, Christopher fell down to sixth place when Marc-Antoine Camirand pushed him into the marbles in the fast Carousel. "There's just one line in that corner and I was left without enough clean road. I put all four tires in the marbles and I slid very wide almost out of control, allowing several cars to pass me."
Guerrieri eventually moved ahead of his team mate Frederick Lelievre to cross the line in fifth place, scoring 11 championship points in the process. Despite all the incidents and the loss of the nose cone, Christopher set the second fastest time in the race. Christopher Guerrieri ends the season third in the final standings, claiming also the prestigious "Ford Rookie of the Year" award.