MONTREAL, QC - Pete Vanderwyst experienced an evening of ups and downs at Autodrome St-Eustache on Saturday night. The Exide Batteries / National Fast Freight Pontiac Grand Prix driver posted one of his top qualifying efforts of the season in ...
MONTREAL, QC - Pete Vanderwyst experienced an evening of ups and downs at Autodrome St-Eustache on Saturday night. The Exide Batteries / National Fast Freight Pontiac Grand Prix driver posted one of his top qualifying efforts of the season in preparation for the seventh Castrol Super Series race of the summer.
Lining up third in the field of 23, the St. Thomas, ON racer held the position for the first few dozen laps, but soon encountered a problem with the car's oiling system.
"The oil cooler broke about five laps into the race," said the Exide Pontiac driver, after the race. "It was spraying oil all over the right-front tire. We tried to hang on as long as we could but then [Dave] Whitlock got into the back of us and spun us around. We stayed on the lead lap, but we had to come in and change the oil cooler over and change the lines over. We lost five laps doing that."
The result was harder to swallow considering how strong the Exide / Nat'l Fast Freight Grand Prix was prior to the race. "It's just one of those deals and it's very disappointing. The guys on the team gave me a really fast car today; we qualified third. We actually figured out some stuff with the car and got it fast for the race. Hopefully, that's a turning point in terms of our qualifying efforts. We ran up front with Donnie [Thomson] and Neil [Fair] for the first 20 laps before the oil situation came up. We lost about four quarts of oil with it spraying the tire; it drenched the whole car. Two-thirds of the way through the race, I couldn't hold onto it anymore and I had to come in and make the change. After that, we rode around."
The St-Eustache race was won by Peter Gibbons, who had endured his own run of bad luck prior to his victory in Montreal. Vanderwyst took some encouragement from Gibbons' change of fortune, hoping that he will be the next to get the monkey off his back.
"We've been working very hard for Exide, National Fast Freight and Kubota this year. Trying to get them up front, we qualified really well for this race. Hopefully, that's an indication of where we can go. But on several occasions, we've been plagued by little things that have gotten in the way of good runs: flat tires, ball joints, and now an oil cooler. Each time, those things happened while we were running in the top five. It's just a situation where you have to work through it. We're testing and trying to make sure everything is perfect when these little things stop happening."
The next Castrol Super Series race is scheduled for this weekend at the Grand Prix de Trois-Riveres, in Quebec. The race is the third of four road course races on the 2001 schedule. In terms of similarity to other events, its narrow, concrete block lined course closely resembles the Toronto Molson Indy circuit. With that in mind, Vanderwyst is looking forward to CASCAR's first visit at the prestigious road racing event.
"We were second in Toronto last year and I really enjoy the road races," said Vanderwyst. "We're looking for a good result for the Exide Batteries / National Fast Freight Grand Prix this weekend."