AIM Autosport rookie Andrew Ranger (Aim Autosport / Tide Victory Lap ...
AIM Autosport rookie Andrew Ranger (Aim Autosport / Tide Victory Lap # 27) of Roxton Pond, Quebec scored his maiden victory of the season, defeating British drivers Robert Bell and Charles Hall. Ranger won Round 4 to go along with two pole positions and two fastest race laps of the North American Fran-Am Pro Championship held at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit during the Air Canada Grand Prix.
Ranger started the 15-lap feature from pole position ahead of Argentinean Juan Martin Ponte, Robert Bell, Charles Hall and Mark Wilkins (Aim Autosport / Trizec Canada #34). The field of 32 cars took the standing start without incidents. However, Ranger lost two places in the first corners but quickly managed to be back at the front of the pack before the first lap was completed.
Mark Wilkins (Aim Autosport / Trizec Canada #34) got off to a difficult start dropping back three places before his charge through the field.
On lap 6 the order was Ranger, Bell, Hall, Wilkins, Marc-Antoine Camirand and Aurelio Lopez Jr from Guadalajara, Mexico. Ponte was driving aggressively but lost control of his car when braking for the second chicane. On lap 9, Ranger and Bell ran together along the Olympic Basin. They took the fast pit chicane side by side and in the Senna corner, Ranger managed to slip ahead of the British driver after both slid wide. Behind them, there were terrific battles involving Hall and Wilkins for third place, and Lopez, Camirand and Sean McIntosh for fifth place.
The end of the race brought the thousands of spectators on the feet. Ranger and Bell ran together at high speed without an inch to spare. And Ranger managed to stay ahead of the experienced 24-year old Bell to score his first victory in car racing after many years of karting. Bell finished second and Hall arrived in third. Behind them, Mark Wilkins, Lopez, Camirand, McIntosh, Patricio Larrea Jr, Ryan Vella and Ricardo Imery completed the top 10.
First Place - Andrew Ranger (Aim Autosport / Tide Victory Lap # 27) -My car was fantastic. It was handling great. Today, I pushed really hard during the race to build some cushion between myself and the rest of the field. Today, I knew the Brits would not pass me! But around the mid-race point, Robert Bell caught me. We took the chicane side by side and he entered Corner 1 way too fast. I kept the racing line and I emerged still in first place. It was very exciting driving!
Fourth Place - Mark Wilkins (Aim Autosport / Trizec Canada #34) - After a difficult start I had a pretty decent race, the car was great and the team did a fantastic job with the set-up. I almost made it to the podium, but a stubborn Hall didn't see it that way. Next week at Watkins Glen I know well be very competitive.
AIM Autosport team member- Matt Wivell This is my first victory with the team after so many close calls- if Mark Wilkins had finished on the podium as well I wouldve cried. Im a soft man.
Next round: Watkins Glen, New York, USA, Saturday June 21st.
Established in 1995 with a mandate to identify, train and manage emerging motorsports talent AIM operates multi-car teams competing in both the Canadian Formula Ford Championship and the Fran-Am North American Pro Championship series. Among those drivers who have graduated from AIM are former Canadian Formula Ford champions Andrew Bordin, Jean-Francois Veilleux, Jonathan Macri and, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin (2002).
AIM Autosport's driver development programs are recognized and supported by NOCO Racing Inc., Thyssen Canada, NTN Bearings, Mechanix Wear, and Performance Racing News