(VANCOUVER, B.C.) Aug. 31, 2000 -For the first time in its 14-year history the Barber Dodge Pro Series will be racing on foreign soil when round 9 gets underway tomorrow in support of the CART FedEx Molson Indy Vancouver in the heart of Vancouver,...
(VANCOUVER, B.C.) Aug. 31, 2000 -For the first time in its 14-year history the Barber Dodge Pro Series will be racing on foreign soil when round 9 gets underway tomorrow in support of the CART FedEx Molson Indy Vancouver in the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia. With the 12-round series heading quickly toward its conclusion, the battle for the $300,000 is tightening up following a win by Brazilian Nilton Rossoni in the last round at Road America. Rossoni narrowed the gap to championship leader American Jon Fogarty to just 12 points.
The temporary Concord Pacific Place street circuit will be new to all 23 drivers. Racing through the tight confines of a 15-turn, concrete barrier lined track is always a harrowing proposition, and the fact that none of the drivers have any prior experience will mean an even more level playing field exists. As every driver races in identical Barber Dodge Reynards with the same Michelin Pilot SX tires, the edge always comes down to driver performance and who can find the magic set-up that will propel them to victory.
Fogarty and Rossoni aside, Sepp Koster of the Netherlands will be looking to jump back into championship contention after losing some ground to the leaders in the last couple of races. Always fast on street courses, Koster will be a threat. Threats, however, are likely to come from all different directions. Vancouver natives Michael Valiante and John McCaig would love to earn their first Barber Dodge Pro Series victory in their hometown. Matt Plumb and Jamie Menninga have both been knocking at victory circle's door, and since both a have performed well on this type of circuit in the past, this may present their best opportunity yet. Rookies Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andy Lally, Andre Nicastro and Thed Bjork will not have track unfamiliarity as a disadvantage. A breakthrough for that quartet can not be excluded from the equation. Nor can Roger Yasukawa. The quiet 1999 Co-Rookie of the Year (along with Valiante), who has performed with the same sublime performances that earned him the rookie honor in '99, might stealthfully take his black Barber Dodge Reynard all the way to the front.
The 40-minute race takes the green flag at 3:55 p.m. PDT on Saturday, Sept. 2.