Mixed fortunes for Sunoco's Team Ultra 94! Matt Champagne, Aaron de Heus and Jordy Vorrath still in championship hunt MOSPORT, ONTARIO - The three Sunoco Team Ultra 94 members had their second race weekend in the 2003 Bridgestone/FormulaCar ...
Mixed fortunes for Sunoco's Team Ultra 94!
Matt Champagne, Aaron de Heus and Jordy Vorrath still in championship hunt
MOSPORT, ONTARIO - The three Sunoco Team Ultra 94 members had their second race weekend in the 2003 Bridgestone/FormulaCar Magazine F2000 Racing Series at Mosport - and the team left the track with some mixed results and emotions.
"It was a really mixed up weekend," Fonthill's Matt Champagne, who had a win on Friday, a second on Saturday and an 10th on Sunday, when he was black-flagged for a mechanical problem with his car.
"Sunday's race result was difficult to take," Champagne said. "I had a good lead and the rear caster/camber nut came loose and I thought I could struggle around in third. The officials black flagged me on the last lap for my car having an 'unsafe condition'."
Champagne's weekend started off well with a pole and a dominant win in his first race, then a very lucky second place in his second race of the weekend. "I had a fifth place car," Champagne said. "I couldn't believe it when I saw not one, but two drivers ahead of me outbrake themselves and go off the track. Sometimes it pays to just hang around and see what happens. I learned never to give up - sometimes it pays off." Champagne leads the championship by eight points after six races.
While Champagne struggled on Sunday, teammate Jordy Vorrath was trying to salvage his weekend with a win in the final race of the day. Vorrath took the pole, then led the first part of lap 1, before being overhauled by Kevin Adams. Vorrath battled back in the wet conditions to retake the lead before the first lap was completed. From that point on, he was never headed and went on to victory - which left him tied for third in the championship.
"I have to say this win will make the plane ride back home to Vancouver much better," Vorrath said. "Overall I am disappointed with my weekend. I seemed to have many car problems this weekend - like Aaron and Matt - and that is difficult to overcome in a series this competitive."
Vorrath qualified third for his first race, where he stayed during the race until a pylon on a curb took the front wing off the car. "It was new for this weekend." Vorrath said of the cones. "The cones were bolted to the curbs, and I hit one with the wing. With no front downforce, I just tried to hang on, but I dropped back to fifth." In his second race, Vorrath had brake problems with his car in qualifying and had to switch cars. "I had to change cars late in qualifying and then the second one quit on the first lap when I finally got back out. I had to race with a car I hadn't done any laps at speed in." Vorrath went off at the south hairpin on the first lap while running second and dropped to the back of the field. A very spirited drive brought him back up the order to finish sixth. "Its some points," was all Vorrath said about the race.
The third Sunoco Team Ultra 94 team member Aaron de Heus had a tough weekend. In his first race, de Heus qualified second, but dropped back to fourth on the first lap. Then on lap 3, he locked his brakes while trying to move up a spot and had to take evasive action that sent him down the pitlane - and the order. De Heus made a spirited charge back up the order to finish sixth. In his second race, de Heus qualified sixth, but failed to finish the race - he was scored 11th. On his final race of the weekend, de Heus came home seventh. "I've heard of driver's having an off weekend, now I know first hand how that feels," a dejected de Heus said. "The main thing for me, like my teammates, is to learn from a weekend like this and get ready for the next round. We have great sponsors in Ron Fellows and Sunoco, and I'm sure at the next race, we will be back on form." De Heus currently sits 10th in the championship.
Joining the Sunoco Team Ultra 94 on Friday was Ron Fellows, and he was happy with what he saw from his three drivers. "I'm really proud of the effort from all three guys. It was fun to see these guys from karts to cars. I'm proud of how they conducted them selves and they are all continuing to learn," Fellows said. "Based on what I saw, they are learning some very valuable skills that can apply in their future careers."
The next outing for the Sunoco Team Ultra 94 will be on Aug 22-24.