Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres - Pre-Race notebook

14.08.2008: Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres - Pre-Race notebook

COOPER TIRES PRESENTS THE ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA

• Jonathan and Jonathan: Lately it’s been good to be an American driver named "Jonathan" in the Atlantic Championship. Jonathan Bomarito (No. 26 Del Taco/Stone Brewing/Discount Tire/RLM Investments) has taken over the championship lead on the strength of victories in Race #1 of the doubleheaders at Edmonton last month and Road America last weekend.

Rookie Jonathan Summerton (No. 36 Newman Wachs Racing) won Race #2 of the Edmonton doubleheader, as well as Race #2 of the Road America doubleheader and is currently fourth in the point standings. Before Bomarito and Summerton took their second wins at Road America, different drivers won each of the first five races of the season.

• Triumphant Return: This weekend marks the return of the Atlantic Championship to the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres for the first time since 2003. Over the years, a "Who’s Who" of international racing talent has won Atlantic races at Trois-Rivieres, including Canadian racing legend Gilles Villeneuve and his brother, Jacques Villeneuve, as well as Vittorio Brambilla, Michael Andretti, Roberto Moreno, Price Cobb, David Empringham, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, Buddy Rice, Michael Valiante and A.J. Allmendinger. The driver who started from the pole position has won the last nine Atlantic events at Trois-Rivieres.

• 35 Years and Counting: The 35th Anniversary celebration for the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda continues with this weekend’s Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. Through the years, the Atlantic series has seen more than its share of legendary drivers pass through the series on their way to greatness, from Formula 1 superstars such as Gilles Villeneuve, Keke Rosberg and Jacques Villeneuve to IndyCar racing heroes such as Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Michael Andretti, Danny Sullivan, Sam Hornish Jr., Dan Wheldon and Buddy Rice.

This year, Atlantic graduates will compete for race victories and championships in top-tier North American series such as the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Atlantic has earned the distinction of being North America’s longest-running driver development series, and also one of the best.

• International Flair: This weekend’s race will feature drivers representing nine different countries. The United States is best represented with a total of five drivers; followed by Canada with three; Finland, England and The Netherlands with two each; and one each from Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland and Venezuela.

• Rookies Aplenty: This weekend’s field will include nine rookies. The first-year drivers are Henri Karjalainen (No. 2 GNLD), Greg Mansell (No. 5 Sunseeker), Markus Niemela (No. 8 Mr. Jones Bar & Kitchen/Rauma Town/Turku Karting), Dominick Muermans (No. 9 Hugenholtz Property Group/Jumbo Supermarkten/Muermans Group), Douglas Soares (No. 11 Banco BMG), Leo Mansell (No. 15 Sunseeker), Dane Cameron (No. 19 MAZDASPEED/ Finlay Motorsports/Lynx Racing), Jonathan Summerton (No. 36 Newman Wachs Racing), Luis Schiavo (No. 46 Constructora Iriaca/Astaltatora Maracay/ Transporte Jumbo/Energy Freight System) and Daniel Morad (No. 70 Metro Directories of Georgia/Grapeking).

• Past Winners: The driver who wins the races at Trois-Rivieres could very well be visiting Victory Circle for the first time in his Atlantic career. Only six drivers in the field have previously won Atlantic events:

James Hinchcliffe (No. 3 Indeck/TireRack.com), Kevin Lacroix (No. 25 Uni-Select/Deans Knight/Wasteco), Jonathan Bomarito (No. 26 Del Taco/RLM Investments/Stone Brewing), Simona De Silvestro (No. 34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy/NEI/Entergy), Junior Strous (No. 6 Shell/HTP/Muermans Group/Red, White & Bluezz) and Jonathan Summerton (No. 36 Newman Wachs Racing).

 

- Nate Siebens -

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/champcar-grand-prix-trois-rivieres-race-notebook-jonathan-bomarito-summerton-atlantic---42479.html

14.08.2008 / MaP

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