Team Stargate Worlds New Jersey race review

14.06.2009: After an eventful Friday that saw Team Stargate Worlds drivers Frankie Muniz and Simona De Silvestro having mixed qualifying sessions where Muniz ended up 8th and De Silvestro 2nd ,

After an eventful Friday that saw Team Stargate Worlds drivers Frankie Muniz and Simona De Silvestro having mixed qualifying sessions where Muniz ended up 8th and De Silvestro 2nd ,  followed up with wild weather interrupting their sessions, the Team Stargate Worlds duo arrived Saturday looking to improve their fortunes for Saturday's qualifying session as well Race #1 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

For qualifying Simona immediately shot to the P1 spot.  She would end up getting shuffled back to 5th   place as the session continued.  With time quickly elapsing, and her tires beginning to heat up, she once again took over the P1 position on the timesheets by posting a fast lap of 1:110:985, followed by Genoa Racing's Jonathan Summerton, who posted a time of 1:110:985 , good enough for P2.

 Frankie picked up where he left off yesterday and slotted himself into 6th place and maintained his position.  As conditions on the track began to change Muniz slid to the 8th spot with a time of 1:11.549.  With the checkered flag being displayed De Silvestro's fast time solidified her P1 spot, earning her her second pole position of the year and Muniz would eventually end up in 8th.

For the race, sunny skies had arrived and this time stuck around for the entire race session.  Simona, starting 2nd  and Frankie, starting in 8th, began the race and immediately had some scary moments.  Simona went down a position as Genoa Racing's Frederic Vervisch scooted by her before turn # 1.  She tried to maintain her position but lost another position when Condor Racing's Borja Garcia put her in the fourth spot after she missed a gear shift and briefly went off track.

 Focused and determined, the young Swiss racer charged back and kicked it up a couple of notches and began nailing down some of her fastest laps.  She soon caught up to Garcia and regained her 3rd spot and made her way towards Vervisch. 

On lap #12 Simona caught up to Vervisch and rebounded back to 2nd.  Facing a 6 second gap between her and race leader Summerton, Simona began to slice around the 2.17 mile track and peeled away at Summerton's lead.     

With each lap Simona grew closer to Summerton and with 22 minutes to go the 6 second lead was cut to 2.7 seconds, but as the end of the race grew closer, De Silvestro was not able to close the gap and eventually finished in the 2nd spot. While it may not have been a win De Silvestro's 2nd place finish did accomplish one of her weekend goals:  To take over the championship lead.

Frankie took the green flag, however, by lap #3 he found himself in 11th place.  He fought his way to keep from going back any more positions.  On lap #10 it was being reported that smoke was being seen coming from Muniz's #77 machine.  As it turns out the #77 car was bottoming out, meaning it was too low to the ground and the car's bottom was scrapping the track. 

The problem didn't seem to affect Muniz and he continued his forward progress. Halfway through the race Muniz climbed back to 10th, taking it away from Mexican racer David Garza and soon thereafter he had caught up to the 8th place of Tonis Kasemets, only separated by 0.3 seconds.  Both Kasemets and Muniz passed Frederick Vervisch, who had an ailing gearbox. 

Muniz now owned 8th place and it looked as though he would finish in the 8th spot, however on a last lap move, the 9th place of fellow racer James Winslow made a poorly executed pass attempt and hit Muniz, causing him to go off track.  After a brilliant save, Muniz continued and would officially finish in the 9th spot.  Soon after the race, Race Control reviewed the incident and determined that there was avoidable contact between Winslow and Muniz and thus Muniz was awarded the 8th place finishing spot.

Frankie Muniz, Driver No. 77 - “It was a tough day but with that said we got some valuable points and are determined to do even better tomorrow.  The whole Team Stargate World's crew did a great job and together we overcame a difficult day.  We'll be back tomorrow in force”

Simona De Silvestro, Driver No. 78 - “I'm happy about taking the points lead and going into tomorrow's race with that lead.  Today's race was tough.  If it wasn't for that mishap on the start of the race and our 2nd lap incident, where I went off track for a bit, I know we could have had a better chance at catching the first place of Jonathan Summerton, but this is a long season and I'll gladly take the 2nd place and our new points lead!  Many thanks to my engineer Burke Harrison and the Team Stargate Worlds crew for their hard work.  A big thank you to our sponsors for their wonderful support ”

Imran Safiulla and Shane Seneviratne, Principals Of Team Stargate Worlds- “It's been a weekend of mixed fortunes for Team Stargate Worlds.  An oil leak yesterday on Frankie's car set us back a fair bit, but we recovered well.  Our Engineers Gerald Tyler (Frankie Muniz's #77) and Burke Harrison (Simona De Silvestro #78)  did a great job dealing with variable weather conditions during qualifying.  Simona had a strong race and we've sneaked ahead in the Championship lead.  Frankie made the most of his misfortune to drive hard and he picked up some very valuable points.  We are hoping for a stronger day tomorrow.”

About Team Stargate Worlds:

Team Stargate Worlds entered the 2009 Atlantic Championship season in partnership with US RaceTronics with one of the world's most talented female race car drivers Simona De Silvestro and Hollywood star turned serious professional racer Frankie Muniz. For more information about Team Stargate Worlds please visit www.usracetronics.com. The Team Stargate Worlds Twitter page can be found at http://twitter.com/TeamSGW while the team’s Facebook page can be found at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=70120788804



-  David Martinez -

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/champ-car-team-stargate-worlds-new-jersey-simona-de-silvestro-frankie-muniz---64951.html

14.06.2009 / MaP

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