Day Two, Part One
Yet Another FBMW Podium For Chaves
Summerton Grabs Atlantic Pole
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, August 29 — Gabby Chaves (5th in the American Driver Ranking) came into Mosport without having to worry about points. He already clinched the Formula BMW Americas championship. Thus, he could just concentrate on winning.
Gabby Chaves notched his 13th podium finish in 13 races.
"Usually I come to a race weekend thinking of the points," Chaves said. "This weekend, I just want to win the race."
Try as he might, however, the dual Columbian, American citizen had to settle for second place in the first race of the weekend, Round 13 of the championship.
"Really hard race," Chaves said. "Every lap was really intense. I tried on the last lap, but the track was still a little damp there."
Chaves started on the front row outside of Gianmarco Raimondo, and both got an excellent standing start. Chaves slipped in behind Raimondo while Giancarlo Vilarinho slotted into third. The green flag lasted one lap when James Kovacic was knock into the Turn 1 outside tire wall beginning the second lap, causing the only full course yellow.
The front runners also performed the restart well, with Raimondo leading the way into the first turn. The two leaders slowly pulled away from the pack as third, fourth, and fifth spread out equidistant from each other.
Gabby Chaves trails Gianmarco Raimondo which is the order they finished in the penultimate race in Formula BMW Americas history.
Chaves tried a few times to get by Raimondo, but the Canadian remained calm.
"Staying consistent was the key with Gabby behind me," Raimondo said. "It wasn't 100% dry, so you were always cautious."
"I tried in the straightaway a number of times," Chaves said. "I tried on the inside of a flat out turn, but you can't really do anything there because you have to turn more. Tried in Turn 5, but the track was still damp."
"I knew he was going to try something," Raimondo said. "But I held my line."
Thus, Chaves had to settle for second place, his 13th podium finish in 13 races. He has an opportunity tomorrow to do something no driver has ever done in Formula BMW -- finish on the podium in every race. It would be a fitting finish to a series that will no longer run after this weekend.
Michael Lewis settled into fifth place and that's where he ended. However, with Kovacic knocked out of the race early, Lewis takes the rookie point lead.
American Atlantic Pole. It was a wild and crazy qualifying session for The Cooper Tires Presents Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. Fog delayed the session, and the track was still damp when the cars went out on rain tires. It didn't take long for the drivers to dive into the pits to switch to dries.
Jonathan Summerton handled the changing conditions the best nabbing Atlantic pole.
At that point, times started dropping in rapid succession, and the drivers were constantly leapfrogging each other to the top of the grid. Jonathan Summerton (ranked 3rd) finally settled into position one, and various drivers took a stab at knocking him off. However, despite Summerton messing up his last lap, no one was able to beat his 1:12.060 time.
"It was fair for everybody," Summerton said. "The whole track was very similar. Basically, we just kept pushing, and I just had to keep the car on the edge."
Simona De Silvestro did finally get her car working well at Mosport, and nabbed the second spot on the last lap, making the potential battle for the race and championship even more intense. Meanwhile, John Edwards (ranked 2nd) faltered, only managing a fourth starting spot. The Atlantic race gets the green light minutes before noon on Sunday.
Copyright © 2009 by Russell Jaslow and American Driver Ranking. All Rights Reserved.