Rocha wins Montreal Test Run!

12.20.2004 -This weekends test run at Montreal was nothing short of a success. Although only half the field showed up for the event the racing was nonetheless exciting! Henrique Rocha won a tightly contested race that consumed only one driver at the start of the race when Brian Glanville stalled on the grid. The early stages of the race saw Rocha, Bolman and Sampson, running neck and neck. The first lap showed just how intense it was when the three of them crossed the line, three abreast, to complete lap 1. By lap 3 however, Sampson started to fall back, leaving the contest to Rocha and Bolman. Four laps later Sampson would fall further behind, when he lost positions to both Byrne and King. In that timeframe, both Rocha and Bolman were trading laps back and forth, not giving an inch to one another.On the final lap of the race, Rocha pulled out a fast lap to beat Bolman to the line by just over a second. Sampson's troubles got worse as he shunted on the final lap of the race casuing him to loose valuable time and giving up his position to Finlay who finished fifth. The final results were as follows:

1st Henrique Rocha 12:27:659
2nd Daniel Bolman 12:28:832
3rd Reece Byrne 12:42:099
4th Lonnie King 12:46:302
5th Matt Finlay 12:48.965
6th Russ Sampson 13:00:300
7th Brian Glanville DNF

Rocha explained his thoughts: "I'm just...... just..... I have no vocabulary to describe what I'm feeling now. I'm, as my idol Ayrton Senna would say, over the moon. It's really great! Well, to be honest with you, the first lap caught me off-guard. Bolman and Sampson were much faster than me. I think that, if I haven't opened a gap of a second or so to Bolman later in the race, we would take each other off the track! But everything went fine, right on the limit, so I have nothing to complain about. I really enjoyed our fights.

When ask "How suprised he was about the battle between him and Bolman" Rocha' replied, "Yes, I was. Not only Bolman, but the entire Team Nokia surprised me. I was having quite a hard job to stay in the lead. When I was informed by radio that Sampson was slowing down and that Bolman was constantly one second behind me, I told myself "ok, everything is under control now. just don't do anything stupid and keep your car on the road". But when Bolman overtook me, I pushed it to the max to try to overtake him. Fortunately I managed it.But I want to congratulate Bolman for his performance. This was the best race experience I've ever had."

Bolman also comented on his race. "I had to recover quite a bit after this race.. the opening laps were wonderfull I was quite worried we were going to touch each other going into to first corners that time.. but it was great for the adrenaline and also those laps the fight was very hard.. I just wanted to stay close and even got in front for a small period of time.. but I had to concentrate so hard not to hit Rocha in front of me and not to make any mistakes.. because of that there was no time to look back to Russ (my team mate) who was travelling very good althoug he didn't have a lot of runs on the circuit. unfortunatly for the last couple of laps were it went just a bit wrong for him. But after my first real test it was a great experience and again I want to thank my team manager Russ Sampson for giving me this chance."

Byrne, had is own troubles at the begining of the race and lost precious time. "My start was extremely poor and more so considering it wasn't anything to do with the car but I was just slow to hit the accel. From there on I knew I had a bit of a fight on my hands." Byrne, had to fight back from sixth place to gain his spot on the podium. "To tell the truth, the thought of finishing last never passed my mind, I was just concentrating hard on passing the fellows ahead of me. It definitely wasn't easy getting past either and took me a lap or two each time to find their weaknesses and with that I was able to pass. Overall I'm very happy with the outcome and cant wait for the season opener."

Sampson responded to his faultering run. "After a very good start to the race, I do beleive I under achieved in this test run, with Montreal not being my favourite track to drive on I lost a lot of time on the penaltimate corner, costing me dearly. This resulted in pushing to hard to get some time, and a few slides turned out to be costly. Danny B's (Bolman) race was very impressive and long may this continue, good work Dan!"

Team Porsche was expected to do better then they did but they managed a forth and fifth place finish. King said, "It just goes to show that Team Porsche has some catching up to do. Honestly I am just getting to understand the Montreal track. My times at other tracks are much better, comparitively speaking. I wouldn't say that this is the way every race will go. Some drivers are better at other tracks. A champion won't be crowned until the end of the season. But there are some drivers you can expect will be there to the end. I just hope that team Porsche has what it takes to get there as well."

Lonnie King's teammate Matt Finlay, discussed his performance in the race. "I just wanted to finish my laps as quick as possible. I had an awful balance problem through the corners, snap oversteer followed by understeer...did a slow time on lap 9 due to me fighting a massive oversteer moment all the way down a straight. well done to Rocha!"

The development calander gets underway on January 1st, where everyone will be running the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne Australia. All the drivers are gearing up to gain every advantage they can come the opening race on February 19th at Sepang International circuit in Malaysia.

-WSRC News

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