With Saturday behind them, Team Stargate Worlds drivers Simona De Silvestro (pictured right) and Frankie Muniz arrived Sunday morning looking to improve their results from Saturday's race. With clouds dotting the beautiful blue New Jersey sky, the 13-car field lined up with Simona in front of the pack. During the last race De Silvestro had a misstep at the start which cost her greatly. For this race she was determined not to let that happen again.
As soon as the green flag waved, De Silvestro got a great launch off the starting line and put the second place starter Jonathan Summerton behind her. She had built a 1.1 second gap between her and Summerton by the time the first lap was completed. De Silvestro continued to build up her lead incrementally and by lap #5 her lead increased to 1.5 seconds. Summerton was not about to let De Silvestro walk away from this race unchallenged and midway through the race he managed to eat away at her lead. He was now only 0.7 seconds away from De Silvestro and kept his lap times evenly matched with hers. Nevertheless, De Silvestro drove a flawless race and sliced her way around the track perfectly, never allowing Summerton to take advantage of a mistake. De Silvestro would cross the finish line first, capping off a successful weekend. This is her second victory this year with Team Stargate Worlds and her third career victory in the Atlantic series. She leaves New Jersey leading the Atlantic Championship by eight points.
De Silvestro’s teammate Frankie Muniz had an eventful start of the race by falling one position back to 9th. All hope was not gone as the 8th place car of James Winslow only led Muniz by .03 seconds. With Winslow in his sights Muniz drove a methodical race, looking for the perfect opportunity to set up a pass to capture 8th. Muniz would try to make the pass on the front straightaway but with time running out just could not get it done. It wasn’t until the second to the last lap when Muniz tucked his #77 behind Winslow’s machine and pulled off the spectacular pass. At that point Muniz explicitly displayed his fast pace by running away from Winslow. In the 2 laps that remained Muniz had increased his lead over Winslow by over 4 seconds.
Simona De Silvestro, Driver No. 78 – “It was a very tough race. I got a great start but Jonathan Summerton made consistent laps and I was never able to get a very big gap over him. He kept his car right behind me the whole time so in that respect it was tough. I was a bit concerned when I got caught in traffic and Jonathan did gain an advantage every time I did run into traffic but I was always able to regain my distance over him. The win was especially nice since I now have the Championship lead. Many thanks go to the Team Stargate Worlds crew, our Engineers, and to our great sponsors.”
Frankie Muniz, Driver No. 77 - “Overall I'm happy with the result. Even though I didn't have the start that I wanted, I did have a great fight with James Winslow for the 8th spot throughout the whole race and with 2 laps to go I made the pass and was able to get by him cleanly. I then managed to put a 4 second gap between James and me. While this weekend may not have gone how I would have planned it with the blown engine on Friday, the lack of practice time, and our last race #1 tangle with James and the ensuing damage, I did learn a tremendous amount, I also gained a lot of confidence and I feel like the next step now is a podium finish. Hopefully that will come at our next race.”
Imran Safiulla and Shane Senevirante, Principals Of Team Stargate Worlds, - “We are both proud of the team. It was a strong effort in all departments and Simona drove an excellent race. She fully deserves the results she’s been having. The hard work is paying off. Frankie had a good race pace but was held up behind a slower car. He has gained precious experience at this event and we hope to take this momentum into Lime Rock.”
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