Jonathan Bomarito became the first two-time winner in the Atlantic Championship this season with a lights-to-flag performance in the first race of the double-header at Road America.
Driving the #26 machine for Mathiasen Motorsports, Bomarito took the lead at the race's standing start and led all but one lap en route
to a 0.411secs victory over polesitter Dane Cameron. It was Bomarito's fourth career Atlantic victory and was also his second win at Road America, where he claimed his first victory in the series in 2006. The result allowed Bomarito to move into third place in the championship standings and, with 130 points, he now trails second place Markus Niemela by two points and leader James Hinchcliffe by nine.
“It feels amazing,” Bomarito said, “I love this track - there's so much history and the racing always is amazing here - so it feels great to be back up here. To be the first guy to win two races this year feels amazing too and, hopefully, it's not my last.
"Hopefully, we'll keep this momentum going. I'm on the pole for tomorrow and Tonis [Kasemets] is right next to me, so it should be an exciting one, for sure. We're looking forward to it. We have a little bit of work tonight to do on the car and get a couple of little things a little better, and we'll be strong tomorrow.
"My hat's off to the whole Mathiasen Motorsports team. Every single session this whole weekend, starting on Wednesday when we had our three practice sessions, nobody's made one single mistake. The car ran flawlessly and we've just been making small changes and making the car better and better every session. Big thanks to them.”
In the #19 Genoa Racing entry, Cameron was the only other driver in the field to lead a lap, which he did thanks to an outstanding move in the famed Canada Corner on lap ten of 18. However, Bomarito managed to return the favour on the next lap and Cameron was not able to mount another challenge.
Nevertheless, the second-place performance was a career-best for the Atlantic rookie, eclipsing a previous-best performance of fourth in race one of the double-header at Edmonton two weeks ago. It was also the fourth consecutive top five result for the 2007 Star Mazda champion, as the performance moved him into a tie for fifth in the championship with Carl Skerlong.
“[Bomarito] definitely has a few more starts in these cars than I do and he got a bit better launch,” Cameron said, “I just chipped away at it and kind of reeled him back in a little bit. I was able to get a good run out of turn eight and was able to still have good air going around The Carousel, so I didn't lose any ground. I was able to get him on the brakes going into Canada Corner and pulled away a little bit on the first lap, but not quite enough. He got another run on me, and did basically the same thing and got back by me. I was able to stay right with him, but he wasn't making any mistakes and I made a couple of small ones. It was just too difficult to set him up for a clean pass.
“There were probably a couple of times where I could have thrown a dive bomb on him, but he was racing me real clean, so I was going to do the same. I just didn't have quite enough to get back by him, but I'm still really happy to be on my first podium. It's another in a string of top-five finishes and the team has been making some big strides. I'm really, really happy with the progress we've made and I'm hoping we can get back up on the podium tomorrow.”