After winning the previous two events on the Toyota Atlantic schedule, it seems fitting that rookie points leader AJ Allmendinger's quest for three straight victories moves to Quebec's legendary Trois-Rivieres street circuit.

The RuSPORT driver currently holds a 27-point advantage over Scotland's Ryan Dalziel in the chase for the 2003 championship title and, if he emerges victorious this weekend, will become the first driver since 2001 champion Hoover Orsi to win three consecutive Toyota Atlantic events.

Orsi's three-race win streak also included a victory at Trois-Rivieres, which was sandwiched between wins at Chicago and Road America, and a win this weekend would also give Allmendinger five victories on the season, which would be the most since Orsi won five in 2001 and would equal the most wins for a rookie in a season since Alex Barron won five during his championship-winning rookie campaign of 1997. Regardless of the outcome, however, Allmendinger stands to retain the championship lead at the end of the weekend, having won each of the past two races - at Cleveland and Toronto - after starting from pole.

However, while the reigning Barber Dodge champion has been in the headlines throughout the 2003 season, four Quebec residents and two other Canadians will certainly get their share of attention this weekend.

The Trois-Rivieres locals will have two of their own to root for throughout the weekend as natives Stephan C Roy and rookie Louis-Philippe Dumoulin look for their first career Toyota Atlantic victories in their hometown.

Roy will be making his fourth career Toyota Atlantic appearance at Trois-Rivieres with a previous best result of twelfth in his first appearance in 2000 and a best starting position of eighth in 2001. Dumoulin, meanwhile, will be making his Atlantic debut with Lynx Racing, but is no stranger to the podium at Trois-Rivieres, having won both events at the venue en route to the 2002 Canadian FFord crown. He also finished on the podium in both Canadian Formula Ford races in 2001.

This weekend's field will feature a total of four Quebecois, as Montreal residents Eric Jensen and rookie Philip Fayer will also be representing the province. In fact, Montreal-based Starwood Team Jensen, which fields entries for Jensen and Fayer, is the only Canadian-based team in the championship.

Completing the Canadian contingent will be defending Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres champion Michael Valiante and Ontario native Jonathan Macri.

Valiante, who recently announced that he is working with Walker Racing to put together a Champ Car World Series programme for 2004, currently stands fifth in the 2003 standings and, if he succeeds in defending his 2002 race title, would become the first driver to repeat in Trois-Rivieres since Alex Tagliani won back-to-back events in 1997 and '98.

Macri, meanwhile, is currently third in the point standings on the strength of five podium finishes in seven starts this season, but comes into the weekend still looking for his first career Toyota Atlantic win. Both should be considered among the favourites to take the victory on Sunday.

Another driver who should rate among the favourites this weekend is Dalziel, who is welcoming a new team-mate as Kyle Krisiloff joins Sierra Sierra Enterprises after running the last five events with Dorricott Racing.

Dalziel is no doubt hungry to cut into Allmendinger's championship lead this weekend, and comes in riding a streak of five consecutive top-five finishes and eight top-fives in his past nine starts, dating back to the Montreal event last year. It was at Trois-Rivieres last year that Sierra Sierra Enterprises made its Toyota Atlantic debut with Marc DeVellis at the wheel, and picked up a third place finish, which bodes well for Dalziel and Krisiloff.

While Canada has six drivers in the field, so will the United States. Joining Allmendinger and Krisiloff are Aaron Justus, Joey Hand, Alex Figge and Danica Patrick.

Justus comes to Trois-Rivieres after tying his career best starting and finishing position at Toronto by starting and finishing second to his team-mate, and has only finished outside the top five once thus far in 2003.

Last year, Hand made his return to the championship at Trois-Rivieres after missing the previous six races due to a back injury sustained during testing at Milwaukee, but finished ninth after qualifying fifth. His best finish in two previous appearances was sixth in his inaugural appearance in 2001, but he is looking to duplicate DSTP's performance from the 2000 season, when Buddy Rice took the pole and the race victory.

Figge will be making his second career appearance at Trois-Rivieres and will be looking to better the eleventh place result he earned in his maiden visit last year. He currently ranks sixth in the standings.

Patrick, meanwhile, is making her first Toyota Atlantic appearance at Trois-Rivieres and currently stands eighth in the championship with five top-10 finishes in seven starts.

Completing the international line-up are a pair of second year drivers from Latin America. Dorricott Racing's Luis Diaz currently ranks ninth in the championship standings, and returns for his second race at Trois-Rivieres after finishing sixth on his first appearance last year. Likewise, Transnet Racing's Alex Garcia, meanwhile, returns to the site of the best performance of his rookie season, where he finished twelfth.

Last year's race saw Valiante lead every lap from pole en route to a 0.742secs victory over Dorricott Racing's Alex Gurney. It was Valiante's third victory of the season and enabled him to leave Trois-Rivieres as the championship leader after nine of twelve races.

Rookie Marc DeVellis finished third in his first career Toyota Atlantic appearance driving for Sierra Sierra Enterprises, and was followed by Gurney's team-mates Jon Fogarty in fourth and Rocky Moran Jr fifth. Surprisingly, given the nature of the track, the race was slowed by just one full-course caution period, losing four laps as a result of an incident involving Carl Russo.