View Full Version : Molson Indy Notebook on Andrew Ranger.... *spoilers*

07-12-04, 01:04 PM

TORONTO (CP) - Andrew Ranger has been doing a lot of under-age drinking this summer and in this case, that's not a bad thing.

The Roxton Pond, Que., native took a healthy sip of champagne on the podium Sunday after placing second in the closest Toyota Atlantic race of the year.

Ranger, just 17, finished 0.358 seconds behind American Jon Fogarty to earn a podium berth for the fifth time during his rookie season.

That has led to a fair bit of champagne, something his parents approve of.

``On the podium it's OK,'' he said, laughing.

Ranger started fourth on the grid and moved his way up but couldn't find an opportunity to pass Fogarty, the pole-sitter.

Fogarty knew he was in control and simply concentrated on not making a mistake over the 35-lap race, which he finished in 43 minutes 49.621 seconds.

``It was key that I started out first,'' said Fogarty, the series points leader at 184. ``If Andrew would have started out first I think it would have been difficult to overtake him.''

Ranger moved up to fourth in the points race at 146, one ahead of Denmark's Ronnie Bremer, a fellow rookie who was third, 8.006 seconds back of Fogarty.

``Once Ranger passed me, I couldn't get past him,'' said Bremer.

Ranger opened eyes last year, when he won the North American Fran-Am Pro championship in his first year racing cars. He moved up to the Atlantic series this year, the feeder loop for Champ Car.

Comparisons have been made between Ranger and the legendary Gilles Villeneuve.

``It's fun for me because he's a big guy and (the comparison) gives me pressure,'' said Ranger. ``This is good, I like the pressure.''

Personable and unassuming, Ranger holds a similar demeanour to his favourite driver, Patrick Carpentier of Joliette, Que. Both are more than willing to address all comers, always smiling and enjoying every minute behind the wheel.

``He's a great guy,'' Ranger said of Carpentier. ``He's a guy who remained humble, even though he's a star.''