BOWMANVILLE, Ont. Can., September 3, 2005 -- Hearn Motorsports took its first-ever victory today in a dominating performance at Mosport International Raceway. Making not only his debut with the Richie Hearn-owned operation but also his premiere ...
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. Can., September 3, 2005 -- Hearn Motorsports took its first-ever victory today in a dominating performance at Mosport International Raceway. Making not only his debut with the Richie Hearn-owned operation but also his premiere appearance in the Star Mazda Series North American Championship, Jay Howard, (Basildon, Essex, England) narrowly missed the pole position in this morning's qualifying for this afternoon's race. Starting second, Howard fell back to third early before rallying quickly and moving the No. 70 Lucas Oil/ NewHoneys.com/ Hearn Motorsports Mazda into the lead. Once there, he never looked back turning the race's fastest lap (one minute, 15.939 seconds) and covering 28 laps in the 45-minute race.
The run gave the Hearn team its first victory since being formed by Indy car racing standout Richie Hearn (Henderson, Nev.) last season. The win also continued an impressive streak for the 24 year-old Howard who has won his first event in every category of motorsports he has ever entered! Included in his 2005 tally are eight out of ten victories in the Zetec Formula Ford Series.
The victory brought to the forefront the extraordinary organization that Hearn, himself an IndyCar Series winner and pole sitter as well as 1995 Formula Atlantics champion, has assembled.
The impressive performance returned the No. 70 to the podium where it began the season with top-three performances at the first two races. Since, the car has run only select events as Hearn looks to maximize the car's presence. It also brought full-circle the promise that the car showed here at Mosport last year where it won its first pole position and earned its first podium finish. Overall, in a limited number of starts, Hearn's primary entry has taken five podium finishes, one victory and one pole position in Star Mazda competition.
Brian Thienes (Huntington Beach, Calif.) in the No. 77 Thienes Engineering/ Hearn Motorsports Star Mazda also looked strong at the 2.459-mile, 10 turn track 100 km north of Toronto. Despite struggling early in practice, Thienes, under Hearn's guidance, returned with a strong performance qualifying 11th. However, a yet-to-be-determined engine problem kept the second-year Hearn driver down by more than five miles per hour on the straight-aways hampering his effort for a top-ten. He would finish a frustrated 17th but on the lead lap.
Hearn Motorsports' and Jay Howard's first Star Mazda victory can be seen on October 23rd at 1 PM (EDT) on SPEED.
Richie Hearn, owner: About the day: "Mosport's been good for us. I did fairly well here in Atlantics and last year we got our first pole and our first podium. Now we get our first win. This is the first win for me in anything for a long time so it feels good. Jay did an awesome job. He never dropped a wheel wrong all weekend. He had never seen this place, had hardly driven the car but knew exactly what he wanted in the car. It was almost perfect. We're feeling pretty good. My expectations were a little reserved for this place but obviously he came through. We're going to be on it at Road Atlanta and I don't see why we can't win it again."
About Jay Howard, No. 70: "Everything came together kind of last minute; we didn't have a deal finished up until last Friday. We did a test that day at Gingerman and I could tell in five laps he was good. If missing the pole by 4/100ths of a second is the only down thing this weekend, I'll take it."
About Brian Thienes, No. 77: "Brian did an awesome job in qualifying but he had some sort of engine problem in the race. We just don't know what it is. We think its something minor in the engine but we haven't looked at the car yet. Unfortunately, he was just sort of a sitting duck. I feel bad for him. That's not the way we want to do it."
Jay Howard, driver: "It was an almost perfect weekend. Unless I qualify pole, win the race and get fastest lap I'm not happy. We missed the pole by 4/100ths and it's a shame because my next lap was actually quicker but the checkered flag fell just as I crossed the line. Shame we didn't get that last lap in but it was irrelevant in the end because we got what was the main focus, which was to win. Here is another category where I won on my debut. A lot of people keep telling me it's impossible but I keep proving them wrong so I am real happy. The Mazda Series is a very good series for sure. It has some very good drivers. The cars have double the horsepower and double the aero so for me, physically, as a challenge it was quite a step up. The track is great. You have to be on it to be fast here. The advantage we have for our next race in Atlanta is that I know the track. I won there earlier this year in F2000 and I am looking at going there for another win."