Hacquard Responds to Mosport Challenge Vancouver, British Columbia (August 24, 2008) -- Taylor Hacquard's first trip to Ontario's Mosport International Raceway failed to lack drama as the Vancouver racer put in a spirited performance on what...
Hacquard Responds to Mosport Challenge
Vancouver, British Columbia (August 24, 2008) -- Taylor Hacquard's first trip to Ontario's Mosport International Raceway failed to lack drama as the Vancouver racer put in a spirited performance on what was both an eventful and busy Saturday hosting Round 8 of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear.
While ultimately an oil leak was to curtail the 18-year-old from recording a potential sixth top-ten finish of his rookie season, the highlight for both Taylor and his World Speed Motorsports crew was the fact that they made it to the grid to take the start in the #15 Wolfe Auto Group entry as an off in qualifying severely damaged the car and left its driver with a minor concussion.
Hacquard's track debut came in Thursday's practice sessions with the Canadian picking up the 2.46-mile road course as the day progressed. He kick started Friday's official practice outings with the tenth fastest time in the morning and was running as high as fifth in the afternoon's session on old tires before the lead pack switched to fresh sets leaving Taylor 12th on the timesheets.
An encouraging qualifying run brought the day's real drama. With five minutes of the session remaining Hacquard ran slightly wide exiting Turn 3 and found the marbles at the side of the track. What followed was a sideways impact into the wall. Taylor's car sustained significant damage while he was knocked out briefly taking the hit resulting in a minor concussion. A lengthy visit with the track doctors ultimately led to getting the all-clear to race in the afternoon but the prognosis for Taylor's car initially didn't look quite so good.
Responding to the challenge Taylor's World Speed Motorsports crew worked miracles to get his car back into race trim for the afternoon's event, the clock ticking with both qualifying and the race being held on the same day. Despite his earlier accident, Hacquard had qualified 11th and immediately set to work breaking the top-ten when the lights flicked to green. Unfortunately for the teenage rookie, with 11 laps recorded an oil leak cut short his performance having spun out on the spray which in turn led to an engine failure and subsequent fire. Ireland's Peter Dempsey won the 20-lap Mosport race, his third successive Star Mazda victory, with Joel Miller taking second, and the title lead, while Tom Gladdis completed the podium trio.
"There's no doubt this was a tough day but we all showed our determination to get out there and compete," reflected Hacquard. "The team did a phenomenal job to get the car ready for the race in the afternoon. We all pulled together really well despite our troubles. Thankfully we have a bit of time off now, a bonus after a minor concussion, but I'm already planning for the New Jersey double!"
Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear will take place at the 'Mazda Grand Prix of New Jersey', hosted at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Friday 12th -- Saturday 14th September - www.starmazda.com / www.njmotorsportspark.com
SPEED will broadcast Round 8 from Mosport International Raceway as a tape-delay on Saturday 27th September starting at 2pm ET -- www.speedtv.com
2008 Top-10 Star Mazda Drivers -- R8/12: 1st Joel Miller (274pts), 2nd Peter Dempsey (273pts), 3rd Alex Ardoin (271pts), 4th Charles Hall (262pts), 5th John Edwards (252pts), 6th Tom Gladdis (247pts), 7th Billy Goshen (227pts), 8th Ernesto Otero(208pts), 9th Kristy Kester (205pts), 10th TAYLOR HACQUARD (197pts)