Dempsey's Hat Trick in Illinois! The hits keep coming for Peter Dempsey who has enjoyed another perfect weekend in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear with two lights to flag wins from the pole position at the Autobahn Country...
Dempsey's Hat Trick in Illinois!
The hits keep coming for Peter Dempsey who has enjoyed another perfect weekend in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear with two lights to flag wins from the pole position at the Autobahn Country Club circuit in Joliet, Illinois.
Dempsey was also fastest in both official practice sessions in his Juncos Racing machine on his way to extending his lead in the points standings with four races left on the calendar.
The Ashbourne racer has now won the last three races in succession and a total of four races this season, twice as many as the next best driver, and has added road course dominance with the fledgling Juncos squad to his recent success on ovals.
The narrow gaps in the points distribution means that Dempsey's recent good form translates into a relatively small 19 point lead in the series. With 44 points on offer for a win, Dempsey knows that he must remain vigilant in the push for the title but, for now, he is enjoying the fruits of another dream event.
"What a fabulous weekend for myself and Juncos Racing," the Dunlop Young Racing Driver of the Year said afterwards. "The car was perfect and we managed to secure pole position for both races which made all the difference. Both sessions were tight but I never panicked and pieced together the good lap at the perfect time in each session.
"After that it was about keeping it clean and making good getaways. I knew Adam (Christodoulou) would be pushing hard to get past so it was important that I was able to make a clean break as soon as the lights went out.
"It worked perfectly each time and I was able to establish a gap. In race one with about four laps to go the team was saying 'yellow, yellow, yellow' into my radio and that was the last thing I wanted to hear because I was so comfortable up front.
"I was a bit disappointed, but I knew once I got a good re-start that I had the pace to pull away."
The Motorsport Ireland and Quayside.ie supported driver took the flag 4.9 seconds clear of his championship rival and then recovered for a couple of hours before securing pole position for race two in Saturday evening's qualifying session.
On Sunday afternoon Dempsey led the field away from pole but he was made to work hard to complete his hat trick before pulling clear in the closing stages.
"It was a very tough race for me because Adam (Christodoulou) was pushing me a lot harder than yesterday," he said. "Fortunately I got an even better start than yesterday and did a good first lap on cold tires to build a little bit of a gap.
"I just had to try and be consistent from there on, but the Juncos team gave me a great car and the Goodyear tyres were just perfect. Yesterday in qualifying it was a lot cooler, so we did change the car just a bit for today's race in the heat of the afternoon, but the changes worked just perfectly.
" We have a good bit of momentum going at the moment, and the next race on the schedule, Trois Rivieres, was a race I won last year, so we feel like we should be able to keep it going."
Next Round; Trois Rivieres, August 16th.