Portland: AIM Autosport summary

John Edwards takes one win in series double-header Strong comeback after problems on Saturday Woodbridge, Ontario (07.25.2008) AIM Autosport was recently in Portland, Oregon for a double-header in the Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear....

John Edwards takes one win in series double-header
Strong comeback after problems on Saturday

Woodbridge, Ontario (07.25.2008) AIM Autosport was recently in Portland, Oregon for a double-header in the Star Mazda Series presented by Goodyear. The team had recently tested at Mosport with driver John Edwards in preparation for this event. The practice seemed to pay off when Edwards, the youngest driver in the series, put in some very quick times in the open practice on Thursday. John was second fastest in the morning session and would lead the afternoon session by .500 seconds.

"We were fastest in the afternoon" reported John, "but that was on sticker tires. We were one of only two teams to put on a fresh set of Goodyear's so I expect that the times will be a lot closer once the rest of the field goes out Friday morning."

On Friday he would lead the morning practice with a time of 1:09.348 around the Portland circuit. This would better his time from Thursday practice. John would to complete practice day in third spot but his time from the morning stands as the fastest of all sessions combined. The goal for this double-header weekend is for s strong run in the AIM Autosport No. 7 Formula Mazda and so John might make up some points following his sixth-place finish at Watkins Glen.

Saturday morning started well with John qualifying on the front row with a time of 1:09.304. Unfortunately, at the drop of the green flag, he experienced problems with the clutch which caused him to falter on the start. An accident up the road brought out the safety car and John was able to continue for a few laps but eventually had to retire the car after six laps.

"Not a great day for us" reported John, "but also not a great day for the other championship contenders. They either crashed or retired from the race so now we are all on an even keel. It is up to us to make a move on the championship. The guys are working on the clutch issue and we'll be ready to make another run at the front on Sunday."^@

Things would definitely go better on Sunday and John once again put the car on the front row in qualifying. He would then get a great start and pass the pole sitter into the first corner and go on to lead every lap of this afternoon's feature.

John was able to build a strong lead - as much as six seconds over the 05 car which had been on pole.

John commented, "The 05 had a slow start and was passed for second and then held up. I was able to take my time through traffic and build a bit of a lead." The 05 finally regained second place and started a charge just when John started to catch traffic at all the wrong places. As the laps were winding down, John was able to focus forward and maintain the lead through to the checkers. He would cross the line .979 seconds up on P2.

"The guys did an awesome job getting the AIM Autosport No. 7 Formula Mazda in top form for today." noted John. "After the clutch problems we encountered yesterday, the whole crew worked hard to make sure we had a race-winning car today, and it worked. Now we look forward to Road America in two weeks."

AIM Autosport team manager Keith Willis had this to say: "John had a good clean run today opening a big gap in the early stages that proved to be important late in the race. He hit his marks and worked traffic to his advantage, even though it cost some time toward the end of the race. But better to be safe that take passing risks that could end your day." He continued, "It was a satisfying comeback after Saturday's disappointment and we will happily add those points to the championship total."

With the win, John has moved up to seventh in the series championship with seven race still to run.

John and the AIM Autosport No. 7 Formula Mazda are back on track at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on August 8 and 9.

-credit: aim

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers John Edwards