Andersen Racing's Bonilla Finishes Sixth In Star Mazda Action at Portland After All Three Andersen Cars Run in Top 10 PORTLAND, Ore., July 22 - Although all three of Andersen Racing's drivers were in the top 10 for nearly half of Round Seven of...
Andersen Racing's Bonilla Finishes Sixth In Star Mazda Action at Portland After All Three Andersen Cars Run in Top 10
PORTLAND, Ore., July 22 - Although all three of Andersen Racing's drivers were in the top 10 for nearly half of Round Seven of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear Saturday at Portland International Raceway, in the end Gerardo Bonilla of Orlando, Fla. posted the best result for the Fairfield, N.J.-based team when he finished sixth in the Skip Barber Racing School No. 9.
All three survived a wreck at the start that took out several good cars, including that of polesitter and points leader Adrian Carrio. Bonilla had qualified ninth while his Andersen Racing teammates, Ramiro Scuncio of Conception, Chile and Doug Prendeville of Whippany, N.J., had started 19th and 23rd, respectively. After the initial big crash Bonilla had advanced to fifth; Prendeville had soared to eighth and Scuncio was right behind him in ninth.
They circled the 1.944-mile, 12-turn road course in those positions for the next 20 minutes until the green flew again on lap nine. Bonilla was then kept busy trying to pass Rob Bunker while keeping Charles Anti at bay. Scuncio passed Prendeville for eighth place on lap 12 and all the Andersen Racing drivers remained in the top 10 until Prendeville slipped to 13th on lap 14 when he had to take evasive action to avoid hitting another competitor who had gotten off the track. He dropped one more spot right before the second full-course caution waved with 14 laps in the books and 28 minutes gone of the 45-minute event.
That yellow was for an accident in Turn 12. The green waved again on lap 17, 31 minutes into the race. Scuncio was hit by the driver behind him during the restart and shortly thereafter he retired his Sky Airlinc Chile-sponsored car with suspension damage. Bonilla was still in fifth place and Prendeville was now 13th.
On lap 20 Anti got by Bonilla to push him to sixth, which is where he was nine laps later when the checkered flew.
Prendeville moved up to 12th with his Winder Farms entry when Scuncio dropped out, but Jay Poscente got by Prendeville on the white-flag lap to push him to 13th. Scuncio ended up 22nd in the final rundown after the driver who hit him was penalized one spot.
Mike Potekhen led every lap to post the victory over Kevin LaCroix and Ryan Justice.
Carrio still leads the overall point standings. Bonilla is seventh in those and he leads the Expert Series point standings. Scuncio is 11th in the overall point standings and eighth in the Rookie of the Year standings. Andersen Racing's Brad Jaeger had to miss this event and he's now tied for 25th in the overall points. Prendeville is only doing selected events so he's not running for points.
The next race is coming right up as the series travels to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec for a show on Aug. 5-6. After that it's off to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Aug. 18-20; Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario Sept. 2-3; Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. Sept. 29-30 and the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Oct. 21-22.
Last weekend's race from Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, Utah will be broadcast at 3 p.m. Eastern time July 29 on SPEED. Today's race from Portland is scheduled to air on the same network at 1 p.m. Eastern time Aug. 5.
More information is available at andersenracingteam.com and starmazda.com.
Driver quotes follow:
Gerardo Bonilla: "We started ninth, and I told myself to be patient. At the start it was the usual chaos. I saw Carrio spinning, but I got through it. Over the radio I remember saying 'Well, we made it through that one; now we just need to make it the rest of the way.'
"The track was slippery. This was my first time here, but people have told me that the hotter it gets the more slippery it gets. But our set-up was good for the track conditions. The car was consistent.
"When the race got going again I could put my head down and get some good laps. I tried, but I couldn't pull alongside Bunker. Then I made a mistake and lost a spot to Charles Anti, but the car was fast enough to maintain our position. We did our fastest lap of the race at the end, so that was good."
Doug Prendeville: "There was an accident to start and I was able to make it through and passed a lot of cars. Then I was running eighth and another driver passed me and went off the track and came right back on right in front of me, so I had to go off the track to miss him.
"It was a rough start to the weekend but Roger figured out the car set-up and it was good for the race."
Ramiro Scuncio: "It was frustrating for me because the car was good and we could have advanced in the points because some of the drivers ahead of us had problems, but then another driver hit me and bent my suspension and I had to drop out. It was the first race we didn't finish.
"I missed the accident at the start, but on the restart after the second full-course yellow the driver behind me didn't realize what was happening and he hit me and bent my wing and my suspension and I had to drop out. I finished 23rd on the track but the guy that hit me was penalized and we swapped places so really I was 22nd in the rundown. The guy that hit me apologized, but it was frustrating because we were running eighth and the car was good."