Hacquard Adds to Top-Ten Tally in Portland Portland, Oregon (July 27, 2008) -- Vancouver's Taylor Hacquard raced his way to a second straight top-ten finish in Portland on Sunday as he claimed tenth place in Round 5 of the 2008 Star ...
Hacquard Adds to Top-Ten Tally in Portland
Portland, Oregon (July 27, 2008) -- Vancouver's Taylor Hacquard raced his way to a second straight top-ten finish in Portland on Sunday as he claimed tenth place in Round 5 of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear at Portland International Raceway, the second race of the weekend's double-header 'Mazda Grand Prix' meeting.
Entering the race sitting joint sixth in the Driver Standings, thanks to a career best fifth place effort in Round 4 on Saturday at the 1.967-mile Oregon track, the 18-year-old rookie added another 26 points to his total courtesy of Sunday's result, his fourth top-ten finish this season.
Round 5's qualifying outing earlier in the day echoed the previous day's results with Hacquard once again 12th fastest in the session, his lap time in the #15 Wolfe Auto Group/World Speed Motorsports entry a 1m09.920s (101.791mph). Similarly, Andersen Racing's Tom Gladdis claimed a second-straight pole position in Portland with a best lap of 1m08.920s (103.565mph).
A cloudy, overcast sky meant track temperatures were down for Sunday afternoon's 36-lap race as the grid lined up for the standing start. Despite the slightly cooler temperatures the action heated up from the off as Taylor launched off the line to attack into the circuit's famous Festival Curves. Showcasing his racing skills the Canadian teenager gained no fewer than five spots on the opening lap to cross the start-finish line in seventh.
While the top-three pulled away at the head of the pack, led by John Edwards, Hacquard raced consistently in seventh through to the halfway marker when lapped cars came into play with frustrating consequences. Contact passing a back-marker at Turn Three led to Taylor's front-right suspension being damaged, the end result being a loss of track position. Despite this, Taylor valiantly battled his steering issues, holding tenth on track through to the checkered but left to rue what might have been had the incident not happened. AIM Autosport's John Edwards celebrated his second win of the season ahead of yesterday's race winner Tom Gladdis and Sebring victor Joel Miller.
"All things considered it was a fairly good race," Hacquard reflected. "There was a lot more action today and our pace was much better. We'd made some set-up changes which really helped but it was a shame the lapped car came into me when I was passing him as it put paid to any further progress. That said I'm happy to come away with a pair of top-ten's and hopefully we can continue that on when we go to Road America in a couple of weeks."
Round 6 of the 2008 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear heads back east to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin and the famed Road America circuit, Saturday 9th August -- www.starmazda.com / www.roadamerica.com
SPEED will broadcast Rounds 4 and 5 from Portland International Raceway as a tape-delay on Saturday 9th August starting at Noon ET -- www.speedtv.com