Rahal Gets Hit from Behind in Star Mazda Race At Road America Saturday ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 23 - After running faster than any other Star Mazda driver in the Friday afternoon practice session at Road America here, Graham Rahal had high hopes...
Rahal Gets Hit from Behind in Star Mazda Race At Road America Saturday
ELKHART LAKE, Wis., Aug. 23 - After running faster than any other Star Mazda driver in the Friday afternoon practice session at Road America here, Graham Rahal had high hopes for the actual race 24 hours later. Unfortunately the 16-year-old from New Albany, Ohio was hit from behind in the first turn on the first lap of the race in an accident that involved nearly a quarter of the field. Although Rahal wasn't hurt, the car suffered too much damage to continue.
It was a far different story on Friday when the car, which is sponsored by The Bobby Rahal Automotive Group, Bosch, Renier Construction and Norwalk Furniture, topped the charts for the afternoon practice session with a lap in 2:06.424 (115.269 mph). for the 4.048-mile road course.
On Saturday morning Rahal qualified fourth with a 2:06.318 (115.366 mph). He thought he could have gone even faster during that session but he forgo a run for the pole in order to save his tires for the race that afternoon.
But he never had a chance in the race. "I never like to point fingers, but as a driver you have to always watch the person in front of you at the start so that you don't hit him," Rahal said afterwards. " That didn't happen. I got hit in the rear and another driver was punted into me. I'm the one that got taken out, so I'm really, really disappointed.
"I was quickest all the time here in the afternoon; the other day I was quickest by nearly a second in the afternoon. We had no problems at all with running in the afternoon, and I think we could have won this one. But as it turned out we got taken out, and it really hurts our chances for the championship."
The next Star Mazda race will be at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada Sept. 1-3, followed by Road Atlanta Sept. 28-30 (part of the Petit Le Mans) and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Oct. 13-15.
Unofficially Raphael Matos leads the point standings with 347 points going into Mosport. A driver can earn 45 points at each event. Robbie Pecorari and James Hinchcliffe are now tied for second with 318. Rahal is fourth with 259.
Several Star Mazda race broadcasts are coming up on SPEED. The second half of the Infineon doubleheader is slated to air at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27. Rahal's victory at Portland will be shown at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18. Saturday's race at Road America is scheduled to be shown at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2. All times are Eastern.
Rahal's Web site is located at grahamrahal.com, while his sponsor's Web site is at bobbyrahal.com. His Star Mazda team's Web site is at andersenwalko.com. Other interesting information can be found at starmazda.com, americanlemans.com, scca.com and restartcommunications.com.